The Smell of Serenity

This Scent has real “Animal Attraction.”

Let’s say you get spritzed by those lab-coated ladies at the cosmetic counter. (Why do

they wear those coats?  Surely they aren’t flinging powder around or saying, “Oops, How do I keep getting lipstick on my sleeve?”

Anyway….a year later, if you had to identify the smellum they sprayed, you’d be able to recall it, with 65% accuracy. Smells are processed by the same brain department that files away your emotions and memories.

This explains why you can walk into a school and be transported to the day Billy puked at his desk which was right behind yours.  And even after the janitor threw that red-sawdust looking stuff on top, you still dry-gagged the rest of the afternoon.  But Mrs. Lockhest, the teacher wouldn’t let you go to the nurse’s room.  Oh no she didn’t….instead, she scolded you, attempting to make you feel sorry for Billy, and then

These desks had convenient flip-up seats to easily clean the floor after Billy

she sat you in a corner, giving you and your fragile stomach extra math problems to do.  But you spent the time figuring out how to get Billy back for spreading his gross mac & cheese regurgitation in a 180° arc. Good grief, couldn’t he have been a tidy vomiter and kept it under his desk? No siree. You’d get Billy—as soon as he got out of the nurse’s room where he was lounging on a cot and skipping math.

Like I said….smells evoke a lot of memories.

Know Your Nose (Helpful facts)

  • Your sense of smell is weakest in the morning, growing stronger as the day wears on.

So whether in church or an office in the mornings, all that perfume, deodorant, and hairspray everyone coats themselves with is less likely to affect you. But by noon…your olfactory nerves will be popping…see the last suggestion.

  • A recent study showed that people in a citrus-scented room cooperated more and
    This image shows a whole and a cut lemon.

    Cooperate!!! Life hands us lemons…we’re fundraising them into a citrus-scented pipe organ.

    offered to make more charitable donations.

Good to know. So during your next fund-raiser, lemon-Pledge the table or walk around swinging a bag of lemons through the air and ask for donations.

  • Your sense of smell becomes sharper when you’re hungry.

Which explains why even sometimes McDonald’s smells good to me. And heaven forbid the late service runs long on a pot luck Sunday.  All those smells wafting from the kitchen will cause a pastor—even a Lutheran pastor—to only sing one verse of the closing hymn rather than cranking through all 114 verses—as usual.

  • The more estrogen you have, the better sniffer you have

Any pregnant woman has experienced this.  One time I thought the smell of the pipe organ was going to make me sick.

  • If you’re in space, you’ll likely loose your sense of smell.  The lack of gravity allows sinuses to back up like a clogged disposal, snuffing out your ability to smell.

See…clogged sinuses can come in handy. They can save you from over-abundant perfume sprayers, sneaky bags of lemons, or Billy and his “shared” macaroni and cheese.

Because mood and medication affect our sniffers from hour to hour, it’s believed we never experience a smell the same way twice.

Chapel of Holy Cross, Sedona AZ, by Dougtone

This doesn’t hold true for me. Most sanctuaries and chapels smell the same. I breathe in the scent dust, extinguished candles, old hymnals, and hopeful prayers.

The tiny part of my brain that processes these clues kicks out the same message each time: Lay your troubles down. Rest. This is the scent of serenity.

What smells take you to a place or event?

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9 thoughts on “The Smell of Serenity

  1. English Leather aftershave…or cologne (since I am not sure the wearer had any whiskers at the time). High school crush–I could smell him before I saw him. That was 45 years ago. Men still wear that stuff, so when I smell it, my head jerks and my cheeks blush as I hope for a glimpse of [….].

  2. Since I have such a strong gag reflex, I don’t think I’ll answer your specific question–but I do have one for you: what WAS that red dust stuff the janitors had going on as they pushed the mop around??? Oh, okay, here’s one answer to your question: the smell of chlorine in the vicinity of a pool brings back trembling-traumatic memories of PE swimming class in Jr High–argghh… But I LOVE your “scent of serenity”–yes!!! God bless you Big–love, sis Caddo

    • Wow. C.V. I totally blocked out that chlorine smell. I’m not sure if it was the fear or drowning or the mortification of changing clothes in the bathroom that was so intimidating, but, yep. That takes me right back.

      And that red stuff? It was some form of sawdust that would absorb the liquidyness and smell. One product is called: Oops!

      Those marketers are sooooo clever, aren’t they?

  3. The smell of a campfire takes me back to all the camping outings I went on in my life. The smell of watermelon makes me think of family barbeques in the summer.
    The smell of roses makes me think of my mother and her rose garden. The smell of vomit makes me think of my first date You have to go to my blog and find the older post about this one-it will make you laugh! http://poetrose24.blogspot.com/2009/10/that-memorable-first-date.html

  4. The smell of baked rice pudding (with cinnamon and nutmeg) takes me to my mother’s kitchen when I was small and my brothers all lived at home. None of us liked the skin that formed and all of us knew that if we complained we would get no rice pudding at all.
    My partner was in a small plane that went through a lot of turbulence. People started to vomit. So the flight attendant sprayed her precious Chanel No 5 around the cabin. Which made more people sick. And the skinny portion loathes and detests Chanel No 5 to this day.

    • E.C.
      This Chanel story is one of the funniest I’ve heard. I laughed out loud. Poor woman.
      And oooooo-yuk. That skim on the pudding reminds me of the same nasty ook on overheated milk. I don’t remember a smell, but I’d be spitting for a half hour, trying to get the feel of it out of my mouth.

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