My favorite job in High School was summers at McIntyre’s Fried Clams. It was hot, greasy and the food was divine. We made fried clams, scallops, shrimp, fish, french fries and homemade fried onion rings. Our work uniform was a red & white checked, button down shirt over jeans or shorts (though you risked flying fat burns to exposed skin.) I would peel off that shirt and head straight to the showers after work. The smell of fried food had seeped into every pore.
Most recently, when I managed the oil & vinegar store, Alice met me at the end of the day and snuffled my clothes. Once away from the store, the lingering smell of sweet balsamic vinegar and rich garlic olive oil clung to me. There were the occasional spots of oil that still adorn many of much of my wardrobe, but they are fading.
When I’m to spend a day riding, regardless of the season, the lingering incense of horse hair, manure, sweat and hay are my cologne. Often I don’t notice until I am captive in a line at the grocery store. Other “horse people” will smile and say something like; “Oh lucky you for being at the barn today!”
- The musty, animal smell of a wet dog, drops flying and leaving tiny wafts on your pant leg.
- The first scent of pine needles and leaf piles burning that attaches itself to your hair in the Fall.
- The prickly smell of heat, your crusty feet and soil when you shower off after a day in the garden.
- A turkey, roasted vegetables and pies cooling on the counter that herald a Thanksgiving meal to be shared.
Days spent in elder care bring their own scents. I catch a slight waft of the powder I use to rub Gunther’s back, the rose soap Elise provides for his bathroom sink, and the faint cooking aromas from the lunch I’ve prepared. When he is having a bad day, I often carry home the essence of his discomfort. It is part of the job and knowing he is resting comfortably after my care is more than enough to override any lingering odors.
Smells are hitchhikers that sit quietly in the back seat and define the ride…