Friday, September 26, 2008

The Power of Scents

Joey brought up the interesting topic last night of favorite scents - quite subjective obviously. His number 1 scent (don't ask me, I just birthed him....) is dryer sheets (go figure....). His number 2 scent is hamburgers (typical, lol....).
He asked me for my favorites.
How do I choose? It's not a matter of favorite or not favorite... for me it's more a matter of the memory. There are smells that I don't care for at all but that trigger wonderful memories.... Case in point: cigar smoke reminds me of my father.
The human sense of smell is extremely powerful. Some of the most intense memories can be triggered by a mere whiff. (Don't ask about the time Avram sidled up to some lady in an elevator with a big grin on his face and said to her, "Pardon me, but you smell like my dead Aunt"). Sometimes a smell can induce a feeling that we cannot explain, but that must be linked to some long forgotten happening.

I love the smell of freesias. Roses are a pretty close second, but I don't care for lilies, though lilies, along with the smell of baby powder, remind me of my father in law.

I have a bit of a thing for some mens' colognes (good job guys in research and development!)

The smell after a rainstorm reminds me of summers in my childhood when I'd go out hunting earthworms.

Now why we need the smell of Ginko berries is beyond me.....

I'd be interested in hearing other people's scent triggers and perhaps sharing a forgotten memory ;)


rickismom said...

Rav Avigdor Miller points out that scents are powerfull, truggering memories years later.

Yesterday it sprinkled, and I realized it FIRST because of the smell. Scent memory? See:

And it has a point to encourage you in your cooking as well!

Anonymous said...

Every season has its own smell for me. During the season, I'm not aware of the scent, but as the season approaches I catch a whiff of it here and there and I am transported to the season.

Summer: freshly mowed lawns (memories of bungalow colonies)
Fall: fresh and soggy leaves (sweeping the backyard)
Winter: a combination of wet clothes and snow (coming in after snow fights)
Spring: Fresh air with a hint of lemon (finally going outside again without a coat, and my mother's lemonade)

Mikeinmidwood said...

For me the best scents are wet cement it reminds of those great days of summer trying to get of the rain after you played for so long. and the smell of gasoline which doesnt hace anything attached

Anonymous said...

aqua velva- don't even know if it exists any more- but when i would see the bottle I would remember the smell of my grandfather after he shaved. Also the feel of his cheek.

paint- erev pesach

nowadays everyone has some type of coffee maker. but as a kid, the smell of perculating coffee- also pesach.

cut wood- succos
pine trees- succos. my grandparents put in on the inside of the succa.