Friday, September 10, 2004

A vast amount of scientific research exists about the link between smell and memory. And many people who have been through the process of either buying and/or selling a home know about the age-old trick of putting a pot of coffee on when having an open house of the house for sale. I know if I smell my mother's spaghetti sauce, my brain goes to some happy place of simple times and a slight umbilical dependence.

There is also some research about the link between smells and the propagation of the species. Apparently women are more sensitive to smells when ovulating, and will seek out a mate whose smell is different to our own. Our smell is determined by a number of things (putting my Dolce and Gabbana to the side for one moment!), and one of these factors is our immunity.

Now all of this sounds very technical, but comes down simply to the fact that we prefer the smells of some people over others.

My ex, Pubes, had a bodily odour that I adored. On the demise of our relationship, I desperately wanted to keep something of his that he had worn, just to hold on to that smell. If I smelt him now, many years later, I am unsure as to what reaction I would have. I fear that I would still find the smell alluring.

N, on the other hand, had a smell that was not bad per se, but just never gave me a complete sense of comfort. I don't know why, but the fact that we have broken up (amicably at that), imbues me with a sense of relief on the heart, and the nose.

Other men I have dated have had distinct odours also. D smelled beautifully of a combination of soap and dewy rain. A bizarre thing, but he felt "clean" to be near. Shame he was a prick to me really.

B does wear a divine scent, but many hours after its application, by which time I expect its effects to have diminished, I begin to smell the real "him". And it is intoxicating. I love lying beside him in bed, "spooning" if you will, drinking in the smell of him. It feels comforting, beautiful and right.

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