Monday, April 28, 2014

Simple Stress Relief: On Scent and Memory


Happy Monday! Are you ready for a new week? A fresh start sounds good to me as, admittedly,  the last one was jammed with too many commitments and not enough hours or minutes. Add a few minor mishaps, and grumpiness ensued. How lovely then to find a giant bucket of lilacs waiting on the doorstep, left by our landscaper. It wasn't just the unexpected kindness that lifted spirits...


...but the luscious purple scent that filled the house. Suddenly it was a sunny spring twilight at my grandmother's and we were playing among the hedgerows of lilacs while the grownups talked and sipped cocktails...


The next day while running errands at the mall, impatience came on strong. Until someone walked by leaving a trail of Coco Mademoiselle, a scent worn by a friend on a girls' trip to Paris.


Suddenly it was long lunches and laughter and sharing secrets over too many glasses of wine and treats from Ladurée.


We've all experienced that sudden rush of memory that comes along with a heady scent. It's such a lovely sensation to out of the blue fall into the happy past at the unexpected hint of a favorite smell. (Here's an interesting article about the science of it all.) And so for the rest of the week, when feeling overwhelmed or anxious or just cranky, I played at recalling some of those scents that bring on a kind of time travel....


The salty, kelpyness of Puget Sound brings to mind ferry rides to a summer cabin and long days of sunshine and childhood bliss.


And certain sunblocks immediately provide transport to faraway places and vacation adventures.


It's such an easy game to play and a basically free source of stress relief!

So tell me, what scents conjure up some of your favorite memories?

Have a wonderful week, everyone! XOXO

23 comments:

  1. I love the scent of lilacs! What a thoughtful landscaper you have!

    Have a fabulous week, Jeanne!! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, wasn't that so thoughtful? Such a wonderful surprise. Hope you have a fabulous week, too, Sandy! XOXO

      Delete
  2. Frangipani makes me think of Bali, Vietnam and Bora Bora! Happiness...

    Have a wonderful week, Jeanne. And bravo for turning a hectic week into something positive...
    Bisous,
    H

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Heather. I was also thinking of the scent of Lavender fields and your beautiful part of the world! Hope you have a wonderful week, too! XOXO

      Delete
  3. lillacs ARE my childhood. always takes me back like nothing else. my mom's chanel too. your watercolor is beyond dreamy. wowwww!

    michele

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Michele. Lilacs, Chanel and childhood seem to go hand in hand. Hope you have a lovey week! XOXO

      Delete
  4. Good scents certainly do provide a mini-escape which is why I always have a lovely scented candle. Right now I am on the hunt for a new fragrance and want to try something new. I have a few in mind. I love lemon, mint, basil - perhaps this is a sign that I crave something to eat~ in the mediterranean.
    pve

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eating something yummy in the Mediterranean sounds like a fantastic stress reliever, too! Happy hunting for your new fragrance, Patricia! XOXO

      Delete
  5. Ok, now I want the smell of lilacs, Paris, and dessert! And can I tell you your illustration is beautiful.
    Teresa
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Teresa! Hope your week smells delicious! XOXO

      Delete
  6. Its so true how a scent can transport you back in time to a happy memory! I love the smell of burning wood in the Fall it reminds me of Ireland when I was little. Love all your art!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Karloyn. I love your scent-memory. How wonderful. Hope you have a wonderful week! XOXO

      Delete
  7. Your lilacs are so pretty and what a wonderful surprise to find them waiting for you;) Living in the moment and allowing a scent to transport you elsewhere .. nicely done. It's those little things that we all can do to manage the daily stress and chaos. Happy Monday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy Monday, Leslie. Yes, it's the littlest things that bring so much wonder and happiness to life, I think. XOXO

      Delete
  8. What a great idea...transport your mind to positive thoughts and experiences...

    ReplyDelete
  9. The scent of sunscreen always brings back memories of days at the beach and orange blossoms reminds us of our weddings. We'll be planting some lilacs this spring and can't wait for them to bloom. Hope this week is more restful for you, Jeanne.
    xxoo
    C + C

    ReplyDelete
  10. There are so many scents which immediately bring back memories of my childhood and also travel to faraway places - I believe it's the 'Proust effect.' Just a hint of ylang ylang takes me back to a memorable holiday in Mauritius a few years ago. I often put a few drops in an aromatherapy burner - so soothing!
    PS Coco Mademoiselle is one of my favourite summer fragrances - a pretty illustration in such lovley soft shades.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello Jeanne,
    what a lovely story you tell today...it is a warm evening here over the pond and the heady scent of lilac in the garden is wafting in through still-open windows.
    This is a special scent for me, as the lilacs were in bloom when I first saw this house .. and to remind me to cut a large bunch for my neighbour tomorrow...
    Im glad the ones you received gave you happiness

    ReplyDelete
  12. So many scents or touches of something in a restaurant or shop that takes me back to this time or that place. One is the orignal Jergen's lotion scent of cherry and almonds. For a number of years that scent was off the market. When I found it, memories of my mom who wore no perfume but this lotion comes flooding back!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Jeanne,
    I feel for you! Last week was a bit over scheduled in my life, too....and it reminded me that overcommitting has it's pitfalls. I love that you were surprised by a gift of lilacs and that it transported you to a happier time. I love the smell of freshly cut grass and sunscreen....both take me to summer. Soft, powdery fragrances remind me of my mom and gardenia reminds me of my grandmother. Here's to a calmer week and the scent of all that you hold dear!

    xoxo Elizabeth

    ReplyDelete
  14. Such a gorgeous post...scents, aromas have always meant so much to me...they bring back so many memories happy and sometimes a little sad...I love this post ;) xx

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...