A Sense of Smell

I've been told that I should have hired myself out to the FBI as my sense of smell is so keen. I weird out my students and my family as I casually smell my art supplies and other things that pass through my hands. I don't smell everything, I am not that compulsive, but there are certain things that can't get by me without a quick sniff.

I can trace my obsession with smell back to Christmas around 1962. I had a large box of 64 crayons (or close to that number) given to me with a few coloring books for Christmas. I loved anything art related, even back then, and I opened my gifts and stuck my nose into them, inhaling the smell of new crayons (Crayola of course--no store brands in this house in the crayon purchases!) and the smell of new, clean printed paper. I was in heaven. A year or so later I got a box of Venus Paradise colored pencils and some color by number boards, and I immediately stuck my nose into them. Ah......

So you KNOW what happens when I open up my art supply cabinets to prepare or hand out art supplies to the kids. YEP. A big deep whiff. How do I explain to them that it transports me back to a time when everything was magic and innocence?

I shared a bedroom with my brother till I was 12 (not a good thing to have your kids do---) and I remember a very foul odor in the room. I could not stand it. I sniffed it out and found it before my parents could find it. It was a rotten liverwurst sandwhich covered in mold that I pulled out of his book bag. It was a long time before I could eat liverwurst again, and even so, I can't help but have flashbacks to the horror of the rotten sandwich.

Sometimes a keen sense of smell is not a great thing to have. When I was a teenager and went into the city, I sat next to a bum who smelled of urine. I could not get the smell out of my nose for months.

Then there was the goat adventure, where I had to help capture my landlord's goat to tie him back up (he eventually got shot cause he attacked me and my car but that is for another story..). Have YOU ever smelled a goat close up or had the smell of goat on YOUR hands? It was forever before I could get rid of the smell; I still don't know if it was because it was still there, or if it was in my head.

A certain amount of body sweat is a fabulous smell, but don't come near me if you haven't had a showered in 2 days and not changed your clothes! I work with some kids who don't have good hygiene, and I wonder, what the hell makes THAT smell come from?!!!!! OY!

Smell plays a very big part in my every day life. I have wonderful French perfumes, and stunning oils from Aveda, magical and sensuous oil mixes from the Far and Middle East. I use them in my creams, my bath, as perfume, in diffusers.

A fabulous read, which after many years is being made into a movie, is DAS PERFUME or PERFUME by Patrick Suskind. If you like a good historical read (13th c. Paris I believe) that is poetic, visual, and captivating, then get yourself a copy. And the end will blow your mind. I have 2 or 3 copies of the book. And you KNOW who is going to see that when it comes out...anyone else game?

Quick note-Went to Upstate to see Volver last night. Delightful black comedy in Spanish, with Penelope Cruz who is delectible in this movie. Has that wonderful Latino mysticism in it, mixed with murder and mayhem.

And the artwork is layered paper pulp, antique images, netting etc. I did a series of these and have sold all but 2. I need to make more.



Anonymous said…
I just finished by blog and stoped by to smell yours ahhhhhhhhh good stuff and I'll get that book and read it.
Judy V.
Funny my dog is having a doggy mare I can hear him howling.

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