April 21, 2016

Smell is a Potent Wizard...

Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.
                                             -Helen Keller
In my ponderings and musings throughout the day, my mind often turns to similar subjects again and again. (After all, there is only so much I can fit in this little brain of mine!) Sometimes it's the idea of heaven and eternity (eep. Don't get me started!), sometimes it's the future, and every now and then, it's the power of scent, and why I'm glad God gave us noses, etc. etc. 

Pettifers This Oxfordshire country garden is designed for year-round interest. Photographed by Clive Nichols.:
Take a deep whiff of summer!
Yes, I know this is a bit odd.

But really, aren't you glad that there are scents in this world? Sure, we could get along alright if there was no such thing as a sense of smell, but wouldn't life become so much more boring? Imagine never smelling flowers, or chocolate chip cookies, or your mother's Sunday perfume! That would be awful! When I think of all the memories I have just from a certain smell, I am extremely grateful that I live in a world with such amazing scents! Of all the scents in the world, I think I've determined the very best.

                        Old chair with spring flowers:  

1. Lilacs (and Peonies, Lavender, Lily of the Valley...flowers in general)

Lilacs have a full, cheerful, and garden-y scent that I can't resist. There is a lilac bush in my backyard and I'm always sad when the blossoms are come and gone in two or three weeks. Lilacs don't really remind me of anything, but they do make me think of how utterly lovely summer is! :)

            Trim & Tidy Virginia Boxwood Garden - Southern Living:

2. Boxwood (and Williamsburg)

I remember when I was 7 and going to Williamsburg for the first time. We were just getting started when we passed a hedge of rather potent boxwood and my mother paused to ask me if I smelled it. I wrinkled my nose and said yes, unfortunately.
I was young then. I didn't know what I was talking about. I didn't even know if I'd like Williamsburg then! (I was a foolish child, I know.) But after that first glorious trip, both Williamsburg and boxwood grew on me simultaneously. Before long, the smell of boxwood became the most glorious smell in the world, and every whiff of it makes me feel like I am in Virginia again. 

                             Bath & Body Works Orange Ginger Aromatherapy:

3. Bath and Body Works Orange Ginger

Besides boxwood, there is nothing that is quite so invigorating as B+B's orange ginger scent. I save my bottle of this lotion for when I really need to feel more awake, focused, and cheerful. I think part of the reason I like this so much (and this will sound ridiculous) is that it was in the little hotel bottles of shower gel on a memorable summer vacation, and my mind has linked this scent with humid Southern vacation days.

                       Chocolate. That is all.:

4. Bakery/Chocolate

That smell of chocolate chip cookies in the oven, or on a plate, or in your mouth is irresistible! Caramel brownies, raspberry cheesecake, strawberry pie are just a few of the infinite number of things that smell amazing when baked.

    "Canon Trio," Antietam National Battlefield~ photograph by shannon wagner:

Other Amazing Smells

Petrichor ~ New Books ~ Old Books ~ Tea ~ Fall Leaves ~ Christmas Trees ~ Apples  ~ Strawberries ~  Campfire Smoke ~ Reenactment Gunpowder ~ My Grandparent's House   Bayberry Soap

What are your favorite smells?
Does your mind ever wonder to the same odd topics?


  1. Ahhhhh. I give you a beautiful blog post award. :-) This post was so intoxicating that I could almost SMELL it. (And now I feel like a lot of chocolate, and a lot of flowers. Stop it, Abby. :-P)

    Loved this, and yes, I enormously agree- smells are SO underrated and they're so wonderful. Amen. :-)

    ~ Naomi

    1. Why thank you! I graciously accept! ;) Now go and smell the roses!

  2. Oh! I know exactly what you mean about certain smells and scents! They can be very potent links to past memories. For example, the smell of a damp, unfinished basement always makes me happy because it reminds me of how my grandparents' basement smells. :) And yes, fall leaves! I love the smell of all the changing seasons! And Christmas Trees. Ahhh! Smells are just awesome! I don't think this was an odd topic at all. :)

    1. I get so nostalgic over some smells! And yes, a grandparent's house can have such a sweet and unique smell indeed! I could never have anything other than a real Christmas tree; they smell so good!

  3. The smell of Williamsburg is amaaazing! It's one of my favorites too. :-) Everything about Williamsburg and everything that comes from there has this specific smell that always makes me happy inside.

    One of my favorite smells used to be a little bottle of Bath & Body Works lotion that I got years ago....I don't even remember where it came from, but my sister and I thought it was the best smell EVER, and we kept the bottle after the lotion was gone just so we could smell it every once in a while. ;-P I finally threw it out a year ago because it was just cluttering up my desk, but I think I'll always remember that smell.

    Can I say, I think it's so awesome how you're such a history lover? It inspires me. :-)

    1. Ooh yay, you know how good it smells too!!! The gift shops are especially good smelling; I think because they have that awesome soap in there. But the rest of Williamsburg...that's just the smell of history! :)
      Haha, when something smells that good, you don't throw it away! Hopefully you'll find that smell again someday.
      Awww, thanks! I am beyond happy to find you and your love of history too. You just GET it, and that's pretty rare!