While discussing something on GM‘s blog, she mentioned the movie Aiyaa and then Gandha. That got me thinking about the sense of smell in general. I also thought about the movie Perfume, which I had liked a lot and have watched multiple times. It’s about a guy whose body has so odor at all. That’s pretty much like not having any identity, because all of us have our own individual scent. I can’t imagine what the world would be like without the sense of smell.
I’m very intrigued by the particular smells of anything and everything. I sometimes find myself inhaling deeply to get a better sense of a hint of a smell. It’s not even always a great smell. But I do tend to associate people with smells. Sometimes it’s the perfume they use, mixed with their own scent which creates a unique combination. Like my mum always carries this fresh, powdery, and flowery scent; dad always has a hint of brylcreem; the sis is generally a mix of fruity perfume with body lotion; I can identify my sister if I smell her used clothes. When I smell my used clothes, it’s kind of like a fruit going stale. I like perfumes form the fresh and fruity family.
I don’t think there’s any food that I don’t smell before eating. It’s an intrinsic part of the culinary experience for me. I love smelling leaves on trees. I smell my mint and basil plants every now and then, or nip a bit off the lemongrass plant to release the oils that carry that lovely scent. Or the smell of freshly ground masalas, which is so heady.
I am very interested in perfumes and how they smell different on different people. Like I had an ex-boss who used an amazing perfume. You could tell of it;s good quality such by the smell. It had a great sillage and left a trail for a good 2-3 minutes after he’d pass by. I could tell he has arrived by just that smell. I asked him what perfume he used out of curiosity. He was generous enough to tell, mainly because I gave a very academic explanation about what I wanted to know. I then made the husband buy it. The same perfume would bring out the mango fragrance on the boss, and brings out the patchouli on the husband. I’m sure it’s got to do something with the body temperature. I gifted some other perfume to dad, and am often surprised by how it smells like the perfume the boss used to wear, even though it’s a different brand.
Smells really are such an interesting topic. Sometime a vague waft of a random smell brings out so many old memories from the deepest and oldest memory-closets. It takes you by surprise that you still even remember something so old. You might not have even associated that event ot place with a certain smell at the point when the memory was taking shape.Like the heady and almost alcohol like but cloying sweet smell of dried bakuli (not sure what it is in English) reminds me of when I was about 16-17. That’s all I remember. No particular event, just me, when I was that age. I invariably picture that period in a certain kind of light as well.
I might have written about the smells I like before, I don’t quite remember, and am too lazy to check. But here’s some of the smells I like a lot.
- Bread baking and fresh bread
- Hot Waran Bhaat with green (smells of home, warmth, and safety)
- All citruses and mints
- Original dettol liquid mixed with water
- All kinds of soups
- Smell of rain
- Flowers going stale after falling off on the ground
- All kinds of fresh flowers
- Fruity fresh perfumes
- Polo Black on husband, Olay cream on mum, Escada Sexy Graffiti on self
- The smell you get when you add a splash of water while roasting garlic
- Fresh basil on tomato sauce
- The smell of mountains, and valleys
- Old winter clothes stored in suitcases with naphthalene balls
- Wood being cut while making furniture
- Old books the pages of which have gone yellow
- Khus in water
- Buttermilk with kaala namak and mint
- The mild smell while cutting fresh cucumbers
- Cinnamon in porridge
- the smell when you open a new marker or highlighter
- wet mud
- When you crush kaffir lime leaves in your hand
- Homemade “aamti” simmering
- The smell of hot chapatis (mum, home)
Does smell do that to you? Drive you crazy with some extreme emotion?