Monday, November 21, 2016

Day 21: Leading with my nose

Day 21 and once again I am avoiding writing about what is actually at the forefront of my mind.  So I visited The Daily Post and saw that today's prompt is "Aromatic."

Which made me laugh a bit because it was just yesterday that a friend remarked to me that I "lead with my nose" and that sometimes I reminded them of a dog.  I was not offended.  What they were referring to is my habit of noticing scents.

I have a rather strong sense of smell.  When I was younger I thought everyone could tell the difference between how the soils in different parts of a forest smelled, or would know who had been in a room by the scent that lingered in the air from their passing, or how butter starts to smell sour after only an hour out on the table.  It turns out most people can't detect these things and, quite honestly, they probably should be kind of glad that they can't. The world can be a very stinky place sometimes...

I have a habit of sniffing people when I hug them.  You won't notice that I do it most of the time, and honestly the habit is so ingrained that I don't notice that I do it either, but somewhere in my mind I will have a memory tucked away of your scent.  I will also notice things like what you ate recently, or if you hugged someone who was wearing perfume.  I have been known to ask to sniff someone again if there is a scent I can't identify (Being unable to identify a particular scent drives me a little bit nuts actually...I will stay in one place sniffing the air until I figure it out, hence the dog comment).

When traveling I have picked up on a sweet odor and, after following it to its source, I have discovered wonderful bakeries, breweries and restaurants.  Once I even found a religious procession which I quietly watched from a distance.  Another time a candle shop.

I have some favorite scents.  The sour smell of fresh cut oak.  Soil beneath decomposing pine needles.  Wintergreen, particularly those pink Canadian mints.  Wool yarn.  Sandlewood.  Brown sugar. Rope that has soaked in salt water and is drying in the sun.  The dirt earthworms are packed in. And wild roses...and straw. Sweat.

And a few I really can't stand like dog poo, wilting spinach, sour butter and ice cubes that have been in the freezer too long. But most scents are at least interesting even if they are not particularly pleasant.

Scent permeates my dreams and I will often awaken with dream odors still floating around in my mind.  My waking nose is left feeling confused as to why they have suddenly disappeared.  I have had dreams where I am chasing scents as clues to find my way out of a maze, but most of the time they are just a part of the dream like what I see, hear, touch and taste.

This strong sense of smell is just one more piece of who I am, but I do like the idea of going through life leading with my nose.  It has led me to interesting places and it does mean I go through life upright, with my head uplifted, looking ahead...which is not such bad way to wander.

1 comment:

  1. So so so relate to this! I have a super strong sense of smell, though I think our favorite smells are a bit different. I'm constantly noticing smells in situations where others don't. Appreciate hearing that you do too. I like the idea of following your nose to discoveries... hmm, I'll have to try that more.