I have never smelled napalm in the morning. Or the afternoon, for that matter.

There are a few things which trigger feelings or memories for me. One is smell, another is music, another is books.

Whenever I read The Witches I am instantly ten years old again, and scared out of my mind. I think the first time I read that book I got close to cardiac arrest. It's so good. When I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone I am a junior in high school and completely enthralled. Neverwhere reminds me of a time before I'd heard of Neil Gaiman. (That was a dark time indeed.)

The scent of wet asphalt on a hot day after a brief rainstorm smells a lot like my childhood (as does grass). This happens to be one of my favorite smells, which some people find gross. To me, it smells like summer and playing on the swings. You know, the swings.

Evergreen trees and campfire and lake water smell like the Boundary Waters, one of two places I consider to be the best place in the world. I developed an appreciation for the outdoors and camping there, I learned to canoe there, and I met wonderful people there. I unpacked my tent a few weeks ago when the weather was nice, and it still smells like Boundary Waters from last summer. Favorite smell!

Scotch (particularly scotch with an especially strong peaty smell) smells like Ireland. Ireland is the other best place in the world. It smells like peat, bread (thank you, Guinness brewery), and grass/mud. If I could bottle "Ireland" as a scent, I'd probably bathe in it every day. Peat might be my other very favorite smell. People would probably think I smelled gross.

The smell of lobster reminds me of my grandparents' house. The musty used-bookstore smell reminds me of high school, when I first discovered second-hand bookstores. A certain flavor of deodorant gives me visions of the high school band trip to San Antonio, where one of my friends with whom I shared a hotel room used it. The smell of latex gloves make me think of dissecting cats in biology, and then smelling like dead cat for the rest of the day. Stinky feet make me think of gymnastics - all gymnastics gyms smell like sweat, feet, and chalk.

I like smells. I'm a very smell-oriented person. I smell things before I eat or drink them. Depending how well I know the person I occasionally smell things before other people eat or drink them. I'm pretty sure this makes me weird. People will ask if I want to try some of their [insert appropriate food/drink/marker here] and I'll say, "Well, sort of. Could I smell it?"


And that is what I have to say about smells.

Music will have to wait for another time.

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