Friday, September 6, 2013

Redolence of nostalgia

Among the different senses that a human possesses, the sense of smell is unique.  It is associated with a vital body part, the nose, without which existence is ruled out. While a person could be visually/hearing impaired or handicapped or mentally retarded, it is not possible  to be completely devoid of olfactory perception.

There are various smells that remind me of  different stages in my life. I have attempted to classify them under different categories below.

I. FOOD: The first thing that strikes me is the aroma of hot piping rasam in my house. The combination of tomato, jeera, tamarind, asafoetida and coriander leaves makes me ask for more, by the mere smell of it. I cannot forget the street hawker who sold fried groundnuts with a tic-titictic rhythm in his frying, everytime I eat groundnuts. One could sense it miles before he arrives by its whiff in the air. Not forgetting to mention, the aroma of freshly brewed filter coffee. Yes, they make the breakfast complete. These aromas take me to the days where I had to sit back and relax while I got all I wanted without having to get up from the chair!

Image courtesy:,


II. PEOPLE: It is scientifically proven that human beings have unique odors just like fingerprints. And I can differentiate the smell of three intimate people in my life, mother, grandmother and husband. Mommy had a scent which was a mix of the fragrance of jasmine flower worn in her head, sweat and her perfume. Grandma on the other hand possessed a blend of strong sweat(she perspires a lot) smell and kitchen masala. I am planning to gift her a good body spray. Hubby has an oily skin and I could smell it along with his deodorant. When I encounter people using the same brand of perfumes and deos, I am reminded of them. Not being a perfume-person, I had always wondered how I smelled to others?!

Image courtesy :

III. SEASON: Each smell reminds me of the season associated with it. The moist smell during winter, smell of fireworks during festivals, new books at the time of school re-opening, incense of agarbathis  during poojas, cosmetics while going to parties, milk powder and baby wipes after child birth, the list goes on.


After we bought a car, I somehow didn't like to travel in it. Every time I sat inside the car, I would wait impatiently to get out of it at the earliest. Then I discovered that it was the odor of closed space that caused that nauseating feel. We settled with an ambi pur car air freshener with the suggestion of friends. Today, I wait impatiently for a ride in the car. Also ambi pur room fresheners come handy during get-togethers in the house. Now, I happily associate a pleasure ride and fun filled party with ambi pur.

How do you associate the different smells and fragrances with your life?

This is a post written for smelly to smiley contest by Ambi pur India.


  1. For me flowers bring alive the scents of my childhood, of course food as well along with so many other everyday things.

  2. True rachna, flowers, have a mesmerizing scent dat can take us back to the good old days. I had read abt it in ur post too :)

  3. Hmm....the heavenly smell of piping hot home made rasam. Yumm.

    1. You like it? This is a surprise as I had thought it was the flavor loved only by south Indians :)
      Thanks for dropping by!