What is that scent?

 Have you ever been in the middle of a thought and something pushes that thought aside momentarily, when the soft and subtle scent of something stirs you deep inside?

However brief or mildly annoying this can be it is sometimes a pleasant reminder of times or places gone by. Memories stir each time I walk in to a dentist office of childhood fears but nothing can prepare you if you unknowingly walk by a bakery and the scent of fresh baked goods lingers mysteriously by you.

It’s amazing to me that scents can recall memories of good or bad, sometimes with amazing clarity and sometimes with just a suggestion of a person or place.

I remember just a few months back I was leaving a store I was shopping in and there came to me a whisper of fresh spearmint. Instantly my Grandmother came to mind but it took me two days until I recalled the fields I played in as a child at my Grandmothers home where we would pick the spearmint and rub it between our fingers thinking then that it smelled like gum.  My grandmother moved from that home almost 15 years ago, and it took me days to place the scent but when I did the memories flooded my mind of a time gone by.

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7 thoughts on “What is that scent?

  1. You know, I heard somewhere just recently the the olfactory (sp) are the strongest for memory recollection. For me.. it’s the sweet smell of Russian Olive trees. It reminds me of spending time at my grandparents farm during summer break. The Russian Olive trees grew along the ditch about a mile from their house… but the smell…was as refreshing as running through the sprinklers on a hot summer day.

    *My folks had some of those trees in their back yard…I had almost for got them. They tore them down a few years ago.

  2. Thanks for sharing that. You’re so right. Every time I smell country ham frying it reminds me of my “nanny’s” house. She wasn’t my grandmother, but a woman who babysat me every day until I was 8. She didn’t have any grandchildren nearby, and she considered me her granddaughter. I don’t remember ever eating counrty ham there, but I remember the smell.

    *I know…it’s so strange.

  3. Yes, you’re sooo right. Gin makes me think of my papaw. And pipe smoke does too.

    *Ya a good ol’ camel stud makes me think of my daddy, and coffee and cookies my grandpappy.

  4. Hey Cowgal – great post! I was thinking about this myself not long ago and it evolved more into a smells and sounds post. It’s here if you want to check it out. http://vtroom.wordpress.com/2007/07/15/smells-and-sounds/
    Oh, and my grandfather rolled his own tobacco so that smell reminds me of him. There is also a vague memory of some frankincense tainted perfume my mom used to wear, that brings back warm fuzzy feelings.

    *Oh hey…on my way to check it out now!

  5. This is really lovely; what a vivid description of the “spearmint memory” 🙂 ..I know exactly what you mean about the smells, I wasn’t born with this big nose for nothin’!!! 😉

    *you are so darn cute!

  6. Nice post. My mother died seven years ago, and I honestly think my daughters love her more than they do me because they’re ALWAYS talking about her. One of the things she did was carry scented tissues in her purse, and now whenever one of my daughters smells that pleasant floral scent, she’ll say, “Ah, that makes me think of Granny.” I’m a mom who thought she was doing good just to wad up toilet tissue in my purse for those runny little noses.

    *Oh what a memory…I’m sure you will have your fame with your grandchildren though. Grannys always do!

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