My oldest daughter and I spent a night at my parents’ house this past weekend. We walked in to be greeted with the aromas of roasted turkey, boiled potatoes (oh, yeah, that was the other part of the meal I couldn’t remember), and my mom’s green bean casserole, which is truly superb and my second favorite thing she makes (behind shrimp creole). Sometimes there’s a candle burning – Stormwatch by Yankee Candle – but not this particular time. When it was time to shut it down for the night, I snuggled down in sheets that were sweet with the scent of Mom’s dryer sheets. As the world woke up the next morning, that most amazing of scents wound its way up the stairs and crept under the closed door, stealing its way over the bed to tickle my nose. With a happy sigh, my mind registered the smell of Morning Blend coffee; Dad, at least, was up and had started the coffee. My last visit there, it dawned on me that one day, I would wake up at my parents’ house, and they wouldn’t be there to start the coffee first thing. Terribly sad thought, and a reality that I hope is a few decades down the road.
I grabbed my shower, enjoying the bar of all natural carnation soap with which I’d gifted my parents five years ago that I’d put in the upstairs shower. The towels smelled like their fabric softener and reminded me of my best friend’s towels, so there were wonderful scent associations with that. A note of musk in my deodorant smelled like something I associate with my heartmate.
After church and a visit to two museums, we returned home. I went upstairs to change clothes, and wham! It hit me as soon as I walked into my bedroom. It was the undefinable smell of home. It was this blend of clean laundry, the people who share it, and some crazy, nuanced blend of blueberry, orange blossom, and scuppernong soaps, which are the choices in the shower right now. (What can we say? We’re soap whores. And those are just the bar soap options.) It was a most welcome smell after being gone. My space. A space in which I had a hand in making homey. That is sacred space, and it was all because of a smell.
What smells are triggers for pleasant thoughts, memories, and experiences for you?