Monday, February 19, 2007

A scent remembered

A particular smell can oftentimes bring me back to a certain time (or era) of my life. It serves as a vehicle that brings me into memory, acting as a back-drop for mostly-nostalgic daydreaming and remembrance.

  • Tea tree oil reminds me of the excitement of reading through The Return of the King at work 4 or so years ago. I had mysteriously contracted ring worm (we think it was through our frequent visits the Humane Society) and was treating it through topical treatments of tea tree oil and garlic pills (which cleared it right up). The smell of tea tree reminds me of Minas Tirith, kingsfoil, the Battle for Pelennor Fields, the Rohirrim, Eowyn striking down the Nazgul king, and feeling dreamy on a winter's day.
  • Tazo Cinnamon Tea reminds me of reading The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin. The book takes place on a wintry planet and I read it during winter whilst drinking deliciously cinnamony tea. The very smell of it makes me think of sitting with my feet up in a section of empty cubes; savoring my tea, my book, and my break.
  • Witch Hazel makes me feel like a brand new mother again: I was using this to help heal my sore perineal tissues right after Starbeans was born. Think babies, baths, and the fresh excitement of new motherhood.
  • The scent of my high school gymnasium never fails to make me feel like I am 17 again, climbing up the ladder in the taping room with Eric Jones through several stories of boilers to the roof of the gym - the Christmas lights, feeling the excitement of being with my crush in such an interesting location, and my freezing cold feet (from going barefoot). [As the oldest of 5, I've been back to that gym for many games, baccalaureates, and graduations since leaving high school.]
  • Brewing coffee in a percolator brings me back to general youth - elementary & junior high - and church functions. Mingling adults, small talk, and wondering about the prepubescent cute boys.
  • Mingled perfumes: you know what I mean -- the very public smell of freshly cleaned bodies and spritzed-on body sprays, all mixed together. It is being young and at church; looking at ladies' hair, the freshly shaven faces of men, little kids running about.

1 comment:

ms said...

i love this list of memories! it is amazing how the power of scent can tear you away from reality and place you in a distant memory!