General Question

Nimis's avatar

Do you ever crave certain smells?

Asked by Nimis (13245points) October 7th, 2008

Not the actual object/person associated with the smell, but just the smell itself?
Is it even possible to separate the any sense of longing/nostalgia and pure sensory enjoyment?

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28 Answers

cookieman's avatar

Sure. Pipe tobacco (unlit). Reminds me of my grandfather.

Nimis's avatar

Does your enjoyment of that particular smell correlate to
some longing to see or be with your grandfather though?

Nimis's avatar

Crap. Was trying to edit the question…please ignore the extra the.

SoapChef's avatar

When we ride the motorcycle esp Spring and Fall. We are on the Coast and sometimes there is this extraordinary clean, oceany smell that is great. The farmlands and forests provide lots of great smells, flowery, evergreeny and sometimes I swear I can smell the sun! I feel so blessed sometimes when this hits me! It makes the occasional dairy farm worth it!

Nimis's avatar

Soap: Smelling the sun just sounds err…impossible, but I totally know what you mean!
Though, do you think it is possible to enjoy this smell on a purely sensory level without any sense of longing (for farming, etc.)? Maybe just the first time?

basp's avatar

I love to smell fresh cut grass and the air after a good rain.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I love the smell of good weed. That isnt any kind of longing/nostalgia it just smells wonderful.

I also love the smell of a camp fire, but thats more of a nostalgia thing.

SoapChef's avatar

@ nimis. Oh, completely on a sensory level. No longing for farming here. Sometimes it is almost transcendental, purely in the moment. Like I said sometimes when the wind shifts or you round a corner and the cow pies prevail, that will knock you right out of your reverie!

Nimis's avatar

Mmmmm….am loving your answers.
I think people’s olfactory preferences are so charmingly unique.

aisyna's avatar

snow and winter

Mtl_zack's avatar

sometimes the opposite happens. i cant wait to get the smell out of my sinus.

Lve's avatar

fresh coffee…because it smells sooo good

deaddolly's avatar

I love the smell of cloves and patchouli.

We grew up in a house filled with allergic ppl, so most smells I’d rather not smell. ie super strong perfume, fresh grass, cigarettes etc.

And I love the smell that comes from the chimney of a great burger or steak place!

cookieman's avatar

Nimis: Sure, it’s always linked.

beccalynnx's avatar

hmm. yes. i found a few random stciks of incense in the bottom of my dresser once, and it was the best smeelling thing i’ve ever experienced. i have no clue what it was. i remember it was kinda fruity, but kinda earthy. mmm, it was delish.
and it can’t really be connected to anything nostalgic. oh, it just smelled so wonderful!

syz's avatar

This time of year, I put a pot of apple cider with mulling spices on the stove and simmer it all day, just for smell.

marinelife's avatar

I love the smell of lavendar. It transports me, but I don’t associate with a particular person or place.

After my husband and I moved to the Northwest, my husband took a deep breath of the air outside the airport and asked my Mom, “What’s that great smell?” and she said, “Fresh air.” There is a certain freshness in the air there that combines evergreens, water, and who knows what. It is just fresh air.

Can’t help it. I love the smell of burning leaves.

My dog Mackie has an amazing spicy fresh natural scent that I love. (This disappears if he has rolled in something vile.)

boffin's avatar

As a kid living in the Mid-west…I caught Firefly’s…They have an unique chemical odor. That smell takes me back to a simpler time.
Now and here in the Northwest. I love the smell of the forest, better yet that musty smell just after a rain.

susanc's avatar

I love that slightly chilly smell that bodies of fresh water have. It’s not a strong smell, it’s a deep fresh smell, low in temperature. It arrives and quickly disappears.

There was a bar of soap I had once about ten years ago that didn’t have a label any more.
It drove me nuts, it smelled so good. It wasn’t a perfumey smell, just a smell of cleanness.
No one could identify it. Every now and then I get a whiff of it off of another bar of soap, and they’re all completely un-alike. It smelled a little bit like clean milk.

marinelife's avatar

@susanc I love the smell of lake water!

augustlan's avatar

Mmmm, honeysuckle. Might be nostalgia for the freedom of youth. As an adult, I don’t get much of a chance to stick my face in a honeysuckle bush!

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

This has been a very thought-provoking conversation. I tried, but every smell I think of is a nostalgia thing. I guess that is why psychiatrists say that smells and memories are so closely linked. My favorite smell – summer rain on hot cement.

jvgr's avatar

I love the smell of rain.

acebamboo77's avatar

I live quite a distance from my boyfriend, and quite often i crave the smell of him, not necessarily his cologne, but the mixture of his cologne and the smell he brings home from working in the machine shop all day… mmmmm.
sometimes when im walking in a public place i my nose will catch a faint smell of his cologne, and as silly as it sounds i savour the smell for as long as i can, before it drifts out of existence.

MicaDirtCat's avatar

I love the smell of kinda dirtied brass. Sounds weird I know, but when I was a kid I used to suck my thumb and my fingers, right under my nose, smelled like the front doorknob. I feel asleep to it and loved it so much I would sometimes make a special trip to the hallway to “refresh” it.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

lilacs, roses, and garden phlox. A sweet smelling flower is one of my favorite things in the world. That might be why I’ve ripped up all the sod in my yard and put in flowers. The all-too brief odor of the blooming viburnum bush in my yard is something I look forward to every Spring.

peridot's avatar

Umm… so many things smell amazing and are uplifting and/or nostalgia-inducing. There’s one thing though: Every once in a great while, I get an almost hunger for the scent of roses. It never lasts long, but in that time, I’m snufflin’ on any rose-scented doodah I can lay hands on like a drug-sniffing dog. It doesn’t evoke any memories or cause any physical rush… I just crave it at random times of the year. Is this maybe a little weird?

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