Scents and Scentsability

Forgive the punnish title, please. It's late, and I'm tired.

A while ago a local radio station used a section of it's morning show to solicit listeners' favorite smells. I didn't call in, but ever since then I've had an entry about scents lingering in the back of my brain. A Yahoo IM chat with my mother today dragged these thoughts to the front of my brain, and this is the result.

I've mentioned before that I associate Chanel No. 5 with Rice Pudding, because of my Aunt Molly and the family diner. And I think I've also talked about the scent of straight pins, when I box is first opened. Yes, intellectually I realize it's the smell of machine oil and metal, but to me, it's just pins.

But there are other smells, less definable, that I also love. Crayons, with their combination of construction paper and wax smell like childhood, to me, and even though I have horrible allergies, I love fresh-mown grass.

I love the smell of coffee, almost more than the taste. I love the smell of chocolate, preferably dark. I love the way liver smells when it's cooking, but not the way it tastes. (I ask, how can something smell so amazing, and then taste like rawhide?) Mint, in any form, is always something I love to sniff, and roses – real roses – .

My other favorite flower is the carnation. I love the clove-y smell. And while I abhor smoking, pipe tobacco has a sweet smokey smell I adore.

But the scent that's been on my brain all day is the smell of the beach. Not just surf and sand, though those are wondrous in and of themselves, but the whole beach experience. The smell of sunblock, and a little sweat, of surf and sand and sunshine. The tired happy feeling of coming home from a day at the shore, and showering, dabbing Noxema on the sunburned section of your nose and cheeks, and then slipping into a freshly-made bed with cool sheets. This – this is the beach smell I mean.

I saw a card at Barnes and Noble last night, while I was there on a book-buying orgy, of two little girls walking in the sand, both with braided hair, half undone, carrying sand pails, and flip-flops, and I could smell that beach smell.

It's the scent of innocence.