Wednesday, 14 January 2015


Juliette sees the world through smell.  I wonder if it has anything to do with her food allergies, and that most of the smells she encounters in our kitchen she cannot partake of.  Whatever the reason, she always has her little nose going.  She sniffs out things long before we do, and always stops to "smell the roses" for a moment, her head tilted up, shifting ever so slightly from side to side.  She takes it all in, and then turns to me, "What's that smell?" she inquires.  Sometimes it is evident, sometimes I have to take a guess.  She catalogs everything and there is no fooling her about it after that.

The most amusing anecdote, though, is how quickly she smells out what is on your breath.  I cannot try to sneak a piece of chocolate or a few potato chips and then come within three feet of her.  I swear she can smell it in the air I breathe out.  Then she stops whatever she is doing (or saying) and comes in for a closer smell.  She will actually bring her nose right up to my mouth as I clamp it shut, trying to swallow down the betraying evidence.  And there is no diverting her, or even trying to claim it is something else.  The nose knows, so to speak.

I am even amazed that she remembers all the smells associated with foods she cannot have.  It is interesting to watch her explore the world of food forbidden to her.  She knows them all, even though she cannot taste each one.

She also shares my love of smells in nature: the smell of an early morning mist, or the difference between a cool fall morning and crisp winter dawn.  She notices the deepness of night, or the intrusion of something manmade.  She identifies a different smell between damp leaves and fresh rain in the trees.  It must be marvelous to experience the world so strongly in multiple senses.


Kevin H. said...

Very evocative, this.

I can still (vaguely) remember the smell of wet concrete and asphalt after a warm rain. The potency of that scent. Similar-but-not-equal-to the smell of a summer day, a smell I still associate in some way with injustice: the injustice of having to go to school on a day that "smelled like Summer".

I also remember, in a more grotesque register, the smell of "adult breath", particularly on a crisp, fresh apple after rendering it up for a shared bite. The oppressive, stale smell of the inside of an adult's mouth.

Oh to be a child again! :)

Thanks for this.

Kevin H. said...

(The great writing, I mean -- in addition to the walk down memory lane. Without the former there'd be none of the latter.)