Sunday Confessions: Smells

It is yet another wonderful Sunday so that means it is time for Sunday Confessions with More Than Cheese And Beer hosted by Hot Ash.

Every week this talented cheesy lady throws out the prompt to us on Wednesday so we can post on Sunday.

We are free to interpret it any way the prompt inspires us. Please check out the link up to see her confession and the other wonderful bloggers who joined in today.

As the years go by, I find that some of the smells I ardently avoided as a child I now willingly accept and sigh with contentment when I meet them.

On the flipside there are other smells that I fell in love with at a young age that I can barely stand to a sniff nowadays.

When I was younger I was a sculptor.

A very, very, bad sculptor to be honest, my medium was play-doh, I made barely recognizable horses, flimsy stars and whatever else decided to be my muse.

But oh, did I go at it for hours shaping and molding, concentrating and being creative.

I remember hesitating before opening those small, crusty-due-to-overuse, yellow containers. I debated opening them every time, always thinking I'd find something better to do with my time.

But my itch to create with my hands always won out so I pulled the stinky 'doh' from its containers and wore the obligatory 'something smells' face with the exaggerated scrunched nose, furrowed brow and furious frown.

But I trudged on because I was an artist and if I had to endure for my art with smelly hands, I would.

I did not touch those cold, clumps of colored 'doh' again until a few years ago when I began volunteering with children at the shelter.

I momentarily hesitated, but ripped open the containers quickly because the excitement on the childrens' faces was too much for me.

These were new toys and crafts I brought for them. They weren't used to new things, to open, play with, break in, and the palpable excitement was too much for me to worry about some smell I disliked when I was a child.

As they played and patted, faces caught in concentration and little happy hands molding and shaping, I inhaled deeply and realized what a truly beautiful smell it was.

That smell was not pungent or gross, it was an opportunity for these children who have seen too much, been through too much to play with no worries, no concerns, no fear and get lost in creating what they want to create.

Weird, I know but now I cannot pass up an opportunity to smell those yellow containers if they are in my presence.

I gave up on sculpting my masterpieces around the age of ten or eleven when Lisa Frank folders, scrunchies and crimped hair became my new obsessions.

A whole new world of smells opened up to me in those prepubescent years.

The burn of the crimper or curling iron-depending on my mood, too much hairspray, and overwhelming doses of cucumber-melon spray began my day.

I welcomed it, relishing in what I thought defined the smell of femininity.

Oh, how I am sorry to anyone back in the day that was subjected to that hot mess.

I dare not touch the cucumber-melon spray now. When I catch a whiff of it, I am instantly taken back to being young, carefree, and wrong, so wrong on what defined my femininity.

 Smells do not only have the magical ability to take us back in time but also have that supernatural prowess to stop time.

To halt time, no matter where we are. 

Some scents stop us in our tracks cold. They wake us up or make us wish we were still sleeping. 

When l smell a good marinara simmering sometimes my body shuts down. l am suddenly in my aunts kitchen talking about life, boys, faith or lack thereof, how to change the world and everything, anything and nothing all at the same time.

When my vivid memory is done being relived, I stay still for a moment trying to regain my composure while my world is paused. 

Then with my next few breaths l rejoin the present day and go on with life.

There are times that smells overwhelm us and take us back in time, make us appreciate the present and give us a glimpse into the future.

In Harry Potter and The Half-Blood  Prince, there is a spell mentioned called Armotentia which is a 'love spell'. lt cannot make you really fall in love but creates the pull of love, obsession, dedication to those who drink it.

The dorky point, l am trying to make, is that the smell of the potion smells different to every person. Whether or not they realize it, the smells they are whiffing when sniffing the potion are all things or people they love.

I think we have that available to us in our everyday life but sometimes we overlook it and that saddens me.

Our lives may not be full of spells and potions but they are stitched together with magical memories and recipes handed down from loved ones on how to make life enjoyable.

We need to embrace and recognize our love potions for life and appreciate the smells and fragrances of life being lived while we can.

For me, my love potion would be a mixture of things l am in love with that make my life happy and worth living. 

Cabbage and rice boiling in preparation for golabki, stuffed cabbage, that we cook when the weather turns cooler. 

That smell is the memory that my mothers mother taught her, which she taught me and hopefully l will teach someone.

It is heritage, love and patience boiled down to the simple beautiful fragrance of vegetables and meat.

Boiling cinnamon, orange peels and cloves on the stove to freshen the house in the dreary winter.

The smell of the sand and the beach, my husbands cologne, my dogs' rancid breath, my hot steamy tea, the wet earth after a cleansing rain, an old book, the coffee my mom religiously brews, springtime flowers and the autumn pumpkin flavored everything, these smells along with so much more would be part of my love potion for life.

Smells, scents, stinks, fragrances, perfumes change with us, with time.

They help define and redefine what we like, what we cannot stand.

They grow on us, cling to us in our hair, our clothes our memories, they grow with us.

They remind us that we need to stop and smell the little things in life while we still have the time to enjoy them, before they simply fade into a memory.


  1. Your mom religiously brews coffee? Like me? Ha. Given how absolutely hilarious she seems from your status updates on Facebook, I've decided she and I have to hang out and have a cuppa.

    1. And there is so much more I leave out ;-)

      I think that coffee date would leave you confused yet content. She tends to do that to people.


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