Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Scents that Linger

Twitter Moms and Downy recently posed the question "If you could define yourself with a scent, what scent would represent you and why?" As a mom, all sorts of answers come to mind, although maybe none of them are appropriate. Or anything I would choose to have as a defining scent. But I did start thinking about the question and came up with an answer. Sort of.

To answer the question, I started thinking about my favorite scent, and although I can't say what it specifically is, I can remember it well, describe it perfectly and smell it in my mind. As a little girl, I would take a trip every year to visit my grandparents in Florida. I would spend a week there swimming, getting sunburned and doing grandparent-ish things. Each night, I would open the sleeper sofa, take the sheets and blankets out of the cabinet and go to sleep. In the cabinet where they kept the blankets and sheets, they also kept am unwrapped bar of soap, I guess as a deodorizer. It wasn't a regular bar of Ivory soap, but instead a mixture of sweet and spice. Like a man's cologne. And cinnamon. And cloves. And medicine, but a good smelling kind.

When I hear the question "If you could define yourself with a scent, what scent would represent you and why?" I feel that the answer is really less about the actual scent and more about the feelings of why, more about the memories that the scent brings to the forefront of my mind. I could answer that I love peppermint because it smells clean or lavender because it smells like spring or vanilla because it smells like cupcakes. Instead, I choose this random soap from long ago that lived in my grandparents cabinet. Because even though my grandparents are both gone, I can still smell the bar of soap in my mind and remember who they were, what they were like and most of all, where I came from. I remember the time I spent with them and how I was lucky to have them for as long as I did. And most of all, sometimes, when I wake up in the middle of the night and catch a whiff of this familiar smell, I know that no matter how much time passes, they are both still here and always with me.

This was posted in response to a contest launched by TwitterMoms and Downy, asking bloggers to write about the scent that defines them. If you want to enter yourself, learn more about the contest here.

1 comment:

  1. You know, the one scent that stands out most to me from my childhood is the scent of my Gramma's house. And she used to knit and everything she ever knitted for me had that same scent. Years later, I discovered it was Bounce dryer sheets. The day I made that discovery, I switched to Bounce an I've never looked back. It's all I'll buy b/c every time I fold clothes, I think of my Gramma. :-)


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