Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Power of a Scent

"What scents immediately bring you back to childhood?"
There is a quote by Diane Ackerman that is so true.
"Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains."
For me, there are so many scents that immediately transport me to other times and places.
  • Coppertone suntan lotion - It has to be Coppertone, because that's what my mom used to slather all over us at 5:00am the mornings that our entire extended family headed out for the lake. My grandparents had a boat and a camper, and the whole family (my parents, my sister, my two aunts, and my grandparents) would go camping for the weekends. Some of us would sleep in a tent, some in the camper, and my aunts would sleep in the boat. It was always fun to watch the grown-ups water ski building pyramids and stuff. I always thought my family was SO COOL. :-) And whenever I get a whiff of Coppertone suntan lotion, I always think of family camping trips.
  • This leads me straight into Noxzema - After several days at the lake, you tend to get a sunburn no matter how much Coppertone your mom put on you. I have never been able to use Noxzema for its intended purpose of facial cleansing because I always associate it with the excruciating pain of a bad sunburn. One whiff of the stuff and I tend to cringe.
  • The ocean - There's nothing like the smell of the ocean! And try as they may, candle and air freshener manufacturers just can't seem to harness the scent. :-( Personally, I think they have neglected to include the rotting seaweed and seagull poop in the equation. Yeah, it sounds disgusting, but if you ask me... That's all part of what makes the ocean smell like the ocean.
  • Honeysuckle - When I was a little girl, we had a honeysuckle vine in our backyard that was also mixed with blackberries. My little sister and I would always "sneak" back there to pick berries and honeysuckle flowers because we weren't supposed to (there were bees), but I have a feeling my mom knew what we were up to. Mom's know everything. To this day, the smell of honeysuckle makes me smile and feel like I'm getting away with something. :-)
  • Hay, horse poop, and wood shavings - I know, I know... It might not sound appealing to a lot of people, but I love the smell of being in a barn! It reminds me of my Grandpa Jim. If a heart can smile, that's what mine does when I smell a barn. It just makes me think of happy times. And if you mix the barn smell with my Grandpa Jim's cologne, it's even better! :-)
  • Perfume-maker smell - Growing up, I had a little toy perfume maker. I would spend hours mixing the perfect fragrances together. Granted, they all smelled exactly the same... Kind of like flowers and soap mixed together... But I thought I was really doing something special. And the funny thing is, every once in a while, a woman will walk by wearing what I would swear is one of my perfume creations! I guess I should have patented them. I could be rich! :-)
I have a lot more (ex. cherry tobacco, smoke, roast beef, Drakkar Noir), but these are the big ones. What about you? Are there any scents that immediately bring you back to childhood or take you somewhere else?

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails