Friday, February 20, 2009

Scent of A Memory

They say that our sense of smell is the greatest trigger of memories we have. I proved that true once again tonight. I had to run up to the store for some things and I bought a Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers Strawberry lip gloss. When I opened it up, the aroma sent me immediately back to my junior year in high school, a ski trip to Purgatory, to the condo we stayed in and the upstairs bedroom I shared with my girlfriend. Boom! I was right there.

I have other smells that take me back to a specific place and time. For instance, the smell of rubbing alchohol takes me right back to the bathroom of one house we lived in. I was in 7th grade and had just gotten my ears pierced. I had to clean my ears around the special gold stud earrings twice a day with rubbing alchohol. That smell takes me right to the very medicine cabinet mirror I used to see what I was doing.

Another one is the smell of Neutrogena bar soap. The original transparent orange bar. That smell takes me right into the bathroom in my dorm suite Freshman year of college. I love that smell. It reminds me of all the fun I had away at school that first year. Seeing myself in that bathroom reminds me of something that's funny to me now - not so funny then. Nearly every morning I would get out of bed and into the bathroom before my roommate, but only by a few minutes. The very first thing I had to do was brush my teeth. No matter how badly I had to go to the bathroom, I brushed my teeth first. It got to where it NEVER failed that the instant I was done and tapping my toothbrush against the sink - mere seconds away from going to the one and only stall for, by now, some much needed relief - my roommate would come marching in, eyes half closed, and head right into the stall. I had to stand there and wait for her. Every day. Aaargh!

Then there's the smell of mildew. I actually love the smell of mildew. It takes me right to the food cellar in my Nana's basement. Sometimes I would spend the day - or more likely a few hours - with her. She would play games like "I Spy" with me and let me throw clothes down the laundry chute to her. Then I'd run down to the basement to see where they landed. The chute opened up right next to the cellar door. From the cellar I would smell a mixture of mildewy moisture, potatoes and onions. To this day, I love the smell of mildew because it reminds me of fun days when I was being loved by Nana.

Funny how smells take us back.....

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