Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Scent of a Memory

On this morning's commute I drove past a hayfield. The windows were down in the truck because it has been quite mild here in Arkansas, and the smell of the newly mown grass transported me back 17 years. I could see the tractors and the hired hands. I could remember running my horse through the windrows and getting in trouble for messing them up before the baler came along. It brought back so many memories of childhood summers.

Smells are so distinctive in types of memories they bring back. I can not walk by a guy wearing Tommy Hilfiger cologne (seriously who wears that anymore?) without thinking of an ex-boyfriend from high school. Completely involuntary on my part. I can't smell honeysuckle without thinking of the walk from elementary school to the ball field for softball practice.

After lunch I scooped up Sugarbaby to put her down for nap and as I squeezed her tight she smelled of peanut butter. I wonder if peanut butter will remind me of her yummy babyness when she is older or will it continue to remind me of my mother baking peanut butter cookies when I was little?

Cashman always smells like shampoo and dirt. His hair holds the scent of soap long after he's obliterated all evidence of his last bath. Yesterday I pulled him onto my lap and breathed in his hair and was confused. It didn't smell normal. It smelled like lotion that I wasn't familiar with. It must have been one of his sweet teachers ruffling his hair like I so often do. Believe me when I tell you Cashman's hair begs to be ruffled.

The Monster's scent is harder to pin down. To me he smells like a boy. Energy with a little bit of sweat mixed in. He is changing the fastest, growing up the quickest, always the biggest and oldest of the crew. But the smell of a clean diaper will always remind me of his babyhood because my first son was also the first and only diaper I had ever changed.

And then there is the hubby. Some days he smells clean like soap and aftershave. Some days it is the smell of a grocery store (obviously). Other days he smells like gasoline and sweat and I think that is my favorite smell. Nothing smells better than a man who has been working and working hard. If your man smells like cookies and hand lotion you've got a problem.


  1. so I know exactly what you're saying....early morning grass smell makes me think about being 18 on my way back from camping. I remember something about this from a and p.... your olfactory bulb (from which u smell) is located super close to your amygdala (where memories are "made") something about this other part and a particular kind of cell..... it gets fuzzy after that..... anyway...... im trying to make sense here....lol.....just google it shit

  2. I am so a new addict to your blogs. This is great stuff. I second your comment about when the hubbys smell of hard, manly work. Love when Shane comes home smelling of hard work, that only he could do in comparison to me...makes me appreciate being a girl! :) I love this blog.. very real.

  3. Jodi- thanks girl!

    Miss D- I can always count on you for the technical explanations to my nonsense blogs.

    Dala-Thanks so much! That means a lot to me and I love me some new readers!


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