Back in May, Andromedababe, who has a brilliant blog full of wonderful ideas and thoughts, made a list of 'happy smells'. These were the smells that made her want to fill her lungs, the smells that made her smile, comforting smells, the smell equivalent of a big fat hug.
Today, I was driving along the Iffley road with my sister and her three children. There were roadworks, and men laying hot tarmac. It stank. But, while the kids and I all held our noses and exclaimed, "eurgh!", my sister was very happy to drive along and breath the thickened air. She said afterwards, 'I quite like the smell of tarmac." I was reminded quite suddenly how personal, sensitive and emotional our sense of smell is.
Then, I got to thinking, what are my favourite smells; or more deeply perhaps, which smells am I aware of that evoke a change of emotion? What are my happy smells? The smells that bring me comfort. I was brought to the following list:
Rain dampened wool - either on a sheep, or when I walk around in my alpaca jumper in the rain.
Cat fur - on a cat. I always sniff a cat when I pick it up. Nice smelling cat, nice cat.
My Norwegian Woollen Blanket - the warmest pure wool blanket known to humanity - no matter where I am living, when that blanket is with me, the place smells like home.
After the rain in the summer - I always have to go outside to breath in!
Gale force wind on the North West Coast of Ireland - the breeze can knock you off your feet, but it is the closest thing to fresh air you will ever breath.
Bread rising - in the hotpress (airing cupboard)
Smoked Mackerel baking in an oven - as part of dinner
A whiskey filled room - when you first walk in and know that people are drinking
Red wine (ironic, I more often drink white)
Mud, when you dig it in spring
Potatoes, when you dig them up
Woodfires / bonfires in the autumn
Walking late at night on bonfire night
A damp forest floor
A Church, the day after the incense
Polish on wood
Hair, when you have spent days and days by / in the sea
Someone else's jumper
The herb garden in the morning - Rosemary and Thyme are my favourites
Jasmine in the evening
Lavender crushed between my fingers
Jean Paul Gaultier Perfume
An open fire
Snow, when you first open the door the morning after a late night fall
Thank you, Andromedababe for reminding me to think these out.