Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The power of scent

This morning I dabbed on some perfume that I normally do not wear. I bought this perfume, Spring Rain, when I was a teenager, and I wore it into my early twenties. I stopped wearing it when I got a different perfume, but I still kept it. I didn't wear this perfume on a daily basis; usually just on Sundays.

Today I have been thinking of~
the church my family attended during that time period
the exact pew my family and I sat in (yes, it was the same pew every Sunday!)
playing flute with another lady for the congregational songs
people I haven't thought of in a very long time
my first job as a church secretary

Isn't it interesting how something like perfume can evoke such memories? All morning long, my thoughts have been turning towards that time period in my life. Little snippets of memories have been popping up here and there as I go about my day.

I read once in a book that when you go on vacation, buy a new perfume, and wear it every day of your vacation. When you get home, the author said, do not wear the perfume. Instead, save it for occasions when you wish to remember your vacation. At the time I read that, I thought it was interesting, and wondered if it would work that way. I think it is safe to assume that it would work!

What are some of your favorite scents (perfume, candles, food, etc.)?

Image from


Susan said...

On the subject of perfumes, I wore Coty Wild Musk when Wes and I were dating and first married. Now, that scent brings back memories of our early years together. I wore Sweet Honesty (Avon) in high school, and that will bring back memories too.

The one thing that comes to mind when I think of scents stirring memories, is the smell of my Granny's house. I don't know what it was, but when I smell it, I'm instantly a little girl again at Granny's house! The quilt tops she made smell like that, and I love to get them out and take deep breaths of them! LOL

Sis. Julie said...

That is so neat that perfume or a certain scent will trigger memories like that. I don't know as I have a certain scent that triggers anything other than the smell of carpet glue. Yes...that's right...carpet glue. Whenever I smell that STRONG scent I can remember when my daddy was laying carpet in my grandma's house. That scent takes me back to that day when I was a little girl (not sure how old I was...but I was little!!) and my daddy having to tell me to stay out of the room while they were laying the carpet. I kept wanting to get over where he was to help with the glue. That stuff was strong!!! It gave me a headache that I remember as good as I remember the smell of that glue!!

This probably isn't what you were working toward Sis. Tammy...but you mentioned scents that triggered memories and this is the first one that came to my mind..LOL!!

Mrs.B. said...

Scents DEFINITELY stir up memories! When I smell or wear White Linen perfume (by Estee Lauder) I think of my grandmother!

My mother wears Eternity by Calvin Klein, so when I smell that I think of her.

During our vacation to Italy several years ago, a bottle of perfume broke in my suitcase so all of my clothes smelled like 'strawberries' (from Victoria's secret). They've since quit carrying that scent but before then, whenever I would smell that perfume, I would think of our trip.

Lisa said...

These are such neat scent memories.

I have several. When I was very little, I had some honeysuckle perfume that an aunt or someone gave me. I usually think of wearing it and playing with my dolls when I first smell honeysuckle in the spring...same with lilac, for the same reason. (also had some at the time called Evening in Paris but can't remember the smell. I just remember it was a blue creamy perfume lol) When I was around 14, my eye doctor's assistant (small town) gave me Tabu cologne. I loved it. I had not smelled it in years until last year, a clerk in a convenience store was wearing it. How do I know? I asked. :) Yep, Tabu. I'd know it anywhere, even 30-some years later.

There is a smell that I can't describe that reminds me of my grandmother. One day someone walked by me in Barnes & Noble and who had that scent and I started crying out of the blue. I loved my Grandma so. Beans (pintos) cooking always make me think of the time I had been naughty (ok, one of the times) and my mom made me "sit there in that chair and don't get up" while she did ALL of the ironing. Beans were cooking and she makes the best beans. Ok..I have an over active "smeller" so I could go on and on but I'll spare you. :)

Mrs. Wilt said...

Oh,Spring Rain! I have a bottle of that (Scarborough & Co. used to make it and now Crabtree & Evelyn carries it) and I wear it on Sundays now. :o)I knew you were a kindred spirit!

I used to wear Rapture by Victoria's Secret when Mr. Wilt and I were dating. Now I wear it on our dates out together. Brings back fond memories of our "courting years". LOL

In His joy,
Mrs. Wilt

Tammy said...

This is so much fun to read everyone's memories! Mrs. Wilt, I still think we're kindred spirits (SMILES) but my perfume was made by a company called Sunshine. I bought it in a health food store.

Kelleigh said...

Just a bit of trivia...The area of the brain responsible for interpreting smell is closely located with another area responsible for emotion & memory. Neurophysiologist's believe this maybe the reason smell evokes such vivid memories assoicated with emotions.

Coco Chanel is my favorite perfume!

rlhilliard said...

not perfume here that brings any memories...but I tell you something about the smell of pine trees brings good specific memories, just feelings.

Lisa said...

There was a funny movie about a girl whose boyfriend had been bad and they broke up. She worked with him so she still had to see him and when she smelled him or anything that had his scent it made her cry. So she went to the Dr. to have the gland that made that association removed. lol It wasn't possible, of course, but it was funny listening to her explain it to her doctor.

Roberta said...

Kelleigh and I share the favorite perfume. I LOVE the smell of Coco Chanel. When I was in my late teens someone into fashion told me that was not a good perfume for me...go figure I still love the rich smell...and I honestly cannot think of any emotions or memories tied to it.

I also love tea tree oil and like Susan the smell of my Grandma's home. Each home she has lived in smells exactly the same...almost scentless it is so clean, no candles, no perfumes, just spotlessly clean and fresh.