10 March 2011

10 Favorite Smells

What's that, you ask? I don't blog for a month and I come back to talk about my favorite smells? Well, here you go anyway.

These are in no particular order. Bridgett (whom I often gain inspiration from in many ways of life, but today - about her favorite smells) is so eloquent in naming her favorite smells. So, I'll try.

+ When we drive to Hilton Head Island, SC (it's about a 15 hour drive), we go through six states. But once we hit South Carolina, the air smells different. I've noticed this over the countless hours of someone in the car feeling carsick and cracking the window a bit. I've noticed this during the many bathroom breaks we take at rest stops and at roadside McDonald's.

There's always a long line once you get on the island. Traffic is awful because there are always first-year visitors who don't know where they're going or they've forgotten since last summer. But once we're on the island...we roll down all the windows in the car all the way and breathe in the muggy, salty ocean air. It's amazing. It tells me vacation is starting.

+ Baking. Bridgett said this, and I don't mean to copy, but yes, definitely baking. Cupcakes particularly (how could I not say that), but I make a three-berry pie in the summers and I pretty much just salivate while it's in the oven for 40 minutes. My grandma's chocolate cake has a very, very distinctive smell while it's in the oven. Something about the butter and sugar firming up in the oven is just heavenly.

+ Garlic and/or onions sizzling in olive oil on the stovetop. YUM.

+ Sunday mornings at the Hoffman House. It's the smell of my dad in his bathrobe, and me cuddling on his lap when I was five. The coffee grinder whirring and then the smell of coffee brewing shortly after. And then the 88.7, the St. Louis jazz station, softly playing in the background. Mom usually fries up some bacon, or cooks some eggs, or toasts some English muffins. Someone brings the newspaper in from outside, where it's been cooking on the brick walkway for awhile. Sometimes I still catch whiffs of this - when Pete and I did laundry every Sunday at my parents house we would come and the jazz station would be on and the smell of bacon would linger, but dad was fully dressed and was usually out in the garage working. SO nostalgic. Sometimes in the morning, Pete smells like my dad did. Is that weird? Oh well, I said it.

+ Rain. Yeah, it's typical, but I love the smell in the air here in St. Louis right before it rains, especially in the summer. During rain, I like that smell, and after the rain, too, but especially before it rains. There's tension and the air is heavy and it just smells so pretty.

+ Cigarettes. I know, it's awful. I've never, ever smoked a cigarette (well, I've never smoked anything, EVER) but the smell of cigarettes reminds me of working at Joanie's. I used to take calls for pizza deliveries on Tuesdays and Friday nights when I was in high school, and the little phone station was on the stoop from the stairs leading from the kitchen into the basement. The waiters and bussers and kitchen staff would take smoke breaks and hang out down by the phone. I would leave every night reeking of cigarette smoke and pizza. As a naive little Catholic high school girl, I would listen to their stories of digging graves (seriously) and stuffing drugs up their behinds to smuggle it into the US (yes, seriously) and take it all with a grain of salt. They would blow smoke in my face and I hated it but I kind of loved the attention.

Also on cigarettes. Since I worked at Joanie's, I seriously built up a tolerance for smoke. I also went to a lot of shows in high school at Mississippi Nights (RIP!) which was teeny tiny and perfect. Low ceilings, and so many smokers. The air-conditioning broke down at one concert I went to in July of 2005. In St. Louis. It was awful and wonderful. Sweaty rock n rollers!

+ Old Books. Yum. I went to a used book fair a few years ago, found a book I had been looking for, opened it, and promptly inhaled. I got some weird stares for that one. I don't know if this love of old books stems from reading my parents' books when I was younger, or from the fact that many of the textbooks and novels I had read in grade school were from years and years ago, but it's just phenomenal. My fifth grade teacher, Sr. Kathleen, said once, "oh, I just love the smell of old books!" and I knew I wasn't weird anymore.

+ My perfumes. I read in a bridal magazine to pick a new perfume to wear on your wedding day, and then whenever you wear it in the future, you'll always be reminded of that special day. So I did exactly that. I bought Dolce & Gabbana's Light Blue perfume because I smelled it in a magazine and really liked it. I wore it on our wedding day (although it was so hot and I was so sweaty and my dress was so big it doesn't really remind me of that day) and every day on our honeymoon. It's more of a summer scent, so I haven't worn it lately, but anytime I take the cap off and inhale, it makes me happy.

I usually wear Chance by Chanel in the winter. I've been wearing that since high school. It's such a familiar smell. I wore it to my senior prom, to graduation, on my first date with Pete...lots of memories.

+ Pete. He doesn't wear any cologne or anything but it's just the smell of his deodorant and...other smells, I guess. It just feels so much like home now.

+ Office Supply Warehouses. Weird, right? But when I was younger and my dad still worked at Anheuser-Busch, I would go with him on a walk down to the office on Sundays and he would let me pick two or three pens out of the supply closet to take home with me. I don't know what it is - paper? Post-Its? All of that ink? Envelopes? I think a lot of it is tape. Either way, going to OfficeMax makes me happy.

+ My mom. She showers at night (must be where I get it from) and would come downstairs to tuck Emme and I in after she showered, and she always smelled like Pert Shampoo and Angel Body Wash (from Victoria's Secret. I was always so embarrassed to go into the store with her when I was little).

+ Taco trucks. Fried food, in general.

+ Fresh orange juice. I don't really like oranges or orange juice, but freshly squeezed OJ is so fragrant and lovely.


Bridgett said...

Rain. Forgot rain.

Jacqueline said...

:) such an interesting post. i second the rain suggestion. my favorite is the sizzling garlic & onions on the stovetop. happy friday!

Karen said...

Love the wedding idea!