Friday, September 4, 2009

Scent, glorious scent

Today's post of the day at Authorblog winner is Suzanne with How We Label Ourselves. Her post inspired me to put a few quick thoughts down..

Being an aromatherapist, I'm big into scent. Putting it simply, the area in our brain that recognises scent is located next to our memory area, so scent is intricately linked with memory. Just think about scents that you remember from your childhood, and there's your proof.

The first wedding I attended was when I was about 18. The bride was a sister of a priest who lived in a house beside us. My mother was asked to cater for the wedding, which had about 15 guests. I was the assistant cook and waitress.
It was the most intimate and beautiful wedding I've ever been to. The food was very simple- good quality, fresh ingredients, simply cooked with love. The bride wore a simple, white summer dress. Her hair was newly washed. The shampoo was Sunsilk, and for years afterwards, every time I smelled that smell, I was immediately transported back to that lovely day. I think the simplicity and absence of "showing off" was what impressed me.

Every time I smell freshly-cut grass, I'm immediately transported to my childhood. We had a large garden at the back of our house, but as my father was a self-employed businessman, he never had time to cut the grass (he barely had time to eat his meals!). So the grass grew long, and every August, Bill arrived on his bike with a sythe on the back, cut the grass and made it into 2 haycocks. We were warned not to play on top of them, or knock them down, as he would return a few weeks later to collect the hay. Of course we didn't obey- we'd climb up to the top, skid or jump down, make tunnels through at the bottom and we generally treated the haycock as a toy. This is what I remember when I smell freshly-cut grass!

When I had my 50th birthday party at home almost 2 years ago, I made up a mix of essential oils that I call "Ready to Party"- namely Geranium,Ylang Ylang, Orange and Rose. I was aware that all of these oils arouse a feel-good factor, but I swear, everyone there had a fantastic night, and some people who are normally quiet were surprised at how much they enjoyed themselves. I will probably forever associate this mixture with that night, and what a wonderful birthday I had.

So, what are your scent-memories?


  1. Every time I smell freshly-cut grass, I'm immediately transported to my childhood.

    For me it's the smell of burning leaves.

  2. There are certain smells that remind me of people or occasions, both sad and happy. Bonfires definitely stir the memory.

  3. The smell of babies makes me feel like that young mom again.
    And, of course, the smell of schools is always nostalgic.