I have been walking my dog the other afternoon around Manadon in Plymouth, where we live and I could suddenly smell this gorgeous scent of smoke. Like the fire burner or the old cowl chimney smell, which reminded me a lot of of my childhood memories, back in Poland, where we used to play around the neighbourhood all evening, doing all sorts of mischief. Nothing else mattered in these carefree moments, we were young and everything was so simple! Live revolved around playground, friends’ garages and gardens and the local lake where I played beach volleyball for hours until dusk came. Those were the days…
It felt very nostalgic to the point that I felt tears in my eyes. I carried on walking as great felicity filled up my heart! They say that memories are the only thing that really belong to you and nobody can take them away.
I would appear that smells can do that, they can make you fell happy or cozy to the point you remember specific situations, people and places.
There is many smells that I personally love such as the smell of books, petrol, my coffee in the morning, smell of my beloved ones, smell of fresh bread, crayons or clementines. The list is quite long and all comes down to individual taste and the memories we are holding on to.
‘ Memories, imagination, old sentiments and associations are more readily reached through the sense of smell than through any other channel’ – Wendell Holmes
Upon detecting a smell the olfactory neurones in the upper part of the nose generate an impulse which is passed to the brain along the olfactory nerve. The part of the brain this arrives at first is called the olfactory bulb, which processes the signal and then passes information about the smell to other areas closely connected to it, collectively known as the limbic system.
The limbic system comprises a set of structures within the brain that are regarded by scientists as playing a major role in controlling mood, memory, behaviour and emotion. It is often regarded as being the old, or primitive, part of the brain, because these same structures were present within the brains of the very first mammals. Knowing this helps us to understand why smell plays such an important role in memory, mood and emotion.
This particular memory brought me the feeling of ‘hygge’ !! From Danish term defined as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” But what’s even better is that I did not have to do much, basically I was enchanted in this situation that kind of created itself, came on me unexpectedly…
It is definitely spring time when the rain gets warmer, dominated by the earthy fragrance. A lot of the flowers blossom, people gradually start barbecuing in their gardens or by the lakes, and the wonderful smell of new-mown grass and damp earth is perceptible! Absolutely loving the awakening process of every living creature. I feel happier and more ready for everything coming my way!
On a personal note as much the English climate has thought me to appreciate every sunny day there is, I have realised that I will never get used to the English weather and this climate. Having lived here for over 12 years now, it has dawned on me that relocation is my only solution!
I do know that weather is a force that we cannot control even if we really really want to. But spring time should mean outdoors photo-shoots, golden hours at least couple days a week. Instead I witness rain and mist and rain and winds and temperatures are generally rather low.
I will therefore be working very hard, hoping to be able to eventually live in a place with a lot more sunny days in a year. And one spring I will hopefully be able to embrace the gorgeous blue skies without a rain drop on my head, in some warm, dry part of the world being a ‘fiery’ zodiac sign I am.