sensing scents

These days, I have been looking just about everywhere for inspiration : scrolling through my old photos on Flickr, listening in on conversations in the hallways, eating dinner, reflecting on my habits or daily experiences.

Today I found it in an old crumpled up bottle of lotion on my dresser. I don’t use it that often anymore because it’s almost completely used up, and I have bigger, newer bottles to try. But I haven’t thrown it away yet because it’s a French brand that isn’t widely available in the US and I can be a little bit of a hoarder when it comes to nostalgic memorabilia. Plus, it’s still got a few good uses left.

I originally bought it sometime last February or March to use during travel. The bigger bottles I already had were too cumbersome to pack and not allowed in carry-ons due to their size. This little bottle was not only the perfect portable size, but also multi-purpose: it’s extra light formula was perfect as both a body and face lotion!

When I reached for it today over my usual daily lotion, the soft clean smell of sweet almond oil filled my nostrils. I was instantly transported to the last times I had used this very bottle: refreshing my skin after a windy day in Marseille, squeezing out a dollop from our AirBnB in Lisbon, trying to wake myself up in my little room in Chambéry.

I felt the spring breeze filter through the open window as my two companions and I got dressed for a day of adventures. I saw a beautiful sunset over the Mediterranean. I heard our neighbor’s music blasting from tinny speakers.

I have been so focused on getting inspiration through visual or auditory stimuli, that I was completely taken aback by this intense scent-memory. I wonder what other things I will smell this week! ❂



Slice of Life is a daily writing challenge during the month of March hosted by Two Writing Teachers. Visit their blog for more information about the challenge and for advice and ideas about how to participate.

4 thoughts on “sensing scents

  1. Scents can be very powerful in evoking memories. I like how you pulled the senses through your piece by including other senses in your memory – what you felt and saw. Thank you for taking me to France with you this morning!


  2. I hoard those things too. And when I finally decide that I have to let go, I cut the tube apart so I can get every single drop and I savor all of them. Scent holds such memories.


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