In a recent article, Every Time I Talk to You, I Hear Sirens, we discussed how sounds define your environment. Today, using the same places described in the previous article, I hope we can investigate if smell is even more strongly related to place and memory than sound.
Is smell more valuable than hearing?
Washington, D.C. – Eastern Market:
We lived near the Eastern Market Metro station. There was a large, indoor, sort of farmer’s market nearby – that gave the train station its name — we passed through every day. The food was always fresh. The smell of raisin scones embedded in your clothes was a warm and welcome scent that perfumed you throughout the work day and reminded you that, no matter what happened, your scones always loved you.
New York City — Columbia University:
When we were living in Morningside Heights near Columbia, The City had a garbage strike. When an urban core has to deal with a garbage strike in the dead of summer things quickly begin to rot on the sidewalk. And in the streets. And in your mouth. And there is no harbor from the stench of six foot mounds of black garbage bags that line every sidewalk and street corner. Even if you breathe through your mouth you still smell the putrid sting of vomit that bleeds into every crevice and populates every pore.