My Three Scents

These are my three scents – three smells that each conjure up vivid double memories of events widely separated in time and place.

Last week’s entry here about smell maps kept me thinking for days of specific scents and the meaning that they have for me. I started a page in my note-book and soon had a list of fifteen or so. These are not just smells I recognise, they are scents that, when I smell them, have the power to transport me in time and space to a moment, a place, a feeling.

I imagine everyone carries within them a little smell library that will work this same magic. In fact, I’m fairly sure the library is what Kate McLean was tapping into in her Paris exhibition. Everyone will have a different set of scents, of course. Even if you and I include the same smell in our libraries, the memories it conjures up will be unique to each of us. Scent memories are very personal.

I spent so much time playing around in my scent library, I decided I really had to write this week’s article about some of them.

To try to limit myself (you know how I can ramble on given half a chance) I decided to restrict myself to smells that have two attached memories. And because this blog is about travel, I have chosen three smells that link two completely different times and places.

Green Apple
Chicken shit
Bitter almonds

So, those were my three scents. What are yours?


The original pictures for all the illustrations (including the portait of Jonas Gardell) are Creative Commons licensed from Wikimedia Commons

This article was written for the #Blogg52 challenge.


I originally published this article on the separate Stops and Stories website. I revised it for spelling punctuation, carried out some SEO fine-tuning before transferring it here on 4 March 2017.