How do fragrance-induced dream states find us?
Meyer lemons remind me of my mom and grandma. When I smell a meyer lemon, no matter where I am, who I'm with, or what I'm doing, I am instantly transported back to the porch of my great-grandparents mobile home in Oceanside. They had a Meyer lemon tree in a pot on that porch. It was positioned just so. It caught the breeze perfectly, the porch, their entire home, alive with this blossom.
My mom always had meyer lemon trees at our house. She would cut one in half and squeeze it into a tall glass of iced tea in the summers.
My girls love to make lemonade with meyer lemons now. Much too sweet for my taste, though I still love to sit in the kitchen while they make it, so I can breathe in the smell, inhale these visceral memories and listen to my girls make their own.
I get it now, Helen. These are fallen angels. The meyer lemon is one of my fallen angels.
Our sense of smell collapses time and space into a single, simple fragrance we can't help but recall, pursue, and have faith in. We smell and instantly these memories are real. We are transported, we are immersed.
How deep this connection between the smell and experience, how foundational it must be in all that we do.
If we ever discovered time travel, we'll get there with the nose.
And maybe we already have? Think of all the doors we can unlock with a simple, swift, fleeting fragrance. We can resurrect seasons and lovers and grief and unnamed sensations buried within us since before we had language or awareness. We can unearth long forgotten memories and friends, oceans and warmth, weddings and devastation and longing, all with a simple smell.
What is your favorite smell and where does it take you? Who do you visit? What voices, what songs, what visions appear? What surprises you? What wakes you up? What casts you into daydreams?
Do you intentionally integrate certain smells into your routine? How do you explore or record these fragrance-induced dream states?
Or do you prefer to wait patiently knowing they will find you as needed?