About a month ago, while shopping with Reda, I stopped suddenly in the perfume department.
[Aside: I don't wear perfume. Ever. I used to, and in fact used to enjoy wearing different scents, depending on my mood and outfit and destination. But then I started dancing, and most of my going-out destinations were dance events. Now, this might seem strange to you, to stop wearing perfume when I started dancing more. Because when would you want to smell good, if not when you're closely embraced with a dance partner, right? The problem is, many people have allergies to perfume and cologne, and I don't want to hurt my partners. So as a general rule, it's good not to wear fragrances out to dance; if you do, keep it light.]
So since we know (now) that I don't wear perfume, why did I stop? I stopped at the Lancome counter, beside a disply of Tresor. I picked up the bottle, brought it to my nose, and inhaled a deep whiff of the scent. I closed my eyes, and smiled contentedly.
"What's that?" asked Reda.
I answered back, opening my eyes to look at the bottle, a familiar shape I know so well, "This is what my mommy smells like."
It is, too. All I have to do is catch a wafting scent of Tresor, and I can see and hear and feel my mommy, holding me close. I remember smell very strongly, though I don't always realize it. But I love to be able to hold someone I love, breathe deeply, and know that what I'm smelling is so uniquely her - so intensely him.
During winter break, Mom, Seeser, and I were at a drug store, picking up a few random items. While Mom was in line to pay, I was idly looking at the candy and gum beside her, while Seeser stood near the door waiting to leave. Suddenly, I noticed a pack of Cinnamon Trident gum. Excitedly, I picked it up, opened the outer flap, and smelled the gum inside.
With a few tears in my eyes, I held it out to Mom. "Smell it, Mom," I said. "It smells like Dad."
It's easy, as the years go on, to forget some of the little things about those we've lost. It's been almost eight years since my dad died, and I cry sometimes, when I realize how much I've forgotten. It's hard, for example, for me to call his face to mind. There are pictures I can remember, but that's different than just remembering him, what he looked like in real life. And sometimes, it's hard for me to recall the sound of his voice, the way he called me "Boomers" or the way he muttered under his breath when he broke something he was trying to fix.
But sometimes, when we least expect it, it hits us, and we remember. All I needed was that pack of Trident, and it was like he was right there with me. Those moments? They're the good moments. They're the moments that take me home.
So what are the smells that take you back, and where do they take you? Share with me. :)