Monday, August 26, 2013

Smelly Air to Smiley Air

What is the first thing that you think of when you read the title of this post?

For me, it immediately reminds me of Phoebe's epic song, Smelly Cat from my favourite TV show, F.R.I.E.N.D.S    
For those of you who have never heard of it, here it is for your hearing pleasure-

Smelly Cat

Smelly cat, smelly cat, what are they feeding you?
Smelly cat, smelly cat, it's not your fault.
They won't take you to the vet.
You're obviously not their favorite pet.
It may not be a bed of roses.
And you're no friend to those with noses.

Now coming to what this post is actually about - Smell and memories associated with them.

Smell I believe is the most powerful way to rouse your memory. Just a waft of fragrance reminds one of an obscure and random incident from the past which you could never have remembered consciously. It is like this floodgate of memories which breaks with flashes from your past running one after another in a slideshow mode, beautiful ( and sometimes not so beautiful) memories fleeting like a film right in front of you as you stand still, eyes closed, inhaling the scent through your nostrils, taking it inside of you, into your lungs.

I, particularly have a very strong sense of smell. The smell of certain things evoke a very strong reaction. It gets so enveloping that sometimes I can feel the scent running through me, down my spine, giving me goose-flesh. There are so many memories that I can associate with an array of smells.

It was only last evening that I was coming back home when the bus stopped at a traffic signal close to the footpath which had a row of florists one after another selling all kinds of beautiful flowers and amongst all the mishmash of perfumes from those flowers, my nose caught one in particular- the smell of a rose. I despise anything artifically rose scented but I absolutely love the smell of a fresh rose bud. I have had this love for a very long time, as long as I can remember. My mom tells me how I used to be completely wonder struck at the sight and smell of roses, red ones in particular whenever I saw them. There used to be this particular florist's that was close to a shopping area where we used to live in Vizag. I (as mum tells) used to instantly get glued to the nearest light post to the shop, holding to it and stood there standing and smelling the rose for as long as I could before my parents would come and pull me from there. I faintly remember how the amused shopkeeper had many a times offered the four year old me a red rose. 

just replace the cat with a mini me :P

The smell of books is something I am completely addicted to. Every new academic year when my dad returned home with bags with my news books, I would hurriedly open the packet and smell each and every book and carry them everywhere with me. I love scampering around old bookstores, finding the oldest books and flipping through the yellow pages smelling the amazing romantic smell (yes, I can smell romance as well), older the book, yellower its pages and stronger the scent.   My maternal uncle has a personal library with books that are more than 50 years old and some even older, from his own childhood. Every time I visit them, I spend my entire time sitting in that old room with shelves containing books every where, reading some and smelling some. I love flipping through pages, caressing them and smelling them when I read books. Books are after all supposed to be absorbed in entirety, tasting them with all your senses (except maybe tasting them literally) and not just read with your eyes alone.

Yes, I am a book sniffer.

Another very favourite smell of mine (yeah I am that weird, I have favourites in odours as well) is the smell of baked food - cakes, pastries, cookies etc etc. Every time the smell of a freshly baked cookie enters my nostrils, it instantly takes me back to my childhood when my mom used to bake us cakes and "nan khatais" (it is a kind of eggless crispy cookie/biscuit) .Well my super sensitive nose was of course bad news for my mum for she had to always think of new hiding places for all these goodies she prepared or the little mouse that I was, I would sniff around everywhere in the house in search of them and gobble them as fast as I could. 

Freshly baked goodies ^_^

As a Bengali the Durga Pujo and the time associated with it is of special significance to us. Also during this time, the air has a magic about it. it smells of a hundred different things all somehow associated with the pujo. The faint scent of the fragrant shiuli flowers from the backyard early in the morning, the smell of chandan and incense from the pujo, the fragrance of the jasmine, mogra, marigolds and all other flowers from the garlands around the pujo mandap, the intoxicating smell of the dhuno from the dhunuchi dance in the evening, the aroma of the delicacies cooked during those four-five days all combine together for a sniffers' delight.

That is a dhunuchi

So what are your favourite smells, the ones that revive any special memory from your past?

This Post is written for the "Smelly Air to Smiley Air" contest at Indiblogger sponsored by Ambipur. Check out the Ambi Pur Facebook page for the amazing array of room fresheners available in different scents and different varieties to keep your rooms smelling like cherry blossoms whenever your want. Just a few sprays and you can easily get rid of any unwanted odour, be it the the musty stench during the monsoon or the despicable smell of discarded socks in an instant.

 Till Next,

P.S.- All pictures (except my signature of course) are google finds.


  1. Phoebe and her silly songs :-). Somehow, this song also reminded me of Sheldon - 'Soft kitty,warm kitty' :-)

  2. I was just talking about this the other day. Smells are the best at giving you memories of things from your past. I don't know how it works so well, but a smell is such a good reminder.

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  3. Excellent comments with interesting topics and very useful resources. Thanks for sharing

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