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The Nose Knows

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There are few things that can conjure up images of the past the way smells do. The connection between scent and memory must be a strong one. How many times have you smelled popcorn and immediately thought about the movies? The smell of cotton candy can send us back in time to an amusement park from our childhood, moth balls may be reminiscent of the home of an old relative, and many of us can’t smell carnations without thinking of a wake.

Even with your eyes closed you’d know you entered a hospital by the smell and the scent of fresh apples might transport you back to an orchard or farm you visited as a kid. There’s nothing like the first sniff of the new Christmas tree. And hot chicken soup cooking reminds me of a cozy winter day at home the way the smell of Coppertone takes me right to the beach in my mind.

For me the smell of patchouli oil takes me back to high school, chlorine reminds me of every pool I’ve ever been in, and the smell of lunch being prepared in an institutional kitchen makes me relive the same homesick feeling I felt smelling the lunch being made in elementary school. But the best smell of all for this writer’s nose is the ocean, low tide, high tide, it doesn’t matter. If my nose can pick up the scent of the sea then all is right with the world.

I hear the smell of success is never too sweet but that’s one my nose is still looking for.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.