Turkey soup is simmering on the stove, and apple cider is mulling beside it. Both are comforting smells. Smell is the most basic sense and evokes a host of emotional responses that literally take us back in time. I love the smell of turkey cooking because it reminds me of Thanksgiving dinners with the family. Turkey is healing all by itself, but thoughts of family bring an added measure of comfort. Turkey soup warms right to my core and helps me sleep. There are chemical reasons for that, but there are also strong emotional ones.
Smell is associated with the most ancient and primitive part of our brain. The research in our reactions to smell shows that it isn’t the smell that brings a response as much as our expectation of the smell. If we are told the aroma we are going to smell is a pleasant one, we are likely to find it pleasant. The suggestion we receive sets our mind, and our expectation causes mood to improve. I love lavender and have it all around my house. It relaxes and soothes and helps me sleep. I wonder at that since it is a smell I associate with my father, and he brought anything but peace to me as a child.
I can vividly remember going into the bathroom when he was shaving. We only had one bathroom so there were often several in at one time, especially in the morning as we all got ready for school and work. Daddy used lavender aftershave, so it was present each morning. It’s a powerful smell and one that is used in aromatherapy for relaxation, so maybe the smell is stronger than the association:)
Cooking smells bring comfort, and vanilla is at the top of the list when it comes to scents that are found to be pleasing. Mama said she and her sisters would put a drop of vanilla extract behind their ears when they went on a date. It turns out they were wearing a fragrance men still find more alluring than expensive perfumes. Cinnamon and pumpkin pie are also known to get a man’s attention in a powerful way:)
There is a new fragrance out on the market, and it’s the scent of Pizza Hut. I suppose in the future, there just might be a turkey perfume and even one that smells like bread baking. I used to love the commercial where the ladies were out on the town and one was attracting men like crazy. She simply opened her purse, showed the others a slab of bacon, and said that it worked every time:) I believe there may be something to that!
Whatever the science behind smell, I know that I’m enjoying the smells coming from the kitchen right now. I love to cook, and I love to share my cooking with others even more. I guess I inherited my mama’s cooking gene. There was nothing Mary Sue liked more than cooking up and serving great food, and she did it better than anyone I know. When Mylah and Lillyann are playing in their little kitchen, I see a lot of mama in them and can smell the sweet memories of the love that went into every meal she prepared. I take a deep breath and sigh contentedly:)