They (they being scientists and psychologist) say that smell has one of the biggest impacts on memory. For me, this is especially true for the smell of flowers, and not so great memories.
At my boyfriend’s house, his parents always have fresh flowers in the house, and usually have whatever flower is in season. I prefer the spring because they have tulips, but that is neither here nor there.
Over the weekend, I got to his house and was walking up the stairs and stopped in my tracks and go, “What is that smell!?” I had an immediate flash back to Jennifer’s wake, and was overwhelmed by the smell of one particular flower; lilies.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much this smell makes me sick. They are beautiful flowers, and I used to like the smell of them, but now, they actually make me sick to my stomach.
At Jennifer’s wake, there were so many flowers, it looked like a botanical garden. I specifically remember a yellow and white lily arrangement near the front of the room (next to where you kneel to pray), that were extra fragrant. Plus, after the funeral, we brought many of the flowers home, and they smelled up the house. To this day, even the slightest scent of lilies brings me back to Nif’s funeral, and all the emotions associated with it.
I understand the original use of fragrant flowers at wakes and funerals, but in modern times, there is no longer a need for them. I prefer flowers that have a light to no smell at all. That way, they are beautiful to look at, and don’t bring me back to a sad time.
I also don’t like the smell of Chanel CHANCE anymore. Well, I like the smell, but again, it brings me back to a sad place.
One smell that has a positive memory for me, that reminds me of Jen, is freshly tarred or paved drive ways and roads. This may seen absurd, but Jen and I would always relate this smell to family vacations down at Seaside Heights, NJ, because they were always re-tarring the roofs or the parking lots. Ever since, when we would drive by a construction zone or new driveway, we would say it smelled like Seaside Heights.