Researchers learned years ago that one of the strongest triggers for memory is odor. I remember once walking along in Boston and catching a whiff from a shop of something that smelled like my paternal grandmother’s house. For the seconds I smelled the scent, I was transported to her place.
Seasonal fragrances are like that too. I think spring odors are the most provocative for me, coming out of a seemingly scentless winter. Here in the Ozarks we went from a cold, wet winter to the musty smell of damp leaves. Then came the daffodils and jonquils, followed by apple blossoms and jasmine and then a warmer scent of pine straw mingled with azaleas. Soon I know the heady fragrance of honeysuckle will follow.
I’ll never forget flying into Nashville and then driving home my first June after going north to college many, many years ago. As we drove to my hometown, the scent of honeysuckle vines in bloom was almost overwhelming, even permeating the car. It triggered memories of barefoot days of seemingly endless summers playing with friends through neighborhoods, woods, and fields. It reminded me of dust between my toes. The honeysuckle scent recalled puppy love and young summer romance . . . .
What memories do spring scents trigger for you?
Copyright 2010 Ozarkhomesteader.