Smells evoke memories of a time and place. I say this because recently I lost my sense of taste and smell for a while, and despite not being able to smell or taste anything I could imagine and remember what they were like.  I pondered the idea of just eating just lettuce and pretending that it was chocolate.  Having tried the experiment on cottage cheese, I soon realised that it really wasn't going to work.  Cottage cheese does not have the texture of has the texture of cottage cheese!

I have a candle on my desk. It's in a tin and was bought for my birthday by Bart.  I haven't lit it.  But every now and then, I lift the lid off and breath in the beautiful smell of a bluebell wood. I'm sure it doesn't smell like a bluebell wood. I'm not even sure I've smelt a bluebell wood, but it says so on the tin.  Now that spring is here, I open the door and smell the wonderful fresh distinctive smell of new beginnings. Walking the beasts, I smell growing grass, budding trees and earthy smells that mean the ground is beginning to wake. The slightly damp smell of early morning, but with a touch of sweetness.

As a child I would often stay with a friend in Primrose Hill.  She lived opposite the park, a short walk from the zoo. The smell would make her feel sick, but for me it was beautiful. Her home smelt like it had been doused in Patchouli oil, and peanut butter. I adored visiting her home, as the smell was so different from my own. With three dogs, geese, chickens, the noisy and disruptive brothers and sisters our home smelt of chaos!
I'm conscious that my home shouldn't smell like wet Labradors or muddy rugby boots, so open the windows for the fresh breeze to blow through.  When the lawn is cut, the cut grass aromas filter through the windows...aww luverly!  When we first looked at buying a house, we dismissed many as not suitable for our needs. It wasn't that they weren't right, they were, but they didn't have the right smell.

All the seasons have their own smells. All places have their own too. Autumn is bitter, musky, and damp scented with decaying apples and leaves. New York has a throaty, fuel scented aroma. Winter is crisp, and has been white with snow, scentless but breathtaking at times. Hong Kong too has the throaty fuel scent, but with a touch of fresh blue breeze as the wind rolls in from the sea.

Of course, there are a few smells that have me gagging and holding onto my stomach with a tissue stuffed in my mouth, running around the garden in an attempt to quell the rising bile... the smell of rotting fish and potatoes!  BH has other...well...dislikes. Peewee couldn't get to the garden the other morning, as we'd had a bit of a lie-in. I could hear BH retching when he went down to make a cuppa.  I wondered what could be making him gag so much.  On entering the kitchen there was the biggest pile of dog doo that I have ever seen (and they are getting bigger as he grows!) was mahoosive...seriously!  And it was steaming!   BH had attempted to cover it with a tissue, but he was gagging so loudly and theatrically, that his eyes were welling up with tears that he couldn't see where he was placing it...he missed by about a mile!! Watching him running around retching was the funniest thing I've seen in  a long time...I was crying with laughter!!   I had no problem cleaning up...but that's probably because I love him...Peewee, I mean! BH was never able to change nappies without collapsing onto the floor in fits of gagging...mind you, I love him too, that's why I forgive him!


  1. Have you recovered? Can you smell and taste now? What happened to you? You sound very positive. I would have been so worried...That said, it might have been a life saver with the dog!

  2. Haha, no it was just a cold, that wouldn't shift but I was without taste buds and smell for about 4 days...I could still smell the dog doo though! Rank, as my boys say!

  3. This post stood out immediately for me! I am just recovering from a cold that has lead to sinusitis and have only just regained some sense of smell yesterday. I have never had a cold so bad where I have smelt nothing, even food burning under my nose! Being silly me I read an article on a woman that lost her sense of smell for a few months (due the nerves being damaged, from a bad cold!) and she talked of the misery. Her sense of smell eventually came back to a degree and she knew one morning whilst out running and could smell the distinctive smell of dog poo and she couldn't stop sniffing her shoe, ewww! but I can imagine how awful it would be. Going back to your post I think smell is so important (as well as taste) and they evoke memories for me. Sorry for the long comment...:-)

  4. Laughing at your pile of steaming poo and right now I would trade wet labrador for teen feet.
    Was thinking about smells this morning, when I make my morning cuppa the smell always takes me back to the coffee we had in a flat in London I lived in years ago. Smells, tastes, music, all powerfully evocative.


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