(This post is dedicated to Socrates – that’s an apple from you, Missy!)
You roll over in bed groggily and slowly open your eyes. Sitting up slowly, you reach across your bedside table to switch off your alarm and… Ugh. You sigh heavily, as you reach for another tissue and blow your nose. You have a cold.
There aren’t many things which annoy me more in the world than waking up on a nice morning with a blocked nose. Not only does this mean that I will sound funny for the rest of the day, it also means that I won’t be able to smell anything. Of course, the relief of getting my sense of smell back when my cold is finally over is mingled with gratefulness: I will never take for granted my ability to smell ever again. And I’m sure we all have these days.
I didn’t even realise though, that the loss of smell was an actual thing. That might sound a bit ignorant, but I didn’t know that it could be permanent, or that it could affect other things as a result. *Clears throat* Exhibit A:
- the loss of the sense of smell, either total or partial. It may be caused by head injury, infection, or blockage of the nose.
I just think that sometimes we aren’t thankful until we have lost a functioning sense (i.e. the cold situation) but I’m going to be grateful for it now. So, coming up, my top 5 most and least favourite smells. Let’s start with the bad stuff shall we?
5. New Leather
I really hate the smell of fresh leather. It’s almost as if I am smelling the grief of the cow who has been skinned for these shoes, and the smell makes me kind of cringe. I don’t really know how else to explain it, but if you get it, then you get it.
4. PVA Glue
This smell is so synthetic and fake, and all the chemicals really don’t seem to agree with my nose. It makes me feel sick and especially when the glue is drying, it makes me feel like I’m in some sort of laboratory.
It gets a bit personal here… Myself and grass (or just pollen in general) have never been on the best of terms; I have hayfever. And in summer, the smell becomes so intense I can’t even step out of my house without keeling over.
How can anyone like the smell of these? No matter what you put bananas in, be it juice, smoothies, sorbet, whatever, I can sniff the banana and it really puts me off!
1. The Dentist
I can’t even describe it entirely, but the smell of the dentist surgery tastes really bad. It puts this horrible, stinging taste in my mouth, the back of my throat starts to feel dry and it’s moments like those where I really wish I couldn’t smell it.
OK, so now I’ve covered the bad, I think it’s safe to say that there are some really good ones:
No, I’m not a druggie, but the smell of petrol is just… delicious! When my parents are getting petrol and I’m sitting in the car, I love putting the window down to sniff the fumes of petrol around me. And yes, I KNOW they’re toxic… but all good things in moderation, right?
4. Fresh Chips
I’m not talking about your average fries, I’m talking about the chunky, warm, soft, ‘fish n chips’ chips that you get. The warmth you can smell, and how just the smell of them can make your mouth water imagining how delicious they taste. It’s pretty similar with the smell of freshly baked bread.
3. Guy’s Coats
Let me just clarify: I’m not a stalker. I don’t go round sniffing guy’s coats. But sometimes, you hug a guy or something and you just get a whiff of them – it’s not even aftershave or anything, it’s just THEM. And it is such a nice smell.
2. New Books
If you don’t understand where I’m going with this then, please. Go immediately to the nearest book shop, take a novel off the shelf, fan the pages in front of your nose and just INHALE. It is a life-changing experience. And if you have done this then, you know what I’m talking about.
1. My Mum
Sounds a bit funny, but one of my favourite smells is my mother. When I smell her, it makes me think of adjectives which describe how I feel about her; her smell is a protective, caring, loving one. I feel safe and comforted whenever I smell it. Like I said, sounds a bit funny, but yeah!
As I said at the beginning of this post, we only appreciate something when it’s gone. Don’t wait until you have anosmia to appreciate the beautiful smells of things around you everyday. And no, it doesn’t mean that you have to actively sniff everything and everyone, nor does it mean that you must find the odour of every turd on the street ‘artistic’ and ‘inspiring’. Because some things just really do stink! But it means that we need to recognise that not every single day is promised to us (people say this at church all the time but it’s time like these I understand it!) and we should live every day like it’s our last. This ideology really isn’t just limited to our abilities to smell though; it’s about everything.
Try not to wait until you no longer have the ability to do things. Do things while you can, and appreciate them.
A bit of a lighter, happier note today… I’d love if you commented to let me know about your favourite smells or if you agree with any of mine!