Saturday, 13 July 2013

Smell the roses

This year the roses in our garden have been stunning, particularly 'Malvern Hills' (above), the scent of which wafts over us every time we step across the threshold of the French windows.

Interesting, the sense of smell. When we were choosing which roses to grow we found that some varieties which I thought had a gorgeous scent my husband couldn't smell at all - and visa versa!

A recent study found that smells can take a person further back in memory than visual or verbal clues. 

Sharing 'smell memories' with my husband we realised that those on the list which evoked the strongest recollections were those which we never smell nowadays. 

He recalled plaster-of-Paris (broken arms were his forte as a child!) and the soapy smell of hot steaming washing being transferred from the drum of the twin tub into the spin drier with huge wooden tongs.

I remembered the oily pong of the paraffin heater during my first ballet lessons and the burning whiff of the decorators blow torch while our house was painted when I was about 4 years old.

Intriguingly, both of my memories are associated with anxiety. I remember I cried going to ballet and the blow torch terrified me so much, I refused to go out into the garden! Oh happy days...

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