By: Faith Pearce
(3 min read)
In my blogs, I talk about songs that get stuck in my head. Music has always been an integral part of me, but today I want to look at one of the other senses.
My daughter came home recently for the holidays. We were talking, and she was telling me how she loves the smell of Daz wash tablets. I thought it is not my favorite. I love bold washing powder. But if I think of Fairy. It always makes me think of my mum. We all have our own favorites. I was thinking, how do these connections first get established? If I think of Bold washing powder, I think of clean, fresh bed sheets. So is it the smell I love or the memory? When my daughter said she loves Daz, is it because she loves her new independence at the university and associates this smell with it?
At this point, my brain went off on a complete tangent. I was thinking about how different smells make me feel. Like the smell of a Sunday roast cooking, I feel the sense of togetherness with everyone around a large table, laughing and sharing. I have a massive collection of perfumes and will smell each one to decide which mood I am in and which one I want to wear. In my younger years, I even followed a random good-looking guy around the store as he smelt so good (not going to say which fragrance he was wearing), but he certainly had the Lynx effect, lol.
Spring has always been my favorite season, the colors and new life emerging. I realized how many new smells there are. Freshly cut grass, the scent of new charcoal and lighter fluid, burgers, and burnt sausages as people pull out the BBQ and join together once more. The smell of damp dew on the ground and newly opened flowers. I realized it took me back to my childhood of long dog walks and walking in the woods and arboretums.
I love the smell of petrol, which meant we were going on a road trip, but hot tar was horrible as it meant long traffic delays.
What is interesting is how over time, we desensitize to our everyday smells. I love the smell of clean laundry and a house. But I find I can’t smell them over time, so I regularly switch what I am using. It’s like I become nose blind, and my brain has switched off to smells. Why do I tune out? Is it because they have become so normal and familiar? By introducing something new, does it wake up and engage my brain once more? I guess this can be true of so many things in life if they have become routine and repetitive.
It brings me back to my original thoughts, what defines how we classify a smell? For years I couldn’t use a particular body wash because it was the same one used when I went into the hospital to have my daughter. Just the smell of it afterward made me feel sick. If I am craving a coffee or a Sunday lunch, is it the food or drink I want, the warmth of company, and the comfort of familiarity?
Smells are so interconnected with memories. But when thinking back to events, I have so often overlooked this.
What are you smelling today, and how does it make you feel, or are you nose blind to what is around you?
All Things Wellness, LLC
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