This week, we explore our last sense: smell. It amazes me how the simple fact of smelling a scent can bring memories back to my mind and make me feel strong emotions. The scent of a violet will always be linked to my daughter, as it was her favorite. I used to wear violet perfume after she passed, probably to feel like I kept her a bit longer with me. And when I smell my favorite meal, I remember immediately the last time I had the chance to eat it, and pleasure kicks in. What about the very specific scent of a loved one? The comfort we find in smelling or wearing one of their clothes when we are apart?
When I go to my favorite place, I close my eyes to let my other senses take over. I can hear, as I talked about last week, and I can smell. I can smell the grass, the bark of the trees, flowers too. And this very specific lake scent… and I feel good and at peace. When I try a new tea, I always spend some time to smell it too, before drinking it. And this will help me create the memory of it.
And I need to talk to you about paper and books… When I buy or get a ‘new’ book (some of them are old and second, or third, or more hand), I almost always start by smelling it. As if I recognized and welcome it in my life this way. There is something about book smell… Like an invitation to travel, to imagination, to knowledge. It’s almost magical, in my opinion. And I really love it. Or maybe it’s just paper… I love the smell of paper.
And who didn’t feel instant joy when going to bed in freshly cleaned sheets? I don’t own a dryer, so I let the sheets to dry on a rack. But when spring comes, I can schedule my laundry to have my sheets dry in fresh air at my parents’… and wow, yes, there is nothing more satisfying than putting them back on my bed and let their scent take me to my dreamland.
All these are ‘good’ scents, those that brings joy, peace, happiness, serenity. But there are others that are warnings to me too. Alcohol is one of them. My ex-husband was an alcoholic, and for years after our separation, the simple smell of the alcohol he drank took me into a highly vigilant mode. This smell meant I wasn’t safe (emotionally, he never rose his hands on me, he knew it would backfire really badly). I had to train myself to accept this smell as it is, simply: the smell of a beverage I wasn’t attracted too. But it really required more time than I though int he first place. This smell was deeply anchored as a danger in me. Garlic is an immediate repulsive to me. I just can’t stand it. My body refuses it too. So yeah, I can smell the smallest amount of garlic in a dish and I won’t be able to eat it… Oh and I am really sensitive to body odours… it’s really something I have a hard time with…
So to me, scents are really something highly linked to my emotions, to my memories, and when I feel good in a place or with someone, I really tend to associate a smell to it.
So this week, go to your favorite place, and spend time with your loved ones, and try to link them to a specific scent, one you can remember when you need to fell the comfort of that time. Because you deserve it.
This card was my first attempt to draw a rose. And it took me forever, but I am really happy with the result. I loved playing with blending colors, and trying to express the delicateness of the petals, the volume of the flower. I chose unusual colors because… why not? It’s probably the one that took me the most time so far. And I am sure there is a quicker way to do, but I enjoyed the process of drawing it. I hope you like it too. Or, and yes, it had to come with its own magic too!
I wish you a beautiful week. We know have recognized, welcome and integrated each our senses. I hope you enjoyed the journey as much as I did!