Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sunday Scent Memories

This past Sunday, our gathering was about Scent Memories.

It was wonderful to hear what everyone had to say.  J started off the conversation saying his favorite scent memory is of chitlins cooking all day long.  His wife D talked about her summer working in very hot weather at a zoo - can you image those fragrances!!  H talked about finally realising that to her the scent of Mexico is rotting garbage and diesel fuel (a good memory for her!)  T said that the worst smell ever is the scent of the autopsy room (he had started studying to be a doctor at one point in his life).  The Moth said that sometimes when walking in our little downtown in cold weather, certain smells (greasy food cooking and gasoline) brings him immediately back to Amsterdam - and T nodded and added mold to his scent remembrance of Amsterdam!

I mentioned incense in the Catholic Church I attended, and the smell of that clean-up sawdusty-stuff when kids would puke (was it wintergreen? the Moth seemed to think it was), explaining that way back in the day, one would have to fast before having communion, adding to the light-headed-ness of many children in church.

I am not sure if this is the exact brand I remember from grade school

H brought some Manuka honey to sniff (wow that stuff is awesome).  D sent around a few different types of rose water.  Ahhh, I love rose!

Then I pulled out the piece de resistance - Secretions Magnifique!!

Oddly enough, only me and P (female) have bad reactions to it.  Nearly everyone else who sniffed (esp the men) thought it was nice!  The specific things people can and cannot smell - it's so interesting - and baffling.

I brought out samples of CB I Hate Perfume's Winter 1972 and Black March" - everyone enjoyed Black March a lot.  Most everyone agreed that old newspapers/book were a wonderful scent.  We also talked about the "worm smell" - and both H and I couldn't remember the word for that!  Is it petrichor? But the definition doesn't specify worm.

Then D and I went into the dining room, so she could sniff some of my perfume in bottle form.  She loved Diptyque's   L'Ombre Dans L'Eau, and she had never sniffed Shalimar so I made up a good sized sample for her.  She also really enjoyed Samsara.

T walked through the dining room and I had him sniff another one of my favsMiller Harris L'Air de Rien.  I explained to him I think that Jeanne from "Last Tango in Paris" might have wore a fragrance like it, and that it brings to mind second-hand clothes stores and he said "and something else...." and I said "skank?"  And he laughed and said "yep!"

His partner L asked me to make her up a sample of my favorite perfume, so I sent them home with some of that skank! heheeee!

I was really amazed by the participation with my guy friends.  I know that sounds sexist, but I really didn't know how they would react.  I mean, I know the Moth likes scent (in fact, he sent around a very old "scratch and sniff" card from the movie "Pink Flamingoes" -I didn't take the opportunity to sniff that ;)    It made me really happy that everyone enjoyed themselves!

So, I suggest to all my readers to have a Scent Memories/Sniff-Fest with friends and family.  The two that I have been involved with have been amazing!


  1. Oh, what a wonderful time this sounds like. Someday you'll have to do a live podcast, and perfume friends from around the world will chime in. :)

  2. Great idea, Olenska, about the podcast!!! I will attempt that next time.

    Speaking of which, can you podcast your lecture?!

  3. What a varied and vivid collection of scent memories and how great that your friends and family throw themselves into these exercises! I am not sure I could rustle up even a small quorum of willing participants.. : - )

  4. Love this post! I am envious when others have scent gatherings. You'd think there are a billion people in Chicago who love perfume, and if I hung out at Barney's downtown more, I might even find some of them. I also wanted to alert you to my new blog link:, no more old one (was hacked, the dirty stinker)

  5. What fun! Sounds like a great way to learn more about friends and loved ones. Thanks for sharing!

    This past Xmas I got my mother talking about perfume. She doesn't reveal personal info often, you have to get her talking, and perfume did the trick!

  6. Bonks, I am always happily surprised when I find people who like scent! Plus many/most of my friends are artists - maybe that has something to do with it?

    Carrie, oh that stinks about your blog being hacked - thanks for the link! My suggestion is just to have a scent-related party and I'm sure you'll be happy to find out some hidden-fume-fans!

    JoanE - how wonderful re: your mother - I would have loved to have been a fly on that wall!


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