Sense of smell.


My husband spent Labor Day weekend unpacking boxes in his man cave, i.e., the garage. “It’s amazing,” he says, “each time I open a box, it smells like Ramona.” Most of the boxes in the garage were packed up several years ago –moved from our home (and my sanctuary) in Ramona, CA. Oh, yes. I remember. A year and a half ago –when I was unpacking boxes- I, too, was brought back to my beloved front yard in San Diego County … and promptly named our new home “Ramona in the Pines” as a tribute.

Antonia’s Flowers perfume brings me back to East Hampton, NY –weekends riding bikes to Georgica Pond, grilling tuna for dinner. One of Antonia Bellanca’s other fragrances –Tiempe Passate –takes me back to Italy and the hills of Panzano, taking cooking classes. It was my first trip abroad.

My first time west of the Mississippi was a camping trip to Canyonlands in Utah, an amazing 14 days experiencing space. For years afterward, I could return there in an instant, just by smelling the scent of sage warming in the sun.

It’s not enough to say that our sense of smell can help with memory (although it’s clear it can). A fragrance can bring back a sense of connection, reminding us of something meaningful.

And finding something meaningful is what it’s all about, isn’t it?

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3 thoughts on “Sense of smell.

  1. Linda says:

    For me, eucalyptus will always be the smell I associate with California; the crazy, impractical tree imported here from Australia for the purposes of providing wood for railroad ties back when those things were in high demand. I believe there’s like two hundred varieties, all that grow like weeds and have the unfortunate habit of fueling brush fires by way of exploding or from the messiness of the debris their branches drop on the ground creating endless mounds of dry tinder for a truly roaring blaze. Despite the troublesome nature of this plant it’s lovely fragrance floats heavily upon the air here and is as prevalent as the bewitching smell of the sea. It means home to me, and shall always tug at my heartstrings if ever I should have to leave it’s crisp, cool perfume behind. Yes, these things do matter and are deeply imbedded in our sense of where we belong.

  2. Janet says:

    Well said, Linda! The scent of the eucalyptus tree is special to me, too. Especially the flowers. It ALWAYS smells of eucalyptus driving toward Ramona on Route 67 … up the hill, on the curve. Thanks for the reminder.

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