Years ago when I first started blogging, there was a poem template that made the rounds. It would probably be called some type of meme in the blogging world today. The poem was entitled, “Where I’m From.” I found the original template here and I encourage you to try it. “The prompts have a way of drawing out memories of the smells of attics and bottom-drawer keepsakes…” Being from a divorced home, I found it interesting I could not write one poem, I had to write two very distinct versions and each version contained very distinct smells. It’s funny how a smell can take you right back to another person, place or time.
“Our sense of smell is the sense most closely associated with memory, and it has the power to transport us to another time.”
Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers
The four homes I spent my childhood in all contain a common smell–cigarette smoke. Same smell but different scent; does that make sense? In the home I grew up in my step-dad smoked Marlboro Reds–pungent, acrid, stomach turning. My maternal grandma’s house smelled like the inside of a cigarette. Everyone smoked over at her house and different brands of cigarettes for that matter. Family pictures taken over there during holidays or get togethers all reveal a thin layer of smoke settled over the room–for real, clearly visible in old photos. The memories conjured up from there are suffocating. And as an adult, after a family function over there, one week later I would have a respiratory infection, every.single.time. The cigarette smell from my step-dad’s parents was cigarette smoke tinged with potpourri. My grandma was a creative genius long before Pinterest came along. She was always crafting something and always had crushed up potpourri in bowls or sachets. And finally, the place I loved…Camel, unfiltered and coffee…you cannot separate the two smells–Camels and coffee. This was my dad’s parents home. Years later, even after my grandpa stopped smoking, I swear I could still smell the cigarettes. Their house always smelled like Ivory soap too.
Our homes take on a life/smell of their own without us even realizing it. My sister walked into my home one day, inhaled deeply and said something about loving the smell of my home. And years ago I had a friend who told me the smell of my house reminded her of her best friend growing up. She loved the smell of my home because her childhood best friend and adulthood best friend smells collided. Both of these struck me as terribly funny. I didn’t realize my home had a smell since I’m not much of a candle person and I’m definitely not a plug in or room deodorizer person either.
In an effort to be intentional about the care, including smell of my own home, I have started using a diffuser with essential oils. (Wait. This has not suddenly turned into a “Join my team” post. I don’t have a team. I’m an introvert…I don’t even want a team.) These efforts are the result of intentionally trying to infuse my home with beauty and truth that reach the senses–sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing. I have found this doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.
I think I have found the perfect frugal, introvert, dip my toe in the
water essential oil solution. I have no desire at this point to ingest or create with essential oils, I just want to infuse them into my home. Because of that, I don’t need classes, education on how to use or mix the oils, brochures or packets of continuing education literature. I don’t need a monthly subscription or a distributor. After looking into essential oil companies and their fees and their distributors, I started clicking around Amazon. I found exactly what I was looking for and in some instances cheaper. (Please don’t explain to me quality verse cost if you are distributor. I get where you’re coming from, really I do. I just want some lovely smells for my home in the most economical way.)
The past two months I’ve been using this diffuser with scents from by Edens Garden. One of our favorites is Anxiety Ease. Leo will even ask for “Ziety Eeze” in the morning when I turn on the diffuser. Our other favorites have been Joy and Uplift. *UPDATE: We’ve been using Anxiety Ease with Lavender the last couple of nights to help with sleeplessness associated with anxiety.
I share all this for a couple of reasons. I mentioned in my Daybook post the other day how starved I’ve been for reading. As I’ve been devouring books lately, my desire for intentional homemaking has been rekindled. It has basically laid dormant since Chris was traveling all those many months for work; we were strictly in survival mode. As I look around for ways to be intention–to bring beauty and truth into my home, I want to do it through the eyes of being a good steward of our finances. I also take into consideration my introverted personality and my season of what seems like non stop life. I think it’s important to consider all those factors and I was so pleased to find Amazon met those immediate needs and was able to offer exactly what I needed.
Tell me, what is the smell you most remember from your childhood?