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  • The smell of cigarette smoke on a hot summer's day reminds me of childhood. When we would watch the fireworks and sit on the green there would always be someone smoking (other people's families, since no one in my family smoked). So the scent is very specific to that occasion.

    The smell of mothballs reminds me of my grandmother, who died when I was 5. Yet the olfactory memories remain.

    The scent of honeysuckle reminds me of when my elementary school gym class used to jog around the perimeter of the school grounds.

    The smell of original Old Spice reminds me of my grandfather.

    The smell of lit matches and snuffed candles reminds me of Chanukah.

    The smell of salt air reminds me of years of childhood summers at the Jersey shore. If I bite into fresh saltwater taffy, I am immediately transported to the beaches of Ocean City, Atlantic City, Margate, Wildwood, and Cape May.

    The smell of smoldering sage immediately puts me in a sacred space.

    Scent and taste can be powerful tools of transformation. We can travel places without ever going there. We can time travel. We can link ourselves to the past and yet still be present. We can use scent to transport our memories to the present day and transform them into wisdom.
    The fragrant oils I wear, the meals I cook, and other unexpected things will eventually evoke memories from our children for years to come. We can use herbs, oils, perfumes, plants, flowers, and food to mindfully create a palette for the future.
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