The nose knows smell

Published on Saturday, 8 July 2017 16:02 - Written by


Do you have memories linked to aromas? People? Places?

It is unquestionable for me. Some are good and some maybe not. My great grandmother smelled like the powder she used. One year I gave her some from J.M Dyer Co. for Christmas.

The smell of a new car is both intoxicating and alluring. In reality, it is probably much like sniffing glue. At least once the process is finished with the purchase, you felt confused and out of sorts together with a mysterious euphoria.

The inside of Central Grocery on Decatur Street in New Orleans is a blend of garlic, figs, ham and dates. In spite of not being there in years, I can still close my eyes and smell the place.

Ever been in a barn full of cases of wine in Napa Valley? To call the aroma intoxicating would be a bit cliché, but it certainly is a singular experience.

The smell of bananas foster being flame-cooked is unmistakable.

In contrast, negative aromas can be most distressing. The smell of natural gas for instance, or spoiled milk. If you’ve ever had a kid get sick in your car, it can be an issue.

Freshly washed clothes right out of the dryer are a welcome and refreshing smell. As is the nose on 7UP, on ice or a lovely glass of wine.

Body odor in other people is an overwhelming and unwelcome visitor. Particularly on a subway in a large metropolitan area. Bad breath in others is a close second.

Stinky cheese can still taste good but it represents a bit of a functional oxymoron of sorts.

Gasoline and diesel fuel give me indigestion. Hot, buttered biscuits do not.

A missionary friend, who served in Africa for many years, immediately recognized the smell of bat dung when we walked under the Congress Avenue bridge in Austin once.

My old pal Bubba mentioned the smell under a waterfall and then explained it was due to the ozone in the air. He added sizzling Fajitas.

I would add the smell of rain.

What are your best and worse encounters in the universe of aromas? Send your thoughts to