Scent Memory

Twice this morning I was called up in remembrance of my grandmother’s house in Maryland.

The first scent is one that triggers the memories often — the smell you get from a puff of un-ignited natural gas from the stove. Her stove was the first gas stove I had ever seen, and the smell of natural gas (or rather the smell of mercaptan and other additives) always reminds me of her kitchen. Even after almost fifteen years of cooking with gas myself, that smell still sets me off.

The second is “day-old fireplace.” We had a nice, cozy fire in our enclosed fire stove yesterday evening, and this morning there’s a smell coming from that end of the living room that reminds me of grandmother’s house during winter. It’s not the smoky smell — any residual smoke has been cleared out by the air filter I bought last winter. It’s kind of a wet ash smell that you can only pick up right at the fireplace.

Regardless of the source of the smells, the remembering was nice. Grandma has passed on, and that house was sold long ago, but I still have fresh memories right here… in my nose.

7 thoughts on “Scent Memory”

    1. I don’t think we’ve yet established where amorphs source their power from, so it may not necessarily be the case that they have waste products to expel. (Ovalquik appears to be a treat, not a meal.) The truly terrifying thought is that, being evolved from storage devices, they may have little annie plants scattered around inside them.

  1. It’s always neat just how scents can call up early memories.

    The one that always does it for me is the smell of tarred ropes by the sea side.

    It calls up memories of being a little kid at the docks of the US Naval Academy where I was born. Nuclear Attack Submarines.

  2. I’ve got one of them:

    Earl grey tea with lemon. Takes me straight back to childhood teatime, when that was the tea-of-choice that the parents had, although I seem to recall it was particularly father who had the lemon – there used to be a lemon and a special knife for cutting slices from it…

    I think mother used to pollute it with milk.

    I quite liek it myself sometimes, but the smell of it on lifting the cup takes me straigt back 30-mumble years…

  3. Where in MD are you originally from? Just curious since I spent 4 years incarcerated @ the Severn River COED Correctional Institution (aka USNA), about a year @ Indian Head and just over the border in Arlington for about a year as well.


Comments are closed.