Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Sense of Smell


The final sense is that of smell. We all have our triggers that will remind us of home, our first love and the first day of school. Humans seem to love the smell of right out of the oven chocolate chip cookies, new cars, leather, fresh bread and I’ve been told by mothers that a baby’s head is a wonderful smell to them.

Once my wife and I spent the night at a hotel in Portland. Upon check-in we each received a large chocolate chip cookie to take to our room. I nibbled at mine until it was finished and her remained on the table. At about 4am I was woken by the smell of the cookie on the table. Hours later she woke up and we prepared to check out. She took the cookie from the table and tossed it in the garbage on the way out of the room. With total shock I said, "How could you do that? That cookie was calling to me and kept me awake all night." She laughed and accused me of having a pooh bear tummy, which is one with a mind of its own I snagged the cookie and put it in its rightful place as we walked to the car.

Smell is a very complex thing that reacts to our intelligence as well to our lizard brains deep within. Pheromones will sometimes invite us and make certain attractions seem perfectly normal. We can’t even smell them but our brains can and we react in primative ways.

Take something that smells good and you can ruin it by adding another scent to it. Something can also smell good, but then become too concentrated which makes it smell bad.

So what scents do I enjoy most? I will tell you, and it’s not pretty. In fact it’s down right weird. It is a combination of three things, and I don’t know, but it is a country thing to me. The combination, and it has to be just right is balsam, wood smoke and horse shit.

Ok, go ahead and laugh, but when that combination comes around I feel an overwhelming feeling of well being. It reminds of times spent in rural Canada with a team of draft horses where wood fire provided heat and warm food, and the air was rich with the scent of balsam. Nuff said...Shut up.

7 Comments:

Blogger Syd said...

Horse shit smell doesn't bother me, but I'm not sure if I've ever thought that I like it. But, I do love the smell of a horse...nothing like it.

6:21 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

And each one smells different, the coat that is. Shit is pretty much shit unless one is on hay and grass and another is on straw and pellets.

6:59 AM  
Anonymous Auntie L. said...

Yeah, horseshit is okay, reminds me of my youth playing in the pastures with brother and pelting each other with them from behind the crabapple trees.

I have a weird "favorite smell". It is the smell that brings me back to my late teen years which were spent in Northern Ireland. It's the combination (again it has to be a blend) of coal fire smoke in the air blended with the grease smell coming from local chip shops. Oh, and it has to have a bit of nippiness in the air as well. Wonderous.

8:21 AM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

After spending many of my childhood summers on the Olympic Penninsula, the smell of freshly cut red cedar tops my list.
That smell almost takes over control of my entire body.
Its more than just a smell.
Really grabs me!

9:16 AM  
Blogger LeLo in NoPo said...

Your post made me remember the smell of my childhood in Southern California. Growing up in a former lemon orchard, our back yard was home to lemon trees, underlanted with grass. When my parents would mow the grass, sometimes old lemons that had dropped to the ground would get mowed too. The scent of citrus and freshly cut grass go hand in hand in my mind's nose. But then there were the times when we missed a pile of dog poo, and that scent would end up in there too. Totally changed the whole scenario.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Little Miss Curious said...

What about the sixth sense? The third eye? Sometimes I have a "sense" about things such as the feeling that I am in love or that that I shouldn't trust somebody. How do we explain these senses? Might be an interesting topic for New Year's Eve? What is a time in your life that you had a gut feeling about something unexplained or proven by any of the other five sense and you turned out to be right.

4:19 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Wow, I agree how coal smoke and fried food, could do it. A few years back there was a blacksmith next to the food vendors at the fair here, and I think I know what you are talking about...good call.

Gearhead, are you talking wood or branches? Either way, it's good.

Dang Lelo, all we had were wild onions growing in our grass where I grew up. They were a real stinky variety as well. So after mowing a lawn did you have the desire to go out for sea food?

Curious, let me be frank, I am a dullard. Any cosmic would go totally over my head. Since I don't believe in any sort of higher power, I just assume that there is a perfectly good explaination for any odd event. But thanks for the idea, I am going to run with it in a week or so. I pretty much have the articles planned for the next few days.

6:42 PM  

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