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Sunday, 11 October 2015

Smell the roses

Today I was down in the dumps, for no reason in particular,  just a melancholy mood. So when I spied a beautiful bunch of long stemmed roses at the IGA's bargain price of $10, I decided I'd spoil myself. They were so pretty, that my mood lifted almost immediately - the idea of bringing them to the new flat, that is currently looming as a very tiny, lonely space that I'm dreading being in most of the time, made me feel better. I could picture them cheering me up on the bedside table, and somehow transforming my attitude towards the place with their presence.

The best part? They smell. That fragrant, sweet rose perfume. I've been lamenting lately that shop flowers rarely smell anymore. The scent no longer pervades the room like it used to. I keep smelling them like a drug, each inhale inducing a smile. And like Proust's Madeleine*, the smell brings memories of happiness, and transforms my mood. Sometimes, it really is as simple as that.

"Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines hidden under the weedy mass of years. Hit a tripwire of smell and memories explode all at once. A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth."
Dianne Ackerman A Natural History of the Senses

Linking with #FYBF and #WeekendRewind

(It needs to be said, I'm not really a rose girl - my favourite flowers are jonquils, and in their short season, when they drop to $5, I buy them each week, and have them in the kitchen where I get the most out of their strong fragrance. Rest of the year, I don't buy flowers. Until today.)

(*It also needs to be said, if you haven't read Swann's Way, it's more accessible than you would think, and actually very amusing.)


  1. You should buy yourself flowers more often! I occasionally do, usually in winter when not much is on offer in the garden. They do brighten up the living spaces, for me anyway. Everyone else in the house probably couldn't give two hoots :) I have to agree that a smell can bring back memories in a flash.

  2. My folks occasionally buy flowers and leave them in a vase on the hall table for me when I get home from work - I love flowers but I very seldom buy them. A hardly buys me flowers because he says when a husband buys flowers, everyone wants to know what he has done wrong - why he worries about that I have no idea because he couldn't give a rats butt about what other people think most of the time !!!!! LOL
    Smells definitely do bring back memories - good and bad !!

  3. I did this aromatherapy course years ago- specifically for use in clinical settings like aged care homes. And scent memory was quite a big focus. I tried it out on my residents and wouldn't you know it- it worked!

  4. I've been buying myself some flowers to brighten my mood and my place...even though I'm not a flower person. It's amazing how they can lift our mood, isn't it? Lovely roses... :)

    1. Isn't it interesting that it's not something normally on our radar but it actually does brighten our mood when we do. I currently have wilted roses next to the bed but they still smell so I'm reluctant to turf them....

  5. I recently had an affair with myself and now I constantly celebrate me with flowers - beautiful smelling flowers ...

  6. They are lovely and a definite bargain. Our gardenia bush has just started blooming and I love bringing some flowers inside, even though they wilt quickly.

  7. Beautiful roses! So glad you bought them for yourself and that they cheered you up. $10 is a bargain! I must admit I do love jonquils too and I am very fond of tulips! :-)

  8. I try to buy flowers at least once a fortnight, and if for some reason I can't I will raid the garden for foliage just to brighten the place up, and usually my mood. Smell is my strongest sense, so many memories come flooding back with a strong smell. xx

  9. I'm not a roses girl either. Yep, love jonquils, And daffodils. And Iris'. And any of the very long stemmed variety. But I don't often get flowers. My house just doesn't feel like a flowers sort of house. One day (PS I would secretly love to get a flat/apartment of my own ... just something that was MINE to decorate how I wanted and to escape to ... and buy flowers for). I suppose I should be careful what I wish for.

  10. I love flowers in my home, but your right, florists don't smell like they use to. I hope you keep buying yourself bunches and bunches to keep you smiling x