List twenty five: Aromas that remind me of times, places, people

On day 16 of my list a day in may, Lis posted a comment suggesting I write about aromas that ‘take me back’. Since then, I’ve been thinking about the scents that remind me of times, places and people.

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly a particular aroma can mentally transport you  somewhere that you don’t necessarily think about in a conscious way. For example:

 – Poison
I remember that once in primary school, for some reason or other, there was this massive poison spraying session to rid the school of insects, or weeds, or some such. The stench was intense and obviously a health risk so we were all sent off to the oval, away from the classrooms and the rest of the grounds.

Every now and again, I’ll get a whiff of that same poison and my mind is taken straight back to year four. I’m reminded of the excitement of getting out of class to escape the smell, only to have the filthy stinkiness permeate through the air, over to where we were playing.

– Milk
I hate milk. Hate it. I have it in coffee and in the odd milk shake but I would never drink a glass by itself. Well, maybe if my life depended on it, but even then I wouldn’t do it happily. Husband on the other hand, well he is a lover of the milk. He drinks at least three litres a week and will always find the milkiest drink option on a menu. Milk shakes, thick shakes, iced coffess, malts, milky cocktails. If I’m ever with anyone else who gets a milky drink, I always think of him. And it is always nice to think of one’s husband don’t you think?

– Basil
When I smell basil being chopped, I feel like I’m in our family friend’s Barry and Cindy’s kitchen. Often when we’d visit as kids, Cindy would make us pasta or potatoes with pesto. And whenever we’d eat out with her and Barry, we would have pesto gnocchi at a gorgeous italian restaurant near their house. Regardless of what kitchen I’m in now, when basil is being chopped, I think of the Hasties.

 – Parsley
Oh how this reminds me of my Grandmother. The smell of the herbs as they are being finely sliced always makes me think of her tabbouli, which was a staple at our family lunches.

– Sunscreen
Even in winter, once I smell this, I’m instantly transported to a sandy, sunny beach.

 – Jean Paul Gaultier’s Le Classique
I am not a perfume lover at the best of times but this one in particular makes my nostrils throb. If anyone walks past me wearing it or if I enter a room where someone has been wearing it I know instantly.

It reminds me of two people. One is a friend I had at Uni. If Mandy had been in a tute room before my own class, I’d know because I’d smell this perfume as I’d walk in. At work there’s a lady who isn’t based in head office that also wears this fragrance. On the days she does come to work on the same floor as me, I know as soon as I get out of the lift that she’s there. Even before I’ve entered the glass doors leading to the work area. Ick.

 – Clinque Aromatics
This is another heady scent that I find too strong. However it makes me think of another family friend Liz, who is lovely and doesn’t wear so much that it’s sickening. Liz’s daughter came to stay with me the other week and when I picked up her pillow I could smell the Aromatics lingering. It must have been her Mum’s pillow case and that made me all warm and fuzzy.

 – Elizabeth Arden’s 5th Avenue
This scent reminds me of Lis. It’s lovely and light and regardless of where I am in the world, if someone near me is wearing 5th Avenue, Alissa comes to mind instantly. Delightful!

 –Christian Dior’s Dune
My Mum used to wear this perfume and in fact she probably still does. Like me, she’s not a massive lover of perfumes so when I smell this, it makes me think of weddings or other lovely occasions when she would pull it out and use it.

 Aw shucks I’m feeling nostalgic again.