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Category Archives: memories

Scent of a Whaaaaaa?

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I can smell my neighbor smoking on her porch, even though our windows are shut. I can smell that the woman in the next office used Pantene shampoo today. When I got in the car last week, I smelled Chinese food. When probing Hub I found that he had been to the Chinese buffet for lunch, over 5 hours before.

Believe it or not, even in “real life” I have a very keen sense of smell. I can smell the weirdest things from miles away. My sense of smell plays a key role in many of my memories as well. Here are a few:

• A freshly picked tomato, straight from the garden has such a beautiful distinct smell. It reminds me of spending time with my papa when I was little. (he died when I was 4) He would take me out in to his garden and we’d bring some salt, and pick and eat the tomatoes like they were apples. He was my very best friend when I was a little girl and I’m so grateful for his memory and the time that we did get to spend together.
• Mexicali Musk for Men—this is the “cologne” (if you could call it that) that hubs wore when we first got together. He still has the bottle, complete with the red fake worm floating in it. I make him wear it every now and again for nostalgia’s sake. It takes me right back to high school.
• Baked beans in the oven as well as cocoa butter remind me of my paternal grandmother. She had the softest skin I have ever felt and had bottles of Vaseline cocoa butter lotion everywhere in her house. Her house was always warm, with something savory baking in the oven and her cocoa buttery scent always mingled in just the right way.
• Hershey’s Kisses remind me of the same grandmother, and my grandfather too. The kisses were a Christmas tradition, and they filled a large ceramic Santa boot each year. All of us kids had our fill, and it seemed like the boot was bottomless. My uncle puts the boot out at his house each Christmas now as both of them are gone.
• Rave hairspray and hot rollers or a curling iron heating up remind me of my mom. She stayed at home with us so she didn’t get fancy much, but when she did it was a huge production. I would sit on the closed toilet in the bathroom and just watch her, awestruck, and always asked her to curl my hair too.
• Dreft—it has such a distinct scent. Although I used it for both of my kiddos’ it reminds me of preparing for ED’s birth, getting everything washed and ready for him, setting up his bed and packing our bag for the hospital.
• Coffee, laced with cream and sugar—it’s what my dad always smelled like growing up, and his coffee always smelled so delicious that I thought it was cocoa. He’d always laugh and let me have a taste, and I’d always be disappointed.

What kinds of scents just take you back? Are there any scents that bring back unpleasant memories?