the olfactory factory

So the other day I was thinking over all the smells I’ve smelled in my lifetime. There are a lot, and there will be many more to come. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without the old sniffer. Smells are something you can link to your present, past and future. They trigger memories and point you where to go (or not go). Some of my strongest memories are traced through scent. The way my grandma smells is immediately identifiable and is not the same as the way my mom or dad smell. The way my hair smells after cooking eggs and bacon. The smell of the soap my dad uses, or the way his work shirts smell. My mother’s favorite perfume. The way spiced baked goodies fill up a house during cold days. The awful stink that shinguards house after many games and practices. The way men smell versus women. Men are salty almost pretzel like in their scent, where women have a subdued sweet milky smell. The smell of your hands after you leave the gas station. The way a library smells; kinda old, but still inviting in some strange sense. The smell of sea air, soft and savory. The burn of a cold city night that causes an abraisive cut inside your nostrils and on the corners of your mouth. The way public transportation smells; lots of clothes that have been worn for too long and the smell of stale breath. The way your soggy scarf smells after breathing hot air through it all day. The sharp smell of citrus oil and the way it settles into something clean and soft as it fades. The way bleach wipes away everything else you thought you were smelling. I feel almost like a hound dog when I try to count them all. Picking my favorites and marking my territory with my own scents.

Published in: on January 7, 2010 at 5:53 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I hope that someday you will smell something that will bring you right back to our apartment and you will have these moments back if just for a brief second. 🙂

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