I remember reading the biography Emma, about a young woman who is blind and her relationship she has with her dog…It was a little too ambitious for my 9 year old mind and I think the real meaning of the story was lost on me. I remember two very distinct things about the book. 1. The lady on the books cover was wearing the most appalling glasses; even a hipster wouldn’t touch them and 2. The descriptions of her regaining her sight.
Having recently regained my sense of smell after a long drawn out fight against my left nostril I fell much like the lady in Emma. One of the first things she saw was grass and she didn’t know what it was or what the colour green was. Now I guess you can say that comparing my blocked nose to a blind person being able to see after an operation is somewhat dramatic, but I can imagine that I felt a miniscule part of what she felt.
Now I’m not clued up on the way people breathe. Do most people breathe out of their noses or their mouths or is it a mixture? Either way I have happily been breathing out of my nose for about 22 years and I was very seriously put off when my blasted left nostril lead a revolt against me leaving me breathing out of my mouth for this past week.
Make no mistake breathing out of your mouth is no easy task and leaves ones lips seriously chapped. In an effort to cure myself of my seriously cracked lips and as a ‘f you’ to my left nostril I popped into Dischem to find myself some intense lip moisturiser. After looking at the range of what must have been at least 40 different types of lip balm I settled on a tube of soft lips, French vanilla flavour…or its scent was French vanilla seeing as you don’t actually eat the lipice.
Regardless I cracked opened the lid of the lipice and the scent reached my nose sending me back 6 years to high school where it was all the rage to carry about ten different types of lip gloss and lipice with you in your blazer pocket.
I remember a entire school of girls would parade around smelling like artificial fruit flavours or in my case French Vanilla, why we did this I’m not entirely sure, I guess it was just one of those fads no one can really explain, much like the hipster bowl cuts seen scattered along Corlett Drive and supporting Julius Malema. It’s rather fashionable but most people try avoid eye contact with you and really can’t understand why the hell you are doing it.
The point is having been deprived of my sense of smell for a full week I realised just how important smell is to me. Smells, good or bad, always send me reeling back to particular events or people.
Hugo boss will always remind me of my ‘real’ boyfriend, he always wore a watch that smelled constantly of it. It’s still my favourite cologne for men and holds a certain power over me. I’m like a shark that’s caught the scent of blood in the water when I smell it…so watch out!
The smell of sewers will always remind me of the majority of cities in Asia, but even a rancid smell like the smell that infects your nostrils on any street corner in Bangkok still warms my heart and reminds me of days spent exploring the city clutching a bottle of homemade orange juice fighting the waves of sewer smell educed nausea that would overcome my entire body.
Tipo Tinto the most fantastic Mozambican rum, even a passing wiff of it takes me back to days spent on the beach and nights spent bent over the stoep throwing up whole pieces of pasta after what I would call a very successful hundreds club.
And you thought you had won; didn’t you left nostril?