Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What a smell

On her blog, Welshcakes writes about favourite smells of Sicilian women and she has a small poll in her sidebar. I opted for flowers but really there are all sorts of smells at different times that I love.

I am quite a 'smelly' person. I can sometimes sniff the air and pick up scents that Husband often misses - which when we're walking in the countryside is sometimes a good thing - when they've been spreading chicken dung over the fields in Devon I have to walk one section of the lanes with a hankie over my nose. (Husband can smell it but it doesn't affect him so badly.)

So there are flower scents I love: bluebells, lilac, wallflowers, old and wild roses. Walking past I have to have a good sniff of any of these and try to keep it in my head as long as I can, which in truth is no time.

And food scents: fresh bread, coffee (though I don't like it to drink), pizza, roast beef, warm welshcakes.

Then there's sea air. Even though we live only a few hundred yards from the sea there are houses and roads between me and it so I can't go for too long without getting closer, especially on a breezy day so I can open my arms wide and take a deep gulp of lovely salty air.

This morning I couldn't resist burying my nose in the clean sheets that had been blowing in the wind on the washing line. It's a freshness that can't be replicated by any fabric conditioner.

People often list the smell of a baby as one of their favourites and as a doting granny you'd expect me to include it too - but I don't think it's the smell in this case that entrances me as much as the warmth of the soft plump skin that makes me want to kiss and snuggle in.

I'm a perfume wearer too. I rarely go out without it - usually Chanel No 5 or Chanel Allure for evenings - even though I can't smell it on me unless I rub my nose in my wrist. Except when I do dishes. I think the warm water must heat my blood and release the perfume. I have such poor circulation that my skin is usually cold.

Sometimes I'll smell a particularly nice fragrance on a passer-by in Sainsburys for example. I'm often tempted - and have done it - to tell the wearer how lovely she smells. Sometimes it goes down well; other times I'm looked at strangely.

And then there are the smells that bring back memories. Hard to describe these as they're usually momentary but trigger a brief but vivid memory. 

Such a vital and precious sense. Often undervalued but forms such an important part of our make-up, who we are and how we view the world.

What's your favourite?


katney said...

Reminded me to have hubby smell the milk.

My sense of smell is very limited. It has to be overwhelming to reach me. Perfumes all smell pretty much the same to me--like the base.

I miss a lot.

Liz said...

That's sad, katney. We walked through the bluebell woods today and the scent was delicious.