The olfactory nerve is one of the shortest in the human body. While it may take upwards of 20 minutes for a message of satiety to reach the brain from the stomach, the brain registers scents in seconds.
The scent of Shalimar perfume sends me back to watching my mother get ready for an evening out.
Freshly cut grass reminds me of sitting on the park bench in Kenilworth Park when I was 6 or 7 years old, watching my grandfather twiddle his thumbs because (he told me with a twinkle in his eye that I’d yet to learn the meaning of) he didn’t want to be arrested for loitering.
Bread baking reminds me of the giant loaves that came out of my grandmother’s oven, and the huge, warm slabs of it she’d put on a plate, drizzle with bacon drippings and the cooking liquid from the pot of beans simmering on the stove.
The aroma of freshly brewed espresso brings my father to mind, standing next to him at the coffee bar as the barista would make us un marroncito bien cargado (I think in today’s coffee bar parlance that might be a machiatto), and then hearing his admonishment that I couldn’t drink it without sugar because it was poison!
So many, many scented memories…