My house is a curious amalgam of smells right now: Ben Gay and brussel sprouts. Yes, I know. Pretty awful, hmm? I could spray Fabreze into the air, but I’ve decided not to make things worse.
As I was sniffing, it occurred to me that smells don’t recall memories for me. I know the old realtor trick that when you’re showing a house you put a few cookies in the oven to instill a feeling of coming home. I think the only smell that actually recalls a certain time in my life is that of burning leaves, but since that’s outlawed in my area, I don’t get a sense of nostalgia very often.
Tastes don’t bring back the past either. I’m not thrown into the Thanksgiving of 1995 when I eat the same stuffing I ate back then. Nor is my mother’s Million Dollar Fudge likely to transport me in time.
But sounds – sounds are a totally different thing. Music, especially, can be a time machine for me. When I hear songs I learned as a child or first heard as a teenager, I can tell you exactly where I was, who I was with, and what the event was.
What about you? What evokes the past for you? Is it smells and tastes or sounds?