Thursday, July 15, 2010

more about smell

I can remember the smell of most people I have loved. Smell is important to me, for some reason. I always associate people with a smell—whether it is the smell of their person, or their home, or their pet, in some cases, or the food they often eat, in other cases. With celebrities, or people I don’t really know but have only seen pictures of, I still wonder about their smell. Michelle Pfeiffer, I’m quite sure, smells really good, and Gwyneth Paltrow does not. I can’t explain it. It’s just a thing I do.

And then there are people who bathe in their perfume. I am not a fan of that method of application. Perfume should be subtle. I shouldn’t be able to smell you unless I am very close to you. The receptionist at my workplace, for instance, smells really good, but only from a distance. And that’s about all that I like about her.

On the flip side, a bad smell, particularly bad breath, is one of the worst things for me to have to endure. My nose is pretty sensitive. I could never be in a relationship with someone whose smell I found offensive.

I guess the first person I ever loved was my mother. With your family, you tend to take the good with the bad, so when they smell badly you excuse it as temporary. I still like the way my mother smells. I will always recognize it. The first of my peers that I ever became very attached to was my first (well, almost first) college roommate. I remember she had a kind of perfumey and hairspray sort of smell. It wasn’t my favorite, but I loved her anyway. Then there was my apartment neighbor, whose smell I always associate with hand soap and Biolage shampoo. It was bliss to get my nose into her plentiful head of hair. My Mexican roommate's is the smell I miss the most, I think. Hers was Eternity perfume. I have since caught snatches of it and the scent takes me back in an instant, but no one and no bottle quite smells the way she did. A--- just smelled clean, like laundry soap and dryer sheets. I can’t keep those memories in a bottle because laundry smell is upon me too often. Amy, however, still smells like Gain dryer sheets, and I haven’t been able to bring myself to use Gain in my own laundry because I want that smell to stay hers. And then of course there’s MJ, whose memory is most recent in my mind, who smelled like Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar. I cannot walk into one of those stores and sniff it. It’s still too much for me. I would make myself close to her and soak it up, if I could.

Speaking of MJ, she came to church with her sister on Sunday, and since their parents were out of town, they sat with us, which I welcomed, as did my nieces. She is still a favorite, even if she made me a preference. She sat next to me during the meeting, with her sister on the other side of her, and I have to admit I didn’t hear a whole lot of what was coming from the pulpit. We whispered, probably too much, and I was very aware of the touch of her arm against mine. She has such nice skin.


  1. Awesome! I had great fun sitting next to this woman in RS last week - and almost the entire lesson I just wanted to hold her hand.

    phew. sigh of relief for getting that out

    and yes - smells are great.
    I love the smell of acupuncture clinics (it's the herbs that do it for me. Love those). Also I love the scent of vanilla.
    It is wonderful how certain olfactory stimuli can bring things back, isn't it? ;D

  2. I'm completely and absolutely attracted to smell. I often time smell men as they walk past me. Smell will get me to turn my head faster than sight will. And, the truth of the matter, it is only the smell of a man that will do that to me.

  3. You know how I feel about A...and her smell. And I too have one of those too, it's J and her Happy! reading your blog, sorry I lost touch for a minute! Smells can be so wonderful, and then again they can be so horrible. Gotta love having a senstive smeller! :)

  4. Smell is huge for me. I always say "the nose knows" and boy, does it know...ITA with Devin.

  5. I once broke up with a guy because he wore Old Spice and I couldn't stand the smell. Seems kinda shallow, but hey, what was I supposed to do- tell him???


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