Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Smell of Blueberries on the Road

The schnoz is an amazing mechanism. One tiny whiff, and you can be transported to distant memories of your childhood. It's happened to me many times throughout my life, yet each time it occurs, I'm still surprised at the power behind the "recall".

As you might expect, one of the benefits of riding a motorcycle is being out of "the cage" of an automobile, to experience the elements without barriers. What you might also expect, is the interesting smells (some pleasant, some not so much) you encounter while out in the open air.

Of all the various aromas to bump into while riding, I admit that frosted blueberry pop tarts was toward the bottom of my list of expectations. I've smelled it twice, in different places; once in a rural area, once in the city, but the scent was unmistakable. I was transported to the times I enjoyed my favorite flavor of pop tarts and wished there was a plate of them in front of me, hot and fresh out of the toaster.

I don't get many pop tarts these days, but it's nice to relive them through these unexpected moments. What aroma has taken you back lately?


Elijah Davidson said...

It wasn't so much a smell that struck me recently, but the absence of smell. I went bowling Tuesday evening, and the bowling alley didn't smell like old cigarettes. It almost didn't really feel like bowling.

Anonymous said...

The smell of beans cooking on the stove right now. Reminds me of childhood. A family of seven living on a teacher's salary eats a lot of beans and rice.

Richard Gaspard said...

Last Friday, I got roped into going to see a band at a casino about an hour from here. These are the smells I encountered (not necessarily in this order or magnitude):

tobacco smoke (fresh and stale)
air freshener (fresh and stale)
Ben Gay (fresh and stale)
cheap cologne (fresh and stale)
cheap perfume (fresh and stale)
beer (mostly stale with some fresh)
rum (mostly fresh)
Mexican food (fresh, but very muted by the first three)

So, there you go, Blueberry Pop-Tart. Open CA roads don't smell anything like cloistered LA casinos.

Mark Keefer said...


You are very attentive to your nose!

mandy said...

I learned in college (psych stuff) that the sense of smell is related to like 85% of memories... So, whenever we smell stuff we really are transported to moments.
You're not crazy. I don't think you thought you were, but wanted to tell you in case you do (think you're crazy).