‘Olfactory-evoked recall’ is one of the terms used to describe the sudden burst of memories and emotions that can be summoned from a sudden whiff of a certain scent. This happens to me a lot. For example, two-stroke engine oil reminds me of riding on the back of a motorbike when I was younger, and the smell of sandlewood reminds me of a soap we always seemed to have as a kid.
Yet none is as strong as the memories and emotions that come racing back from the scent of sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) and creosote…. My Dad made my sister and me a ‘Wendy House’, and would use creosote once a year to keep it in good condition. He would also use it liberally on the tree house, and fence panels.. So the smell immediately puts me back into the Wendy house, pretending that I owned a cafe/garage etc. And sweet peas were always grown in my Grannie’s garden. I would pick her a bunch each time I went to see her. My Dad also used to grow them, and to me there is nothing quite as beautiful, yet understated as a sweet pea…..
As I am not really likely to do much in the way of creosoting, I shall happily make do filling my olfactory system with the smell of my newly flowering sweet peas 😀
Go on, take a sniff….
What smells evoke memories for you?
Happy planting 🙂