Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I think most of us consistently and pragmatically underestimate the power of smell. 

As I walked the dogs this morning I breathed deep the crisp air and pulled it deep within my lungs, breathing coolness into the warmth of lung and blood coursing through cool skin, then breathing need into the Halloween air in a sigh of vapour and feeling the whisper of snow rustle along my skin, tickling my nostrils with the promise of the coming winter.

I smell earth, rich, loamy, dampness underneath the crackle of leaves beneath my boot, with the hint of frost clinging to the leather sole and crackling in the morning dark.  Earth smells dark and rich and fecund, for the dying leaves nestle into the embrace of soil and sigh their goodness into its deep environs.  The cool air tastes of mint and frost upon my tongue and coats my throat with a whisper of tomorrow’s inevitability and smells like peppermint in the early gloam of morning.

The warm, living reality of dog drifts on the crispness of autumn want and envelops me in its sweet furred simplicity.  Dogs smell of warmth and need and smooth muscle and coarse fur which coats the back of your nose and slides along your skin like home.

The moon hangs low in the sky, a pulsing silver orb spilling silver light through the drifting dream of trees shedding their summer mantles, trunks crisping grey in the dark of the early morning, breathing cold into the gloaming darkness.

I gaze up into the clarity of sky and night and watch the stars twinkle distantly in frosty grandeur, so removed from the summer nights which envelope and cocoon in heat the damp, salt of our bodies.  Summer holds us close; the earth and sky surround and enfold and smells dance on breezes in a kaleidoscope of colour and song.  Autumn is more subtle; to my mind, more enticing in its cool richness and aroma of dreaming sleep to come.

My mind flickers and dances over the reality of smells which engender thought and emotion and remembrances with a clarity which seems to fold time in on itself and bring you into the moment. 

I walk into the house and the smell of crisp recoils from the warmth of wall and floor and the whispering, conjoined realities of home.  Lavender and vanilla swirl and breathe welcome while the dogs’ fur breathes cool still and underneath, the canine reality of bone and sinew barks for precedence over the twitching whispering chuckles of the radiators.

The scent of him in the closeness of our room when I pull back the quilt and as if blind, run my fingers along his sleep damp body. The warmth of his skin breathes rich into my nose as my fingers read skin and soft waking muscle. 

I nuzzle my mouth between his thighs into the warmth of his groin and close my eyes (although in the darkness of the room, dark whispers smell to me) and breathe deep the aroma of his sleeping body.  A sheen of clean, astringent sweat, and the earthy, moistness of the pale tender skin and then I run my lips along the stirring length, sipping want into its burgeoning need.

My nostrils flare and I smell the swelling taste of him, the sharper, mouth puckering deliciousness and his odour slides down my throat and permeates the close air of the closed chamber and I want to roll and coat myself in the familiar yet ever new pheromones and feel my breasts tighten and an ache between my thighs.

In the darkness my eyes are blind and the febrile touch of finger and the smell of our realities mesh and meld and paint the room rich and scarlet.

What smells bring memories alive to you?


greengirl said...

Oh Selkie, This is gorgeous.

The books say that a woman's sense of smell becomes stronger when she's pregnant. Mine just never went away again. My husband laughs, but can't deny that I have a much more acute sense of smell than he. Maybe it's so we can smell trouble on our kids when they're older?

I could go on and on about the scents and aromas and odors that have deep associatiosn for me, but you've done it so beautifully, I won't dare.

One of the oddly very surprising things I've learned recently is that own my scent is appreciated, even adored, by one in any case. I was like a lot of women and thought it should rather be banished.

selkie said...

gg, mine DID when pregnant (I had to change the entire route I took to work as I went by a deli that I used to think was deliciously aromatic and when pregnant, made me gag LOL) and like you, it never seemed to go away - I have a VERY sharp sense of smell...

I know exactly what you mean about learning to appreciate our own scents; big business has worked hard to convince us that we smell "bad"; thank god the douches of my youth are no longer popular (as they caused chronic infections as they killed all the good bacteria).

As women I concur completely we need to embrace and realize our natural odours are delectable.

Anonymous said...

I could easier live without sight than touch or smell/taste.

Scents, I always wondered if men could smell my horniness or just after being fucked.....I mean, I smell me pretty acutely when I am over the top either way.

Blindfolded women can identify their own babies from smell. Yes we need this adaptation for us women.

Did you know that color perception changes in pregnant women too?

Jz said...

Let's see... There are tons but most take too many words.

roses are my mother's death.

lilies of the valley are happy spring evenings as a child.

salt air over honeysuckle is home.

ronnie said...

Lovely post Selkie.

A certain pipe tobacco reminds me when of sitting on my grandfathers knee and him telling me stories.

The smell of the ocean a longing to go back to where I call home.

I love to be out early when the morning is just wakening and smelling the crisp fresh cold air, no memories there, just something I like to do.


selkie said...

RWK – no, I didn’t realize that colour perception changes as well! Astonishing. I think men CAN smell us – even when the smell is subtle – pheromones are powerful things. I read a study recently done with strippers and it discovered those ovulating made FAR more money than those who were not...and I also remember that study about the babies – as I said, we consistently underestimate how powerful our sense of smell is.

JZ – yes, lilies of the valley sing spring to me as well! I am intrigued ... salt over honeysuckle – two smells I would never have put together.

Ronnie – the ocean, as you know, is “home” to me and the smell triggers an immense reaction in me ....pipe tobacco- yes, another powerful scent and one common in my childhood but something our children probably never experienced. And it’s no secret how much I relish the early morning air on a crisp autumn day.

mouse said...

Ocean aside. I love the smell of the trees after a good rain here in the mountains. But it's rainy here so often I really only notice the first few.

I also like the smell of snow. I know that is really weird.

Nolens Volens said...

The smell is the most powerful memory trigger of all. I'd smell something specific and flash back to my boyhood days. Good post!

The Beautiful Kind said...

This was a beautiful post! So sensual, I love how you intertwine nature with sex - they are one and the same. I feel like the moon is feminine, the sun is masculine.

I love my man's cologne - Reaction by Kenneth Cole. I love the smell of a wood burning fireplace, reminds of the a cabin we go to every year and get lost in ourselves - BDSM kingdom...

selkie said...

mouse - I love the smell of "green" which is how I think of trees after rain and like you there is something delicious abuot the smell of snow. I love my early morning walks with my dogs when I step into a frosty morning and SNIFF the clean fresh scent.

nolens - it's true, a certain scent can make us time travel!

Beautiful Kind - I celebrate our animal nature and try to remember that we are part and parcel of what we experience around us. And yes, wood burning fireplace MUST be one of the most enticing, sensual and all encompassing smells there is - D. and I have gone in the past to a similar little cottage in the woods where we were free to indulge.