Bloganuary – A smell or scent that brings up a memory


What a great writing prompt! I could literally write for hours about scents and the powerful way they transport me back in time to a particular event in my life.

For the sake of your poor eyes, I’ll stick to just a few.

The heady scent of rain on hot bitumen is one of my favorite ‘smells’ in the whole world. It’s intoxicating and if it was made into a candle or perfume or…best thing ever – a men’s cologne, I think it would be a best seller for all time. It’s amazing.

The smell of fresh paint reminds me of my Dad. I only have to breathe in the hint of it and my Dad’s image appears before me like a hollogram; Dad smiling down at me and saying something with a cheeky smile. Because Dad was a painter, he smelled of paint, our house was always being painted/patched up with new samples Dad was excited to try out and Dad’s car smelled of paint from all the paint tins in the back. I’m so thankful for scents that bring back memories because now that I’ve lost Dad, I’m desperately trying to hold onto anything and everything that reminds me of him.

Photo by Anete Lusina

Losing a parent is one of the most painful experiences one can go through, I think. Losing anyone we love is devastating. I hope not to lose anyone else for a really long time. I pray the same for Alun who lost 4 friends in the same year last year.

The smell of Frangipani’s reminds me of my idealic childhood in Nhulunbuy – growing up in a seaside village by crystal waters, crisp, clean white sand and the sound of waves crashing as a I fell asleep each night. I think Nhulunbuy town was covered in hundreds of frangipani trees, so their scent…is the scent of being home.

As a super anxious person, I love the scent of lavender. It’s calming, soothing and just generally smells nice. We have a “lavender farm” here in Perth where you can sample products made with lavender – even lavender scones! WHAT?!? I don’t think I’d like to eat it. I just like the smell. In this same ‘vein’ of scents that bring me ease, I love caramel-ey candles, fresh oranges and lemon scents and the “Tahaa Affair” scent (I bought it in a candle and in an infuser which was just gorgeous) from Glasshouse is my favourite ever smell in the whole world.

The smell of marijuana instantly brings up a mental image of my Mom squatting down ‘behind’ the washing machine in the laundry (she wasn’t hiding anything and could clearly be seen), lighting a bong and inhaling deeply. Mom did this a lot throughout my childhood. I did my best to shield my younger brother from it but Mom isn’t very subtle so he found out pretty quickly. It’s not a nice memory, but I guess not all ‘smells’ bring back happiness.

Lastly, Alun had a plug-in scent infuser for his bedroom when we were first dating. It smelled like someone had captured what a walk through the forest ending in a swim by a waterfall would smell like. It was AMAZING. SO NICE. I bought another plug-in of the same scent (this was over 10 years ago) and keep it in my bedside drawer because it reminds me of first dating Alun, finding out about each other and that amazing ‘love bubble’ you find yourself in when you are first getting to knoweach other. I call the plug-in “the scent of falling in love”.

4 responses to “Bloganuary – A smell or scent that brings up a memory”

  1. This is a lovely piece of writing taken from the prompt, Janet. I could almost smell all the scents you were describing as I read your post. I also love the smell of hot bitumen or tar when new road surfaces are laid, although I’ve never experienced the smell of rain on it. I’m not sure what frangipanis are, but I love the smell (and taste) of almond macaroons. Yummy. I also have one smell I don’t like at all, like your mom’s cannabis, and that’s pipe smoke (and cigarettes). My dad seemed to have a pipe in his mouth every time I looked at him, and I hated the smell.

    I agree it’s so hard to lose a parent or both parents in my case. My dad died nearly eleven years ago, but he wasn’t a nice man, so I don’t really miss him. My Mum, however, passed away six years ago, and I miss her terribly. I can’t actually remember any scents from my Mum other than her delicious cooking.

    Sorry, but I think I’ve missed a couple of your posts – I’m just snowed under lately and haven’t had as much time as I’d like for blog reading. Xx 💜💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello darling Ellie, Thank you for your warm, compassionate responses to my blogs, they mean so much to me. I love that you like similar scents. Almond macaroons sound sooo good. I’ll have to see if there’s a Bakery in Perth that makes them.

      I’m sorry about your Dad and his pipe 😦 drugs alter those we love in so many ways. I’m so sad to hear you lost your Mom, too. That must have been so painful for you. I’m learning that the grief never goes away 😞

      I’m excited for catching up on your beautiful blogs and sorry I haven’t read or commented lately. Once I settle into my job and can read the posts of my favourite bloggers (You, Shanti, Tommy, Mykl and a handful of others), I can catch up on what you’ve all been up to.

      Sending you big hugs from hot, dusty Perth xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What great descriptions of the scents and your memories. I especially love the walk followed by a swim. What a great visual and it transports us to that spot from wherever we are. Thank you for sharing Janet.


  3. Unique memories, and yet there’s something universal amount your longing for scents, Janet. Memories are tied to them.


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