Saturday, April 9, 2011

Do you smell that?

All the food talk from recent posts and our Help book club outing got me thinking about well, food and food that smells good and the memories associated with it. And that thought gave birth to this question: Is there a certain smell or favorite scent that brings back memories? In an attempt for our followers to get to know us alittle bit better, one layer at a time, here's how some of us girls answered this question.

"There are lots of scents I think are sniff worthy, and that bring back good memories. Freshly brewed coffee, baking cookies, new clothes from Nordstrom . . . but the very first thing that popped into my head when I thought about this question was blackberries. Not the sad little ones staring back at you from their plastic in your grocer's veg section. I'm talking about the fat, juicy ones ripening on the immense, jungly vines in my mom's back pasture - or will be anyway come late August. I don't live on two acres in rural Southern Oregon anymore, mine is a much more cementy, urban landscape now. But every now and again I'll catch a whiff of that slightly sweet, floral, woody smell and it'll take me right back to being 10 years old on a hot August evening. Picking as many blackberries as my plastic pail could carry. Some to eat fresh, some for pie and some hopefully to make a batch of delicious blackberry pancakes with."

~ Elisabeth ~

"I’ll confess, I balked at the idea for a question of scents, do I even have a favorite? Then more I thought about it, I realized I actually do, there’s a lot of nostalgia wrapped up in that question.

The first thing that popped into my head was this violet perfume my cousin had, it was sweet and not overly floral. It brings back memories of playing at her house and, looking back, making the kind of mess that as a parent, now drives me nuts. I remember playing in their basement barely emerging, even for food (which if you know me at all is a big deal). Caisse said we got extra points if our smell related back to books, and while this isn’t a direct ‘scent’ association, this cousin and I always had an awesome relationship with reading. I remember talking books with her from Narnia to later Poetry. We even in our younger years wrote each other our own stories. Sadly, I’ve never been able to track down the original scent, but I’ll catch hints of it every now and then, and I always have such a strong nostalgic reaction. Any one know how to help me track it down?" ~Andrea

And for me this is easy but makes me alittle sad and maybe a little happy all at once. Sunflower was my absolute favorite perfume when I was in grade school and into middle school. Did anyone else love this too or was it just me? It reminds me of summer and spring break road trips to California visiting step family and going to lots of amusements parks and bungee jumping with my brother. It reminds me of riding in the back of a pickup (with a canopy) all the way home from Cali, looking at New Kids on the Block mags. (Yes that was my reading material back then.) And in that same era taking a hippy bus, from Eugene to Cali, just me and my cabbage patch kid and a bunch of hippies, making music with pots and pans, and discovering hippies don't wear swimsuits. Those summers feel like a life time ago. I have to admit that I still have a bottle and every now and then it takes me back to the Golden Gate Bridge and fake snow at Sea World. ~CAISSE

Whenever the smell of old wet wood wafts by, most people are repelled. For me it's like childhood summers giving me a passing smile. Yes, I know musty wood isn't normally a pleasant odor but whenever I get a sniff I can almost hear the waves lapping the sides of my dads old wooden boat. My dad lived on a large wooden sailboat. "One mast away from being a ship," he always said. Growing up, in the summer dad would take me and one of my cousins on a week long sailing trip. We would go crabbing, camp on small islands, jump off the boat into the water, and ride the very bow of the boat when going over huge waves. We would eat peanut butter and honey sandwiches for breakfast and jalapeno burritos for dinner. I would read lazily in the sun and then run wild like a grubby ban-shee.

Then I would go home stinking like a musty boat, smiling at my taste of freedom.

What about you? Is there a nostalgic scent that catches you off guard or that brings you comfort?

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