Sunday, 19 April 2015

Making sense of scents . . .

SCENT - noun
1. a distinctive smell, esp a pleasant one
2. a smell left in passing, by which a person or animal may be traced
3. a trail, clue, or guide

Did you know that we each have our own scent, as distinctive as our DNA?  It's true.   Each of us has a deeply personal bouquet of diet, hygiene, health and hormones.  I read once where Napolean had written to his wife, Josephine, and asked her not to bathe because he was due to come home in three days time and adored her natural aroma.  (The mind boggles.)

I can remember when I was much younger and my ex husband would be away from home for weeks and months at a time with army business, I would often open his drawers or go to the closet and pick out an article of his that I could smell.  It was a comfort during lonely moments.

Home also has a smell.   Each of our homes has a smell as distinctive and particular as our personal scents are. It could be the aroma of fresh baked bread or lemon scented furniture polish.   If you were Asian, it might be the smell of spices.  A dog enthusiast might have a home which smells like dogs, etc.  The DNA of our homes is it's smell.  There is nothing nicer than returning home from being away and opening the door and smelling "Home Sweet Home."    Ariana's room has a smell.  It smells like her scented candles and perfume and make up.   It's not unpleasant at all . . . I quite like it and will miss it when she moves out.  Most of the time I can't smell anything particular to our home, unless I have cooked fish for supper  . . .  it's only when I have been away and am returning that I notice any scent at all.

I love the scent of a home which burns wood.  To me that smells spells comfort.

Memories also have smells . . .  I only have to go home and open the top dresser drawer in my mother's spare room and I am a child again.  It was my father's dresser.   His top dresser drawer always smelled like cork grease (for his clarinet), bamboo (Reeds for his clarinet), leather from his wallet and butterscotch from the little pot of butterscotch candies he always kept there.

Have you ever been somewhere and smelled a smell and been instantly transported back in your mind to a certain place or memory?   I have.   Every once in a while I will catch a whiff of the oil cloth linoleum on my Grandmother's floor . . .  or the musty smell of an attic . . . a certain cream rinse that I used on my hair as a girl, etc.  Smell memories.   They're good things. (In most cases!)

The world around us posses exquisite smells which can stir memories, colour emotions and fix our feelings and moods.  The power of scent is  so sacred that God instructed Moses to build an altar of fragrance and to burn sweet incense when he prayed.  In the Catholic church the Priest waves a ball or wand containing incense around the altar as a part of their rituals, probably going back to Moses.

The point is that smell is a very big part of our lives.  It affects our tastes and our moods, our memories, etc.  It is a simple pleasure which we probably all too often take for granted.  I know what I am going to do today . . .  I am going to spend the day inhaling the fragrance of the day that is and store it in my memory banks.

I wonder what that scent will be?  What's your favourite smell??    I love the smell of wet pavement after rain. and the scent of a baby's head.

This is a portion of the back yard at my mother's at the moment.   They have been wet vacuming up water from the flooding basement for days now.  I think it is going on five days or so.  Yesterday it had gone down to about 8 gallons an hour.   They are exhausted from it all.   Please keep them in your prayers.    This happens to a degree every year when the snow begins to melt, but this year it is particularly bad.   I am sure it is happening in my son's house also.

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

Would you like your adventure now,
or should we have our tea first?
~J.M. Barrie

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There's a delicious Jam Crostata baking in The English Kitchen today  . . .

Have a blessed Sunday!  Don't forget . . .

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And I do too!


  1. Happy Sunday Marie. Enjoy this special day.

    At present Pip is reenacting has role as a kitten from Cats. Tonks, the kitten, seems a might perplexed.

    As for smell I learnt this long ago. There was one deaf and blind boy in our school who was very verbal. This is rare. He knew who everyone was ! I always Chanel in those days. But even if I forgot he knew me. I was always perplexed and wondered how I smell. My maternal grandmother has her very special scent. When I was much older I learned it was from renal failure. She died when I was nine and small things take me back instantly.

    Baby hair is the best smell in the world.

    After church I hope you can are able to get out and enjoy the spring.

    PS when I was away I fell in love with the Allure perfume by Chanel and am now saving. I used to love Coco but Beth's boyfriend bought it for her so I won't buy that now.

  2. Lovely smells Suzan. My mother always wore Ma Griffe Perfume. To this day the smell of Ma Griffe reminds me of her. I favor Jo Malone, Blue Agava myself! Expensive, but worth every penny. And it lasts a long time because a little goes a long way. xoxo

  3. Smells are wonderful and very often do bring back memories. I love the fragrance of Spring. So fresh. Today we're to have rain and even that has a scent. Will be praying for those with flooding. That is a mess to clean up and so frustrating after the winter they had.

  4. Poor them and the water table/issue..
    Our snow is all gone..except for one small area on a bush where the snow falls off the roof..
    That must be exhausting work for your sister ..

    I love scents.
    Not the kind you put powder on your carpet overpowereing scents..
    But fresh scents..baking of the valley...
    I remember how my mom's drawers smelled.
    Beautiful to me..

  5. Thank you so much for your prayers Pam. I know they are very much appreciated. My mother has broken out in hives all over. I am sure it is due to the stress. I love the smell of Spring too . . . especially when the lilacs are in bloom! xoxo

    MOnique, my son just said it is snowing again in Fredericton They are sick to death of it. My sister and BIL are exhausted, simply exhausted. I'm with you on not liking overpowering scents like air fresheners, and the like, but yes, baking, fresh, perfume, babies, flowers . . they all do it to me! xoxo

  6. Oh Marie, I am so sorry to read about the flooded basement..I am holding all your family in my prayers. They have had so much snow this year. I feel quite guilty when I complain if we get a couple of inches !! for smells..well you are so right thye can bring back so many memeories. I have only on ething that I kept of my Mother and that is her handbag..a handbag one may say..but yes her handbag,,,she always kept her hanky in her hand bag and always had Youth Dew when I am feel alone I occasionally just hav eto go an dget the handbag out for a wee sniff...other than that the smell of a freshly mown lawn takes a bit of beating but then there are so many more, a baby just powdered and washed, lily of the valley flowers, ah yes so many Thaks you for reminding us to smell our way through the day..
    much love xxxx


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