What’s That Smell? It’s the Spice of Life!

cookiesI have been told by many people throughout my life that I am a “sensitive” guy, meant in, I believe, a good way.  I know how the word “sensitive” can be used in a negative way and I don’t think that way has been applied to me…at least to my face, anyway.  I think “sensitive”, when used to describe a person, generally means someone who is warm, caring, and thoughtful.  I consider myself to be those things.  I can also wipe out the gray and be very black and white at times too, when I need to.

The word “sensitive” also makes me think in terms of one’s senses.  I have always paid close attention to my senses. If I had to pick one that means the most to me and how it affects my daily quality of living, it’s hard to choose.  I guess the sense of sight is pretty important to me, but one of my favorites is my sense of smell because it really does add a wonderful flavor to my days.  Smells can take you back in time to when you were growing up, or they can bring back memories of a special occasion or you can associate them with things like holidays.  Smells are important to me – I dig ’em!

Here are some of my favorite smells…

The smell of bacon frying in a skillet in the morning has got to be one of the all-time greatest smells on earth!  That glorious aroma is made even better with the accompanying crackle of the grease popping and splattering everywhere.  Who cares if it makes a mess?  Nothing welcomes you to breakfast or the beginning of a new day like the beckoning of bacon!

I love lamb.  My mom didn’t make lamb when I was growing up.  It just never made it onto her menu selection.  I didn’t get exposed to lamb until I worked as a cook in a restaurant and once I did, I noticed right away how rosemary filled up a room with warmth.  These days we cook lamb often in our house, and when we do, I always look forward to the smell of rosemary and lamb filtering through the whole house and down the stairs into the basement with that unique warmth.  It’s hard to explain how a smell can represent warmth, but having a home filled with it is a special kind of thing.

I love the smell of a baby that’s been freshly bathed and dressed.  It’s hard to describe that smell because emotions come in to play.  It just seems like the smell of some sort of innocence, something new.  I like the smell of the inside of a new car too, but it’s not the same…

I’m not a big fan of winter.  To me, it represents cold and aching joints.  Oh, and let’s not talk about clearing snow and driving in it.  I have a four-wheel drive vehicle and I tend to get impatient with those little cars in front of me.  I just want to plow ’em down and be on my way.  But one thing I really love about winter is to walk outside and breath in the crisp, chilled air and discover my neighbors are burning wood in their fireplace or wood stove.  Some of my greatest winter nights have been spent breaking my back while clearing snow under a full moon with the smell of burning wood in the air.  When my neighbors come out and join me and share some beers, it becomes extra special.

I love the smell of a good dog.  All dogs have a particular smell about them.  But wet or dry, the smell of a dog says to me that a dog is within my reach, and any dog is a friend of mine.  A dog within my reach tells me that I am amongst friends.  I love dogs.

My next door neighbor likes to smoke meat outside.  He has at least a dozen different types of grills and smokers scattered around his yard.  On a warm summer day I just love it when I’m outside relaxing with a cocktail and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, comes that awesome aroma of meat smoking in a smoker.  It’s got to be the combination of hickory and the meat itself.  It makes me want to pour another cocktail!

There are times when you can walk outside in the fall and smell, well, fall.  I think it has something to do with the heat of summer going away and what’s happening with foliage, trees and other things that thrive in the summertime.  It’s a smell I can’t exactly describe, it’s just a sort of refreshing change in the air that your senses can distinguish.

It seems many of my favorite smells have to do with food.  the scent of smoked salmon always tells me I am about to eat some fine, tasty food.  It also tells me I am sharing that food with good friends or family.

My wife uses a recipe for ribs she got from a friend of ours.  When she makes these things the smell lingers in the house for at least a day afterward and I just love it.  How she does it is she fills a pot with water, adds fresh garlic, onion, and a whole bottle of Worcestershire sauce. Boil the ribs in that until the meat begins to fall off the bone, then sauce those bad boys down and finish them on the grill or under the broiler.  Not only do the ribs come out tender and with some darn good flavor, your house will smell great for a while!

The smell of my mother’s home-baked ham, green bean casserole and cheesy potatoes always tells me it’s Christmas Day and it tells me I am welcome, in a good place, and I am home.  I cannot think of a better place to be.

The smell of Chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven is almost like the feeling you get from eating your favorite comfort food.  It’s such a familiar, undeniable scent that’s always followed by something really, really yummy!

Homemade bread, as it’s waft of buttery subtlety seeps through the oven door,  also fills me with a warmth like rosemary.  It just tells me that someone has toiled to make something worth enjoying slowly.

I am curious to know what your favorite smells are.  We equate many parts and memories of our lives with our sense of smell.  From the time we are kids to our elder years, many times we associate moments in time with what we remember through our sense of smell.  What are some of your favorites?

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  1. minkmush

     /  January 21, 2013

    The smell of the ocean. The salty air and crashing waves satisfy 2 of my senses!

  2. Bruce Vavrinek

     /  January 21, 2013

    Favorite smells (in no particular order): bacon frying, chocolate chip cookies and bread baking, puppy breath, anything being grilled or smoked, first smell of cut grass in the spring.

    • KDawg

       /  January 21, 2013

      Right on, Bruce! I forgot about freshly cut grass. I like that smell every time I cut grass…of course, I have to exhaust myself to get to that smell! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Cassandra Reese

     /  January 21, 2013

    One of my favorite smells is citrus it is like taking a deep breath of sunshine and makes me smile. I love the smell of a lake, it makes me feel alive and happy and at one with nature. My all time favorite smell though is Lilac…it tells me that a Michigan summer is right around the corner and that old man winter is going to sleep!

    • KDawg

       /  January 21, 2013

      Ah yes, Lilac is one of mine as well. Jasmine, too. I also have a Princess Di hybrid tea rosebush in my yard that produces some spectacular blooms every year, and you can’t pull your nose away from them once you’ve gotten close to smell them!

      Thanks for visitng, Cassandra, and thanks for your comment! Have a great day!


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