I believe I've read somewhere that scent is one of our most powerful memory triggers. So this week, a blast (of scent) from the past.
Classic pink Camay soap will forever remind me of the downstairs bathroom in my friend Sue's parents' house. The rest of the house didn't have that smell, just that one room. I love that smell. Our house, on the other hand, is conjoured by aqua Zest. We had very hard water (iron) and Zest was the only soap that didn't film up and stick to your skin. And back then, there was only one Zest, the traditional aqua.
The smell of Pine-sol carries me back to Kiwanis Apps Mill Park, the site of the residential camp where I worked as a counselor in the summer of 1982. We had to mop up messes, a lot of messes it seemed, so the place always smelled like pine-sol. That's where Scott and I met. :o)
This week, hanging up the clothes, the breeze carried another memory. When I was growing up, we had a field of *ahem* wildflowers around the yard. Predominant was Queen Anne's Lace. What a sweet, delicate scent! And always, the smell of late summer.
And not so pleasant - there's a kind of nose wrinkling salty (but not rancid) smell to dried up dead fish. I grew up near Lake Erie in the 1970s. Boy that smell transports me back.
I was ironing batiks one time, and the smell of something in the fabric brought back a scent memory I'd completely forgotten. Before we moved from the little orange house in Campbell's Cross my parents used to have parties. Did they burn incense? Was it patchouli? It was the 60s, it's certainly not out of the question. Whatever it was, the smell of the batik sent me back 35 years, sitting under the buffet table, quietly fascinated at all the people in my house.
Of course Christmas smells like cloves, and Halloween smells like charred pumpkin guts. Fall smells like slightly moldy fallen leaves, spring smells like worms...
I think losing the sense of smell would be more traumatic than many can even begin to imagine.