The Wonderful Sense of Scents

IMG_4926Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. Philippians 4:18

I partook in a morning indulgence today, just like I do every day of the week—I hold my cup of coffee up to my nose and inhale deeply to capture the aroma. (I know, I sound like a coffee commercial). But the indulgence I speak of really isn’t the coffee itself, rather it’s the scent of it. I love scents!

A smell can transport me to any place or time in my 54-year history. There’s a quote from Helen Keller to which I can so relate. She said, “Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived. The odors of fruits waft me to my southern home, to my childhood frolics in the peach orchard. Other odors, instantaneous and fleeting, cause my heart to dilate joyously or contract with remembered grief. Even as I think of smells, my nose is full of scents that start awake sweet memories of summers gone and ripening fields far away.”

I wish I could have said it as beautifully as Ms. Keller.

It’s easy to forget about the amazing gift that our senses really are, especially our sense of smell. Smelling is one of those everyday occurrences that is easy to take for granted, until you have cold and can’t smell (or taste) anything at all.

Over the years, I’ve become somewhat of a scent aficionado. I know, sounds a bit odd. But as I said earlier, I love scents (well, most scents).

When I smell that sweet hint of fresh cut grass, I’m a little girl again playing on my swing set in the backyard. Taking a whiff of Baby Magic lotion, transports me to my little boy’s bedroom after a bath, and the smell of his skin as I tuck him in for the night (he’s 22 now).

Years ago I bought a candle that smelled just like the Avon bubble bath I used when I was 7-years-old. It came in a mug with the Peanut’s cartoon character, Charlie Brown, on it. I have never burned the candle; I actually keep it hidden away. On days when I’m feeling nostalgic, I take the lid off the candle, close my eyes and take a deep breath of my childhood. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I actually picture myself sitting in the green porcelain tub in my childhood home, immersed in water and bubbles up to my neck. It makes me feel both comforted and melancholy at the same time.

Oh, I could go on and on—so many smells to talk about, and so few words left. The smell of a campfire; pancakes cooking on the griddle in my grandparent’s cabin in West Virginia; the perfume I wore on my wedding day; balsam fir trees while hiking in Maine; a fresh orange; the ocean; fall leaves . . .

Are you looking for a meaningful moment today? It may be as easy as breathing in!


  1. Ok, this one blurred my vision because it made me cry. It’s so beautifully written as it take notice of all of my senses. Especially the sense of “touch” because this touched my heart.


    • Ok, this one blurred my vision because it made me cry. It’s so beautifully written as it made me take notice of all of my senses. Especially the sense of “touch” because this touched my heart. (my first post didn’t make sense? so I reposted.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A beautiful summation. Makes me see how much I avoid emotion. In the counseling I’m receiving now i’m being encouraged to embrace my emotion instead of running away. Not embracing emotons has caused me to not consider the emotional impact my actions have on others. You are blessed to have this ability to embrace scents and sense.


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