Olfactory Delights

The baby gurgled and holding her close to me the gentle ‘Baby Johnson Lotion’ smell evoked a broody and emotional tug in my heart. Holding my baby daughter years ago and sniffing her baby smell is something that I’d never forget. Driving back home other olfactory delights came streaming into the consciousness. Entering the bathroom after my dad had showered using Mysore Sandal soap was pure joy. The smell of freshness was so physical that I could almost touch it. I remember using the soap myself and trying to get some lather from the soap was never easy, but the perfume compensated. I used to come out of the shower exuding a lovely scent that always gave me a luxurious feeling. Other memories vied for attention. Cuticura talc a liberal sprinkling before rushing off to school, spreading white plumes that landed on the clean tiles. That was a source of pleasure. The soft petals of fresh jasmine or champak in my hair or the smell of crushed flowers when I woke up in the morning, the pillowcase strewn with browning flowers is ingrained in my dna. Memories are not made up of only scenes or people. They can be composed of strong smells, pleasant and unpleasant that makes our lives rich and returns when we least expect. A visit to a friend and seeing a small baby brought on a flood of memories. A lovely surprise.

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