Event! What the hell is that smell?

1 Jun

One of my favorite things about my house are the bushy lilac’s. Around this time, they are just blooming, and the smell covers my yard, and fills up my kitchen. It doesn’t last for long, never does. But it reminds me of many things.

Walking up Center St. on my way to school. The corner of that house with the blackberry bushes where the old lady lived with her cats and crumbling stones. The first heady days of warmth and t-shirts. The sun. The glorious shining sun, firm in my eyes.

My past is tied up in the scents within it. Charlie perfume-my mothers arms and neck. Poppy seed cake-my mother’s warm kitchen. Sawdust-my father’s confident, measured eyes working. Vanilla-the girl I hated in high school who always wore it, the nauseating smell of sugar cookies filling the hallways.

Lavender Baby Lotion-the first dew like days with Vivian, slathered for sleep.

Every step I take is rich with moments, a melange of days and nights I can barely articulate. The smell of Pillsbury Cookies made me halt in tears a year ago, thrown back into a kitchen filled with deep red bricks and my mother trying to be serious as she ate half the dough raw. My time, my past, my now is so wrapped up in scent. What will my daughters remember? Will patchouli be their memory of their mother, or Oil Soap, or old books? What will be my legacy in scent? How will I live on in memory?

Other moments of my life are alive in scent, somewhere in my head. Good or bad-they are associated with something, crossposted in time and smell. And it’s incredible to me how one sniff can rush back so many moments instantly.

The topic for June’s Pulsate Olympics is “What the hell is that smell? ” Stories about the smells that remember, the ones you’d like to forget, the moments your nose hit that diaper when you knew you shouldn’t dare. The lives tied up in scents, the love for your partner forever bound to pumpkin pie or toilet cleaner. Tell us about it.

And the prize? This month, the Pulsate Olympics is sponsored by Creative Wanderings, who is offering a 20.00 gift certificate to our winner! (Free shipping too!) Creative Wanderings is the brainchild of Jen at Spaghetti Harvest. (I have to admit that I am a huge fan of her stuff as well-especially my favorite soap Autumn, which is like having a giant bag of cinnamon hearts in your shower. mmmmmmmmm.)

So write up your post, linking to this post as well as Creative Wanderings to be entered. I’ll accept entries until June 17, and will draw for a winnah on June 20.

Get smelling! And writing!

ETA: As a special treat, Jen is also offering a 5% discount to participants ordering anything between June 1 & July 15. Once I receive your pingback (or comment with your link) I will email the coupon code. 🙂

25 Responses to “Event! What the hell is that smell?”

  1. Eden June 1, 2007 at 1:43 pm #

    OMG I am so all over this, with the scent of her Green Irish Tweed bar still on my skin…

  2. Nat June 1, 2007 at 3:11 pm #

    Ooooh, my fave Creative Wandering treats are the
    autumn soaps and the “Love” (pomegranate) body cream.
    And the chocolate mint lip balm is awesome too…

    SO YUMMY! 🙂

    I will have to think of the smelly things in my life. 😉

  3. thordora June 1, 2007 at 3:18 pm #

    How were the things I got you for Xmas? They smelled awesome and I LOVED the packaging…

    I wish I could enter…. 🙂

  4. Jennnifer June 1, 2007 at 3:50 pm #

    *sniff* I wish I could enter toooooo


  5. Heather June 1, 2007 at 3:55 pm #

    Ooooooh, what a fun one! Fun! I will just go through the next few days and see which nostalgia-triggering smell hits me first.

  6. karriew June 4, 2007 at 2:26 pm #

    Smell pretty goop! Hooray!

    (I steal baby lotions all the time.)

  7. MammaLoves June 4, 2007 at 6:33 pm #

    I love scent memories. Now I have to come up with a good post.

  8. Jean June 4, 2007 at 9:11 pm #

    I posted about a recent experience about a person with an aversion to smell..hope that counts.

  9. thordora June 4, 2007 at 10:37 pm #

    Linkypoos Jean-link to this entry in yours to count. 🙂

  10. thordora June 5, 2007 at 4:15 pm #

    Correction-I found the link in my stats-Jean…

  11. Stu Mark June 9, 2007 at 12:50 pm #

    Ok, this will possibly qualify as a weird entry to the contest, but here goes:

    The smell of my wife’s face, as I lean in to kiss her, takes me back to the day I first fell in love with her. She was wearing a red velvet dress and her hair was up, and she was incredible. Even today, when I give her a good morning kiss, I smell her face, her skin, and I am easily transported back to that magical moment.

    Sorry, I know it’s weird to smell someone’s face, and I know the sentiment is mushy, but I thought it was worth a shot at some free goodies from Creative Wanderings.

  12. Stu Mark June 9, 2007 at 12:51 pm #

    Yeah, I know, my comment wasn’t a blog entry – my blog is on hiatus while I make GNMParents as awesome as it can be.

  13. thordora June 9, 2007 at 12:53 pm #

    That’s ok Stu. You likely just made every chick sniffle a little bit, so a comment will suffice… 🙂

  14. Nat June 14, 2007 at 4:07 pm #

    Despite lack of time and/or inspiration, I managed to spill my beans. Enjoy! :p

    Full entry is here:


  15. CamiKaos June 14, 2007 at 10:56 pm #

    I’m all done. I did it, and in non-cami fashion too cause I didn’t wait til the VERY last minute!

  16. Alicia June 15, 2007 at 3:04 am #

    I will post here as my I am not posting on my blog until the custody battle is completed.

    I hate Oreos now. I dislike them very much and I think I’ve only purchased them for my daughter once. My desires never used to be so cruel as I used to eat them all the time. My Grandma H. used to provide Oreos for my sisters and I whenever we visited her at her Ballard home, a reward for helping my dad clean her place.

    Eventually, we didn’t have to clean to get them, and as my sisters moved away, I was the only one near her new location. While my dad would prepare her insulin shots for a week, I would sit on the floor or couch by her, listening to stories of Australia, of hang gliding and of all the gambling she used to do in Vegas. By the time I was a teenager I would show up without my dad, we’d discuss boys/men, relationships and all the girlie things.

    Every time I visited there was a fresh bag of Oreos. My dad and I never picked them up so she must’ve had someone else bring them in, something that made me smile and adore her more every time. As she talked, I listened, and smiled while playing with my black and white cookies, drinking down ice cold milk after each one. My Grandma never ate these Oreo cookies, most likely due to being diabetic, but it’s as if she knew I’d remember them years later.

    It’s really not the cookie I dislike now, but I have a knee-jerk reaction to the scent they give off. See, it was like opening a present every visit as I would sit cross-legged, and slowly pull the bag open…lowering my head to catch a whiff as the first scent escaped. It was a high!

    My grandma died when I was seventeen and I have rarely eaten Ores since. Sure, I’ve had some, but only if they’d been removed from the bag already. The bag I purchased for my daughter will be the last…when I opened the one I did buy, I was so overwhelmed, my mind flooded with memories. Yes, they were good, but it was so much I became nauseated and had to rest.

    It’s not that I’ve consciously decided I don’t like them, but I’m sure there’s something in me that will never enjoy them like I used to, in company of a woman I looked up to in awe.


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