My friend Erin wrote this on her blog, and it inspired me to consider one's sense of smell. It really is an incredibly powerful trigger, for good and for bad. A particular smell can remind you of a person or a place or a time with such potency that for a tiny second, you are right back there again. And a smell can be comforting or repellent or intriguing right now, so that in a few years from now, you will be smack dab in 2010 all over again.
1. Chanel #5. This was the only perfume my mother ever wore, and she only wore it when she and my dad were going out to some big, fancy occasion. It smells like excitement and anticipation and grown-ups to me. On the other hand, I knew a woman who hated Chanel #5, because it was worn by her father's new wife, the one he left her mother for. To each his own.
2. Campfires. The smell of summer., and vacations and parties.
3. Clementines. The smell of Christmas.
4. Sheets dried on the line. That totally smells like freshness and cleanliness and purity.
5. The Mister's cologne. I figured out that the Mister was trying to woo me was when I realized that he was wearing cologne. He never wears cologne, mostly because his allergies won't tolerate it. So, it was a very big deal that he put it on to impress me. And whenever I smell it, I am reminded of that sticky, rainy summer day when we went to the CNE and ate fries and it dawned on me that he cared what I thought.
6. The top of a baby's head. The most perfect smell in the world. Whenever I smell that, I am taken back to nuzzling that downy little head with my cheek, and holding that impossibly small little body in my arms, and nursing at 3 a.m. and feeling like the only person awake in the whole universe.
7. Food when you are really hungry. I don't care what's being cooked, the smell of something on the go when you are faint with hunger is one of the most powerfully fabulous smells in the whole world. You see how people perk up when they smell dinner being prepared on an airplane? And that's airplane food, people.
8. Bad perfume. I once worked with a woman that I particularly disliked, and she wore "Poison" by Dior, and I now hate that stuff. Smells like rotting lilies and over-ripe fruit and whiny, bitter women and betrayal. To me, anyway.
9. Schools. What is that smell? Whenever I walk into a school, any school, I am hit with a mixture of orange peel and sweat and floor cleaner and wet wool.
10. The smell of the beach. Off mosquito repellent, coconut sunscreen and hot sand.
11. Me. The only perfume I really wore with any regularity was "Dewberry" by The Body Shop. I always got so many compliments on that fruity, sweet perfume...it was what I imagined purple to smell like. I don't wear it anymore, mostly because I don't wear any perfume anymore; too many people are allergic to scents to wear perfume. But, if anything smells like me, I think that is it.