Tag Archives: senses

smell of happiness.

Your house smells. It's not your fault.
Your house smells. Don’t feel bad—it’s not just you! Your neighbor’s house smells, as does the White House. Even Martha Stewart’s abode has a distinctive odor. But not one of you could pick your own home’s aroma out of a scent lineup.

We adapt to smells very quickly. Within the space of just a few breaths, we can lose our ability to detect new odors. It’s called olfactory adaptation, and it’s the same reason you can’t smell your own breath, your body odor, or even your perfume after a few minutes. This, cognitive psychologist Pamela Dalton told New York Magazine, may be a good thing.

Every object in our environment gives off scented molecules. When you inhale, the molecules pass through your nostrils and stick to a wall of mucus on the back of your throat. That mucus is home to receptor cells that tell your brain what it is you’ve just sniffed. Our brains watch out for danger. Any change in our surroundings could represent a threat, so the brain focuses on new sights, sounds, feelings—and smells. After a few sniffs, you should know what needs to be dealt with and what’s okay to ignore. Fresh cut flowers? Nice, but not a problem. The smell of burning hair? Maybe to check that out.

Are you worried that your house reeks and nobody’s telling you? You may be able to find out by employing a few tricks of the perfume trade. Since familiarity is the key, you can give your nose a fresh start by leaving the house for a few hours. When you return, you should be able to get a good idea of what everyone else smells.

If that doesn’t work, try jumping around the room for a few minutes. The increased blood flow can briefly improve your sense of smell. Perfumers actually run up and down the stairs between sniffs, Dalton says. (The downside of vigorous exercise is that you may become a little fragrant yourself.

In the end, how the house smells may be less important than how we feel about it; there’s nothing quite like the smell of happiness.

“my theory on housework is,

if the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be.

no one else cares. why should you?

-erma bombeck



story credits: mental floss – kate horowitz, new york magazine

image credit: tim oun

scents and sensibility.


The New York Times recently published an article in which they discuss the power of scents to transport us. “Scents and memory are inextricably tied together – the smell of a grandmother’s house, a childhood pet, or a particular brew of morning tea.” NYT restaurant critic, Tejal Rao, has even has created a “Smell Museum” of her life in LA, cataloging the aromas she encountered in her home and office. The paper asked readers to send them their scent memories. This got me thinking about my own scent memories:

 Freshly cut grass – brings me back to my childhood Saturday mornings, waking up to my dad mowing the lawn, windows open, curtains blowing

Jergen’s Lotion (Original Scent) – Almond and Cherry – the lotion my mother bought and we all used

Coffee brewing – When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I was drawn to this amazing aroma and I never have stopped loving it

Baby’s Heads – Always takes me instantly back to when my babies were little

Herbal Essense Shampoo – (Original Scent )- My teen years, and trying to figure out life, I felt beautiful when using this shampoo on my hair


What are some of your scent memories? Good or bad –

“nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it.”

  • -vladimir nabokov



credits: NYT – Jaspal Rivait, Melissa Kirch, Tejal Rao



while sitting 

in the little waiting room

at my optometrist’s office

I looked up from my reading 

as a man entered 

 the wave of his cologne

washing over me

my nose was overwhelmed

drowning out my other senses

 I knew it was being absorbed

into my clothes, my skin, my hair

my eyes began to burn and water

luckily he was called first

I felt for the doctor

 and was reminded of him

when I entered the examining room 

where he had left his mark

moving on

toward his next unsuspecting victim.

“i think it’s interesting that ‘cologne’ rhymes with ‘alone.’ “

-demetri martin



image credit: liveoutlaw.com

lose your mind and come to your senses. – fritz perls



why is it



feel the need


turn up






foreign film





my language




a language

i don’t understand?


the five senses are the ministers of the soul. – leonardo da vinci

image credit: chun king express

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