Smell is perhaps my favorite sense of them all. "Why?" you may be asking. When sight and hearing are so much more powerful and tell us so much more than our sense of smell, why would I like it better? It's not that I am not in possession of any of my senses; I can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. The fact of the matter is, my sense of smell brings something so much more unique than my other senses. It's hardwired directly to my memory.
Now, you may be thinking that that isn't so unusual. I have memory of sight and hearing as well, don't I? If I listen to a song, wait a week, and listen to it again, it will still be familiar to me. Same goes for sight, if I go somewhere, walk around, leave, and come back, I'll still know it. But smell is, again, more unique in its way of remembering.
When I was younger, my sister used to wear this light perfume. It was a very nice scent, floral, but not sickeningly sweet. And it was in everything she wore and it was everywhere she was. On the few occasions I was allowed into her room, I noted that it smelled strongly of this perfume.
The other day, while in a grocery store, a woman breezed past me. She was in a hurry, gone from sight before I had a chance to look, but in her wake she left a scent, and all I could think of was my sister. Memories I have of time spent with her flooded my mind and I was left to stand there, dumbfounded as to how, after all these years, I had come across that scent again.
You may be thinking still that this isn't so unusual, perfume is a universal thing. Okay. But what about personal smell?
About two months ago we it began to drizzle unexpectedly while my boyfriend and I were outside, being a tiny person with no insulation and a dislike of being cold in general, it wasn't long before I began to shiver. My boyfriend, of course, lent me his jacket. Naturally, it smelled like him.
You know when you walk into someone's house and it smells different than your own? Sometimes like cleaner or laundry detergent, sometimes like spices they frequently use? To me, that scent becomes their scent, for it is truly unique to that person/family.
Now, every time I walk into my boyfriends house or hug him, a little shiver goes up my spine and I think of that time, out in the rain, when I was safely cocooned in a jacket much too big for me.
So, in short, the sense of smell is my favorite because it's like a bunch of little memories every time I breathe in. Sometimes I just remember a person, sometimes a specific instance, but most of the time, it's just a sensation. I'll smell something and I'll remember a feeling, and I'll smile, because that's really nice.