To candle-lovers and friends, welcome to the first edition of ‘Scents, Sense, and Fragrance’, a “blogette” devoted to that stepchild of our senses: smell! Though you may not consciously notice it, everything and everybody around us has a scent, whether manufactured or natural. In our culture we make every effort to erase our own and replace it with something else. Likewise, the world around us, be it horse barn, mountain peak, or urban parking garage, has a complex, multi-dimensional scent. Add to the emanations from the cosmetics, household, and perfume industry and we live in a world of smells.
Since Cleopatra’s time, and probably before, perfumes have been used to create a lasting presence in the mind of the perfumee, so to speak. How does it work? It turns out that the olfactory nerve, after a few detours, connects directly to the area in your brain where long-term memories are stored. Thus, a nice long sniff of those old sneakers, or your mom’s pearled sweater—or even the cow-scented fields you roamed as a child—will bring memories flooding to fill the moment, a happy feature of your brain’s circuitry!
I spend a bit of time on this back-story because it absolutely governs the way I make scents, which is based on the way they reach back into the farthest corner of memory. My ”Comfort Zone” candle series Basil Faultless, Forever Dawn, Sweet Solitude, Smoke and Mirrors, and Spice Dreams, come from my own memory files. Next week I will describe them one by one. We have plenty of time.