Friday, January 10, 2014

See Beautiful: Smells Can Be Beautiful Too!

Smell is our most primitive sense. Marcel Proust is probably the most famous example of memory being triggered by an odor. He flashed back to his childhood upon smelling a madeleine (cookie), and ended up writing War and Peace as a result. Maybe it's a plus for most of us that cookie smells merely cause us to smile and head for the pantry.

We humans value smelling pleasant. This week I got a very nice present from Lydia at See Beautiful and Rosalyn at Sugar the Golden Retriever (visit them on the blog hop!).  They sent me Mimosa Soap from See Beautiful, and it does smell heavenly. 

I said it smells heavenly, Toby, not edible.
Speaking of edible, you probably knew that smell is crucial for our brains to process taste. One of my former colleagues did a great lab in her Anatomy and Physiology class. She provided several strongly flavored items, like minty gum and vanilla. She had her students hold their noses (blindfolded) and try to guess what they were tasting. Most of the time they were baffled, and she made her point. Next time you enjoy a beautiful treat thank your nose.

Consider that a dog's sense of smell is 14,000 times better than ours.
 Explains a lot.

It's not just food that seems more beautiful with a nice smell. I get a Yankee Candle jar that smells like a Christmas tree and burn it every day while our artificial tree is up. It was part of the deal I made with my husband to convince him to go with a tree made in China. I'm not alone: from Yankee Candle's own financial report

Retail sales were $176.0 million for the first six months of 

fiscal 2013, an increase of $13.2 million or 8.1% over the prior

 year period

Perfumes are big business too. Reportedly, a bottle of Chanel #5, 

based on tuberose and jasmine, is sold every 30 seconds. And who 

can help being disappointed by roses and other flowers that have 

no smell?

It's not just food and plants that smell nice. Think of babies and 

little puppies. Think of your significant other's scent. Actually, a 

common phenomenon when loved ones are separated is to hang on

 to an unwashed shirt or pillowcase for the comforting smell. 

When Kasey died I kept his brush, which hadn't been cleaned and

 was full of fur. For months I could pull it from the closet and 

soothe my grief with a sniff. To me, Kasey smelled beautiful. 

It works both ways too. A common tip for preventing separation

 anxiety is to put a nice stinky undershirt into the dog's crate.

I hope your sights and smells will be Beautiful today.


  1. The sense of smell is so important! And you are right, on our grief we tend to find the scent of our loved one. Ma says she loves my scent, except when I am dirty and "musky" but she sure knows one day she will miss both!
    Happy Beautiful Friday,

  2. Have a fabulous Friday and hard topic for us as we just washed Pips' blankets not that you'd have known. Have a good one.
    Best wishes Molly

  3. That is so true, but so smells we would just as soon skip MOL!

  4. Funny - I did a "hear" beautiful thing on my blog, and now here we have "smell" beautiful. Now if we can just find a taste post and a touch one we'll have all the senses covered!

    (Could not read that Merle passage... today is the 2 yr anniversary of losing our angel.)

  5. Hey Toby
    :sniff, sniff: Yep good buddy you do smell most delish today. What a great way to express TM,SB via smells. Hugs madi your bfff and thanks for your good wishes for my BIL he is the best!

  6. Totally agree about the power of a doggy nose. The sense of "smell" is very important. Mom loves candles too and helps me a lot to relax. When I was young mom always leaves a shirt for me to sniff (totally works). Happy Seeing Smell Beauty. Enjoy the soap. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  7. Oh you're right. Smells can be beautiful. Not only the food or a perfume, even the smell of the wind is great or the smell of the earth after a thunderstorm. yes, smells are beautiful

  8. I love new puppy smell. I also quite like the scent of horse which most people don't like, maybe because I like horses and so rarely see them in the city. A smell is a very powerful thing. I can still remember how my late father smelled and even my maternal grandfather who died when I was ten. Smell is very key to memory

    retro rover

  9. Lovely post. Interesting angle! I once heard someone interviewed on NPR and she had been a chef, I think.. She lost her sense of smell due to an illness or accident, and she could no longer cook. I think she really didn't want to eat either. It was a major disability. I'm pretty sure she wrote a book about it.

    Terry, from

  10. Smells are wonderful and thank you for sharing your beauty in smells.

  11. Toby OMDs you live in VA? We are nearly neighbors!!
    I don't think I knew that
    Mom's very best friend since 9th grade lives in Richmond.
    Hugs madi your bfff

  12. Smells can definitely be beautiful! You made me think of the scent of a wild columbine flower in the summertime. That was a welcome memory!

    I love this post.

  13. Hey Amy and Toby!!
    We tried to click on your email link but it didn't work Please send us your email. We are so excited about your pawticipation in QofH dance.

    Casey the boxer and his Sister Cinderella have volunteered to host a kissing booth. I would love to link you up with them.
    I'll send Casey's and email telling her what is up.
    Hugs Madi and Mom

  14. Don't eat the soap!!! It's a trap!


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