Wednesday, July 7, 2010

3D Memories

Why is smell such a potent deliverer of memory and time? If you have ever ridden the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, you will recognize that smell forever after, and it will bring you right back to that delicious, dank, Disney place.

I have had chocolate chip cookies baking in my oven all evening and I wonder if this is a smell my boys will hold in their minds long after their childhood is a memory. For me it is the sharp smell of cinnamon that brings me right back to being seven years old; waking up before the sun to get our cinnamon roll selling booth up at Kobe's swap meet. And what about butter melting in a pot of creamy mashed potatoes...that is my grandma's house, hands down. Fresh tomato sauce bubbling is the first time my husband made me pasta fourteen years ago...every time I make it, it is 1996 again for a split moment. I love favorite smell memories - they are like memories in 3D.

2 comments:

HLM said...

Garlic frying in oil makes me think of my German students, when I'd ask them on a get-to-know-you worksheet what their favorite smell was. It was always a new vocab word for them, garlic.

Ashley said...

Love this, memories in 3D! Smell has always been an important memory trigger for me, especially the smell of baking bread. Not only food: my brain has always assigned certain perfumes and soaps to certain people. For example, it was the oddest, most unexpected moment, but I smelled Linda while at the market one day last month. I always smell grandma in places, too.