They say that the human olfactory sense is one of the weakest in the Animal Kingdom, and yet, the sense of smell has the strongest links to human memory.
A whiff of Pears soap, this morning, got me thinking about the various scents that meant something to me, because they are "placeholders" in the databank in my head. So many memories, from my growing years (which some may debate are still in force!) - both good and bad:
- The wet, earthy, smell from the garden that either meant rain, or that Dad was pottering around watering his profusion of plants
- The smell of fresh coffee decoction, the perfect start to the day
- Agarbatti smoke, from the puja room, which meant either my Pati, or Pech-pati were up and about
- The smell of Pears soap, on Pati's skin, and the smell of Mysore Sandal soap on Thatha's
- The cloying smells of sambrani, and numerous garlands, from Thatha and Pechpati's funerals
- The muggy, damp smell of a totally drenched, joyous dog that meant you were about to get mud all over the house!
- The aroma of home-made pizzas, cakes and samosas - Mom's at home and all's well with the world!
- The scent of dryer sheets on clothes taken out of a suitcase, which always meant someone traveling from the US
- The rich, brown smell of Pati's Mysore Pak
- The smell of Bril ink that always reminds me of my first fountain pen, when starting school in India (till date, the smoothest nib I have used!)
- The smell of Comfort fabric conditioner that reminds me of growing up in Kaduna
- The smell of Dad's aftershave ( I loved this so much that, when he was working overseas, I snuck the bottle into my cupboard and kept sniffing it whenever I missed him)
- Mom's Jontue perfume - a standard item on anyone's gift shopping list!
- The scent of sandal wood that means home, means Mysore in a different time