Baby powder. Baby poop. Fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. Roses in full bloom. My son's stinky tennis shoes when he was ten, my daughter's Love's Baby Soft body spray...
Aromas are evocative; they take us everywhere we have been. I don't know why, but I can still remember the smell of spray starch. Half a century ago I starched and ironed shirts and blouses before high school.
I can still smell Aqua Net Hairspray, and the odor of engine grease and motor oil in the garage. The smell of my grandma's basement, damp from a metal wash tub of hot rinse water draining into the sewer. This aroma takes me back to early childhood. I still love the smell of a damp (not musty) basement. The smell of hot, Spic and Span mop water makes me envision my mom as a young woman. How DID she wring that mop in such hot water?
This morning I opened a magazine and found a sample of ORIGINAL SCENT JERGENS Lotion. When I ripped the corner and the lotion oozed out, so did the memories.
After my own little girl scent of Ivory Soap, and my teenage odor of Noxzema, I graduated to my mom's JERGENS Lotion. It served me well for twenty years. Then I made good friends with pink Oil of Olay. Now it's Ponds, but in my mind, I return to JERGENS Lotion time and again.
My favorite women wore it. Mom slathered it on her snake skin legs, transforming them to soft and supple, like magic in a minute.
As a young mom, I washed dishes by hand, then I coated my hands with JERGENS.
When my grandma was hospitalized and dying, she asked me to massage her face with my Oil of Olay. I worked it over her cheeks and chin, and when I stopped, she said, " My whole face...my forehead, my eyelids." So I rubbed it in.
I didn't like the outcome. Grandma smelled like me, not herself.
In my childhood when she kissed me goodbye, she had red lipstick on her mouth and JERGENS Lotion on her cheek. She always left a red lipstick kiss print on my cheek along with the faint fragrance of JERGENS from her super soft cheeks.
Yes, scents are evocative. Do you use the sense of smell in your writing? Some of you are not writers, but even if you email instead of write letters, why don't you trip somebody's olfactory sense?
How about mine? What smells transport you?