Scent and memories....

  1. Sooo weird... just a while ago I had an instant memory flash come into my head of when I went to Butler Elementary school in Belmont, MA (suburb of Boston) when my mom was getting her master's degree in Education at Harvard..

    the memory:

    I was walking down the stairs with the other 4th graders, feeling the concrete scuff on my keds because of all the dust and dirt from the dirt playground outside, hearing the echo's of the old building as we decended to eat our lunches, the gloomy overcast sky always shed this dull light into the stairwell and seemed to intensify the humidity if there was any that day. My friend Nicole would either be right behind me or right in front of me, she always brought her lunch with her to school, everyday was the same- she never ate her sandwhich, just took out the cheese and ate it. I'd always wonder why she did this especially since the cheese was floppy and warm. But my memory was triggered by a scent that came and went in a matter of seconds. I smelled the stairwell of Butler Elementary, 1988.

    Any other flash memories triggered by scent? How does it make you feel and does it bring you back to earth? (my mind is on this Chanel I'm waiting for...makes me think of times when I had no clue what designer stuff was)

    p.s.- I'm taking a 300+ level English class this semester- Creative Nonfiction- and have been encouraged to write, write, and write some more....thanks for reading!
  2. Pipe smoke always reminds me of my dear grandfather. Even though he had stopped smoking a pipe for almost 20 years before he died, the smell evokes wonderful childhood memories of him.
  3. There's a flower that grows around my uni that always reminds me of my grandparents' house in the mountains... and the other day, I got out of the car and I caught a soft blast of warm, humid air that smelled faintly like a sewer. I know this sounds weird, but it reminded me of summer nights in HK and it made me feel really nostalgic about the trips my family used to take there when I was younger. LOL, even though it's kind of a bad smell, I sort of took a deeper breath and revelled in it!

    Ski wax and jet fuel also always make my heart beat faster as the smells have always meant good times ahead!
  4. My mum has used 24 Faubourg perfume for years and its an instant flash for me whenever i can smell it:yes:. We live in different countries but my brain is not reasonable at all, when I smell it, I think Mum is around even though she is like 1500km away :heart:
  5. those kind of memories, when they become alive, give me goosebumps and your description just did! and it's even crazier when memories start trigerring other memories like the domino effect... I remember my last day at Butler- all the kids were being really nice to me, telling me how much they were going to miss me- some cried when I left early- we were leaving to the airport right before lunch and my mom let me go to school that morning to say goodbye.... my teacher had a really bad eastcoast accent, you know, the kind like "I pahked my cah in havahd yahd" she wore this red lipstick that reminds me of red LV epi leather. She wore a turquoise blouse a lot, the color could easily passed for the "cerulean" color in The Devil Wears Prada. NKOTB was all I played on my walkman that year. I had a friend named Gina and one time she brought me to her house after school, when we showed up at the house her three sisters were sitting at one of the upstairs bedroom windows- they stopped Gina and asked who I was, they were all older than us, barely by one year apart- all of them had dark brown curly hair and really remind me of the character "Tina", Geena Davis' best friend in "Angie", that memory is like straight from a movie.

    oil- the kind that you use to change car oil always reminds me of my brother when we were in high school. he always worked on his snowmachines and the garage would be cluttered with tools on the floor and the smell of oil.

    another weird smell is the Barrow hospital's dryer exhaust you can smell right before entering the front door. it's still the same like 20 years later, I've been working there on and off since 1997 and so much as changed in my life between now and then, gone through a bad relationship, came out a changed woman- but the smell of that laundry being dried reminds me of those times because I'd smoke packs and packs of cigarettes right outside the doors before new laws and regulations were implemented not too many years ago.

    Thank you all for sharing these----I love reading memoirs.
  6. ahhh, this would make me close my eyes, take a deep breath, and then give her a ring.

    my grandma, mother's mom, uses Liz Taylor's White Diamonds and that always brings memories of the last time I saw her to hug her.
  7. This is a great thread, Alaska and I was really impressed with your first post! I think it's really interesting that the majority of us have not posted about "pleasant" smells, even though the memories associated with them seem to be quite fond.

    Although that said, I totally understand nataliam's perfume thing - whenever I smell my mum's perfume (Fragonard) I always look around (or quickly stub out my cigarette and pop some gum LOL).
  8. and i stop biting my nails immediately ! :roflmfao:
  9. I travelled around europe with my parents when i was two, and have (unfortunatly) forgotten most of it. But, each time i have returned to paris (4 times since- i am 15), and stood over those metro grates there is a certain smell that transports me to my two-year-old self. My friends think its the weirdest thing, because all they could smell (when we were all on an exchange) is rotten urine and such...but there is a smell there which is lovely and warm...and memory filled.
    My mothers perfum reminds meof coming home in tears form school when i was little and mum always being there for a hug.
  10. Thank you! I do really need to just blog- write and write more about memories to develop my skills.


    They say that scent is the last sense to feel before death, when people are in coma's. That and hearing. The relation to your post? IDK- maybe just that we will not remember our last moments before death--- sorta like the way you can't remember stuff when you were two.

    Sorry for the morbid interpretation of things gets lost in my

  11. OMG thats true! I lived there for a year and every time i think about Paris its not Eiffel Tower on Louvre, or little cafes its the metro smell that comes to mind no other metro in the world smells like that..and I love this smell, maybe because it was one of the best years of my life :girlsigh:
  12. It's so weird! Warm HK sewer smell = heaven? Paris metro (rotten urine) = heaven? I'm so glad there are people who understand this LOL:jammin:

  13. its not rotten urine! :lecture:its u know, "special metro smell" perfume :nuts: geee do I really get off on warmed up toilet odours? *scratches head*
  14. Calvin Klein's Eternity will always remind me of Virginia Ford, my crush from the 9th grade. Narcisse will always remind me of Amy, Tristan's mom, and Maybe Baby/Nanette Lapore will always remind me of Kara.
    Aside from that, there's this floral smell that takes me back to when I was 14 or 15 and I'd bike to this retention pond to fish. It was spring and it smelled like the beginning of life in the fields. Life was so carefree and when I smell it now, I smile.
  15. Gardenias remind me of when I was young and my grandmother would pick me up from pre-school. We would go to her friend's house, this elderly Cuban lady who loved gardenias and grew them in her front yard, and have an afternoon snack.

    Old Spice reminds me of the BF. I love that smell! :heart:

    The original Polo Ralph Lauren scent reminds me of my dad. He always wears it when he goes somewhere nice. I remember when he and my mom were still married, they'd go out on a date night a couple of times a month. The bathroom would always smell like Polo while they were getting ready. He still wears it, it's my favorite men's cologne.