There are songs like that for me – ones that instantly transport me to somewhere else … an old boyfriends car, an 80’s dance floor, the statue of Mary I knelt beside on my wedding day … but I don’t have any sordid flashbacks. And for that I am thankful.
Food can do that too. Places. Tangible items. Smells. I imagine a lot of people correlate mothballs to old people – I know the mere mention of a mothball makes me think of my marmalade eating, pearl wearing, English grandmother … the smell of Jean Nate of my mother-in-law … Drakkar Noir of the first man my mother dated after her divorce – to which, I might add, makes me want to vomit anytime I inhale the smallest whiff of the nasty black bottled cologne.
But then there’s the smell of leather – old leather. Worn leather. And cow shit. Mixed together it becomes more than a memory it becomes an entire time … summers long gone. When I was young I used to spend those hot days at my Great Uncle’s farm. And during those days, though I probably stepped in umpteen piles of cow shit, I was also fortunate enough to learn how to saddle a horse, shoot a gun and debone a fish. And while I don’t exactly recall the finer parts of my one time honed skills, I do remember the smell – because it always smelled like that when I was with him. And to this day, I still find the combination of cow shit and aged leather as comforting as anything in the entire world.
By the way, does anyone really know what a mothball is? I used to think they were eggs – but it doesn’t make any sense to surround the clothes you are trying to protect from moths with their unborn now does it?
This post inspired by the Daily Prompt: Humans have very strong scent memory. Tell us about a smell that transports you.