A few of us here at Loyola Press were yakking the other day and the topic turned to memories. Someone said that her strongest memories were often attached to aromas of various kinds and, suddenly, we were all agreeing with her. Here are my five strongest “aromatic memories.”
5. Great Aunt Louie’s 4711 cologne. One whiff and I’m right back in her arms.
4. Our French neighbors’ home smelled potently exotic — not of garlic, or just of garlic, it was complex, layered and unique. Thinking about it puts me right back in their hallway, asking if Luc can come out to play.
3. The smell of freshly-laid tarmac. Most people don’t like the odor, but when our street was paved with it when I was five or six, I found it intoxicatingly wonderful. I still do and could inhale it all day long.
2. Wet pine cones and moldering leaves – bring back a whole world of rainy Sunday afternoons wandering on the trails of Belfast Castle.
1. The Nivea cream my mother had smeared all over her face when I’d go to her room to kiss her goodnight. [Occasionally in a drug store I will pop the lid off some Nivea to bring my mother “back” for an instant.]
What aromas bring powerful memories back for you?