Wednesday, September 10, 2008
You know how a certain scent will take you back? Back to being a kid, back to jr. high, back to something? Well, today I was washing my face with one of those apricot scrubs and it just made me think of jr. high! And that got me thinking about the scents that define spaces in our lives. For me, it was paste, crayons, playdough, and the rubber of pencil erasers in elementary school. In junior high, it was apricot face scrub, Noxzema, Love's Baby Soft, watermelon Jolly Ranchers, AquaNet hair spray and Bonne Bell Lip Smackers in Bubblegum. That lip gloss was pure heaven. I had a tube of it the size of a jumbo glue stick and I used it excessively. In fact, it smelled and tasted so good on my lips, I was tempted to take a bite (ok, once I actually did, and it tasted horrible! You know how vanilla extract smells so heavenly but when you taste it it's like putting paint thinner on your tongue?). In high school, Tabu perfume, Secret deodorant, Dep hair gel, chocolate snappers (a cookie we baked a lot!), my mom's Chinese food (ick), my mom's chili (yum), Old Spice (my dad) and Arctic Circle fry sauce are all things I can still recall. I can still inhale Baby Magic baby lotion and think of Sydney when she was a baby, or rub Icy Hot on one of the kids and remember my backaches in high school. Once I bought Love's Baby Soft just to see if it was the same as I remembered it. It wasn't. When my kids were little, I sometimes used their Johnson's baby shampoo just because it smelled so "baby" and sweet. I even remember the metal smell of my dad's watch - the cool one that made a strange high-pitched whiny sound and wound itself just by moving your arm (so state of the art at the time, who knew there would be cooler things like fax machines, cell phones, iPods, and digital mammography in years to come?). Just yesterday my friend Carla brought me a candle that was called "baking cookies" or something like that. Don't blame me if I'm whipping up a batch of snickerdoodles next time I light it.