the power of smell


Smell is such a powerful sense. Most of the time we don’t even realize it, but scents are all around us, every day, affecting our moods and our thoughts and our memories.
I walked through the park tonight and suddenly smelled him.
A lover’s scent is one of the most powerful odors in our memory repertiore; probably only second to that of our mothers. We’re intimate with them, very physically intimate and over time learn their many smells. Their cologne. Their body scent. The scent behind their ear and the scent between their legs. And it stays with you. Years later you can suddenly catch that scent and be transported back to that time, that place, that body.
Yes, his cologne scent was there. It’s a popular cologne (damn it all to hell) so that’s nothing unusual. But there’s cologne, and then there’s the particular tinge the cologne gets when it mixes with an individual’s body chemistry, and that scent was there too. It travelled up and up and I was surrounded by it and it was all I could smell and it seemed like it was even on my clothes.
I had flashes:
of walking the same path through the same park holding his hand and feeling excited and scared and so much in love my heart would burst.
of leaning against the door to my apartment, kisses coming so strongly my knees actually got weak, my head pushed back against his shoulder from the force of his kiss, wishing I could suspend the moment in time forever.
of the smell of his neck which I loved to nuzzle.
of darker versions of that same scent from his chest, his thighs, that wonderful spot in between.
My heart was pounding and I was wrapped in sensory memories so strong they took my breath away and damn it all I know it’s been forever ago and we’ve both moved on but dammit, there he was just like he’d never left. For ten minutes or more, I couldn’t shake him.Scent is a powerful thing. It never lets you forget, even when you want to.

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Vikki McKay
By Vikki McKay

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