Friday, February 29, 2008

Olfactory photographs

I haven't done Sunday Scribblings in a while. This week it's 'Time Travel'.

Yesterday Andreamusc was with me. We went together to pay the registration fee for an 8-week writing workshop we were accepted to (starting next Saturday).

After paying, I had to go into town to drop and collect a few things. Andreamuse came along for the adventure. One of my stops was the Film Company, to drop off a submission (film) for the festival. As we left the building, Andreamuse commented: "This building reminds me of Scotland."

As soon as she said it, I became aware of the smell. "It's the smell," I said.

It transported me back to a childhood moment in Scotland ... the smell of what must have been a combination of things: the carpet, late evening, wool (sweaters) and an electric heater. I can vividly see the orange glow of the coiled thing in the heater whenever I smell that particular smell. It is a smell I look for (and have found) in cold climates, when I am indoors (usually in a domestic setting) with a particular level of heating. It is the smell of cosiness. I also look for it (and find it) when I smell wool and certain sweaters. It's a very distinct and comforting scent, but hard to describe: somewhat sweet with a touch of something that if it were not a smell would be the colour orange and a small spark of fire.

I wonder if certain feelings of pleasure and comfort in that childhood moment made me record that smell and store it as my memory of Scotland. Like a photograph.

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10 Comments:

Blogger Leonard Blumfeld said...

Very well said. I do have similar smell / memory triggers.

9:01 AM  
Blogger Andreamuse said...

Yes, that's exactly it -- you're so good at describing smells...that's something that's very elusive for me for some reason! ;-)

Guess what: Stardust got herself out of her cage while I was gone yesterday! I came in and she was cheerfully playing on the top of the cage and one of the side doors to her cage was wide open...

11:59 AM  
Anonymous javacurls said...

Isn't it amazing how powerful the sense of smell can be. It's wonderful when it brings back sweet childhood memories.

Thanks for sharing!

12:56 PM  
Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

I recognise that smell so well, must be because I live in Scotland! Lovely evocative descriptions!

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Redness said...

Aren't our sense wonderful how they transport us to places of long ago - beautifully written, thank YOU!

5:45 AM  
Anonymous gautami tripathy said...

Sense of smell sure takes me to places. Great post!

timely intervention

8:26 AM  
Blogger Devil Mood said...

Smells are wonderful time-machines! They never fail to take me to several places and moods.
And like you said, it's so hard to expain in coeherent words!!

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Amarettogirl said...

This piece was great for me - seeing as i still have to heat my bedroom with an electric heater! As one artist and photographer to another - its your astute visual, and sensual skills that have made those observations and words so clear and embracable in your writing! I peaked around your site and your art work - great eye!!

11:50 AM  
Anonymous the tongue tied muse said...

Great Post! Smell does evoke great memories for me as well.

4:08 PM  
Blogger paisley said...

what an absolutely lovely memory trigger... i really enjoyed this....

7:37 PM  

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