Apparently I am a dirty girl. As I prepped for beddy byes last night, the shirt I just so happened to pull out of my dresser drawer smelt like a raging campfire--a washer and dryer escapee, no doubt. Now I know you will probably judge the hell out of me when I tell you I wasn't disgusted, but quite the contrary, I was entirely thrilled. Instead of slipping that scented jersey into the laundry bin (where it probably belonged about 5 to 6 months ago) I slipped it over my head. My nostrils full of satisfaction, I crawled into bed-- happy as a camper and literally feeling like one. See, campfire is a smell I miss most throughout the long new england winters and I wasn't about to waste this tiny unexpected gift merely because my actions could (would) be considered grimy. I pulled my blanket (it has a big furry bear on it) up to my neck and began to drift.... having no idea my mind was gearing up for an all night new hampshire hiking trip. Oh boy.
Don't underestimate the power of smell and memory, they go together like tooth and tartar (and tuna tar tar or so says my stomach). My dreams were full of the past, specifically anything and everything that has happened in New Hampshire or Maine and involved campfires or pine needles in the past 24 years. My mind had a field day (forest night?).
Our sniffers are so heavily connected to our emotions that instantaneously we can travel to another place and time. I can remember back in middle school all the kiddies used to go to "teen night" on Friday, they'd host dances and random youth events. One night in particular I was dancing with a boy who smelled divine. This night was particular because the preceding Fridays I had sheepishly brought along the holy spirit, but not this Friday, the holy spirit was nowhere in sight. What took place wasn't even dancing...it was more like hugging and swaying. It was clear this boy had pre-gamed, aka: hit the cologne bottle like a champ. For me, that night was the closest a middle schooler ever gets to bringing a boy home with her--his heavenly scents- imbedded in my shirt (sigh). I'd put a wad of cash down that I wasn't dreaming of campfires that night. I bet almost every teen (adult...hey, I still do it) has cuddled up to cologne/perfume/pheromone induced shirt/s at some point in their life and I know if I ever get a whiff of that same brand today, it'd bring me plummeting into circa 1998.
I wanted to write about the smell of cooking and how it brings me incredible joy and contentment but I'm afraid a piece on food needs it's very own post, so I will save that savory topic for another day. ;)
I must say being a foodie and an outdoors(wo)man, I much appreciate the smells and where they let me revisit. Sometimes I walk outside and can smell a day I had years before. I close my eyes and can almost convince myself that when I open them, I'll be back re-living that obscure moment from my past.