“I think my nose is deteriorating over the years. I don’t mean this in a physical disappearing from my face kind of way (because if anything I feel my once dainty cute nose is now more samosa-ish in dimensions), but it’s my ability to actually smell things that I’ve started to doubt.
Else why is it that all my memories related to smell seem to be from a long time back, while nothing from the recent past really seems to stick.
I remember how my grandma’s skin used to smell. That mix of Nivea cold cream along with a slight hint of old-people-smell.
I remember the scent of the first book I bought after months of saving my pocket money. My now entirely packed bookshelf never quite comes close to smelling like that.
I remember the strong smell of chlorine in the community swimming pool, seconds before we jumped into it in a cannon ball.
I remember the smell of the perfume my first love used. The way his skin held just the faintest traces of it long into the day, slightly mixed in but not wiped out by the crazy amount of hair gel adorning his head.
I can still smell the hit of air freshener every time I opened the door and sat in his car – and yet even though I have the same freshener in my car now, it never quite hits me the same way.
I remember our parched terrace celebrating as the first raindrops splattered across the dried out concrete and mud. We would call it petrichor today, but it smelled even better when we didn’t know there was a term for it.
And yet, if you asked me today, there isn’t much I associate with smells and fragrances anymore. I’m not sure if my husband has a particular perfume for me to remember him by (he really keeps changing it every month). Nor our car. Nor the things we supposedly lovingly own. My sense of smell seems to have dulled out the same way all our other senses have.
Lost somewhere in our numbing maddening lives.
P.S. It finally started raining here as I wrote this. I wish I could tell you about how it smelled beautiful. But what it really did was disrupted our wi-fi. There are bigger issues than smells in life, y’all.”
Shreya and I share a connection through words. On many occasions, she finds words to articulate my thoughts better than I can. I asked her recently if she’d be open to writing for Fuchsia about fragrance and its role in life. Subconsciously, I knew she would do justice to my experience in which smells house memories more than music does. This post left me reminiscing about a life I feel like I’ve left far behind me.