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photo by Simon Goldenberg*

Isn’t it strange that we have so few words for smells and odors? Isn’t it strange how much they can evoke memories and emotions despite our inability to speak and think about them clearly? – Or is it just me?

When I first used oil-based printing color, I thought its smell was bad, but somehow good – but I was unable to place the good feeling I had about it. Only when I opened the petroleum bottle to clean my plates in the evening I realized that it smelled like my grandfather’s studio. And then I realized: Sure, he was always painting in oil! And some of the smell of oil based paint and petroleum always seemed to cling to him.

Although I initially disliked the strong smell of linoleum. Now, when I open my ziplock bags to take out another piece, and the smell of it starts to fill my studio I feel immediate joy.

There are many more  stories I have about smells, how I came to like or dislike certain smells, and stories of sudden remembrance.  – What are yours?

(*photo taken from Simon Goldenberg’s Flickr Photostream)

One reply on “Smells”

  1. Hi Hilke

    I know just what you mean, my favorite smells are Polo mints and wood both remind me of my late father.

    There are sweets in UK called Polo mints. My father used to suck them to pretend to Mum that he hadn’t been smoking hehe. I used to meet him on the way home and he would take me to the park to the swings for a while. We ate mints, and I always think of him when I smell them.

    I love the smell of wood, pretty much any kind. This too reminds me of my father as he was always making things out of wood. He was a carpenter and the smell of wood reminds me of his workshop too.

    Lovely memories

    Billie 🙂

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