Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Scent Memories

I've written elsewhere about our new Siberian Fir CO2 extract, about how long lasting its aroma is,
compared to a distilled oil

This morning I picked up the scent strip that we dipped a week ago, and found the aroma not only softly present, but amazingly evocative. (The strip with the distilled oil, on the other hand, is just paper.)

My Aunt Annie lived in a bigger house than ours about a half hour's drive away. Sometimes I stayed and visited for a few days during the summer. (I don't remember why, I'm betting my parents just wanted some peace and quiet!)

My great aunt, Aunt Minnie lived there, and I adored both of my aunts, so visiting was a treat. There were two cousins, but they were TEENAGERS and lived in a different universe. And there was Uncle Chet, but we didn't talk to each other. I was afraid of him. I don't think he liked little girls.

There were times that my Aunt would tell me to go out on the porch. (Could I have been getting underfoot? of course!)  So I'd pick a book from the upstairs book case, and go out onto the side porch.

On the porch there was an old metal glider. I was scared to death of it, because I KNEW all those metal chains and hinges and slidey things were just waiting to cut off a little girl's finger.  But it was a wonderful shady place to curl up with a book on a hot summer's afternoon.  And on that glider was a small, tightly stuffed cushion, filled with pine or fir or spruce needles, a souvenir from somewhere.

Somehow the drop of week old Siberian Fir CO2 brought the sight and the overstuffed tightness of that firm pillow, the fragrance of the needles that filled it,  and the squeak of the glider all back to me  The cushion fabric was coarse, like burlap, and I think the glider had plastic cushions. 

And the feeling of a hug from Aunt Minnie or Aunt Annie... the feel of a cotton apron against my cheek. 

This is the power of a scent memory.  The strongest and most basic memory of all.  I am reminded once again how a remembered fragrance from 60 to 70 years ago can bring back so much detail. 

Both my aunts left us years ago.  I hope they know how important they were to my growing up. And I am grateful to the aroma of the fir needles that brought this oh so vivid memory back to me.

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