May 19, 2011

Memories And The Power Of A Single Scent


Gardenia photo

My Mother’s favorite flower was gardenia. When I bought my house one of the first things I did was plant a gardenia bush in the front. I didn’t realize there was anything special that needed to be don for them, and for the most part all I do is water it. What I also didn’t know was that Phoenix is considered too hot for the average person to maintain gardenias.

For the past 17 years as spring has rolled around I secretly hoped my gardenia bush would get at least one flower. Most years I’ll get buds which then burn and shrivel up. My hopes to smell that sweet floral smell of gardenia dashed. My wanting to once again smell a scent that reminds me of my mother. My childhood. Special occasions.

This year my gardenia plant is blooming with, at last count, 6 beautiful blooms like the one in the photo. Yes, that is from my gardenia plant and yes, I took the photo. See, I’m getting better at this photography thing!

I stood at the plant, hoping I could capture their beauty. Wishing I could photography the scent too. I can’t but I hope you can imagine that amazing, unique, sweet, and intensely floral gardenia. To me it says “Mom”. It will always make me think of her.

If I find someone wearing a gardenia fragrance, it makes me want to be near them. Good thing they tend to be older. And understanding. Almost 20 years ago she left this world. But one flower alone brings her back.

Experts say scents help to keep memories with us. This is a good memory I’m holding on to.

Do you have certain scents that take you back? Do you ever think about the legacy you might leave with a certain scent?



Kate @ Songs Kate Sang May 19, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Oh Sara! That photo is lovely! You are doing such a great job. Yes, smells absolutely take me back. Do you remember the scene from Parent Trap? Tobacco and peppermint….

Have a blessed weekend!

shifra May 20, 2011 at 5:51 am

Beautiful post and picture. Resa just gave me a gardenia plant, and I still have to get it in the ground!

Smells do amazing things to jog the memory. Unfortunately, today my nose is a bit stuffy.

Make today an amazing day!!!

Li May 23, 2011 at 11:32 am

What a beautiful and interesting post. I love that the gardenias flowered now. If you want to get all into it – step outside of the practical box – there’s a reason they bloom this season. And I’m so happy they’re there foryou.

Scents are a powerful thing…they trigger so many memories. The smell of rain and the ocean reminds me of Puerto Rico. The scent of cool water cologne reminds me of being 16 and boy crazy.

I have never thought of the leagcy of my scent. I’m allergic to most perfumes, so I use light fruity perfumes and lotions. I can only hope that my scent triggers happy and reassuring feelings to those close to me.

Thanks for another excellent post lady!


Shifra May 12, 2013 at 10:26 am

Still love this post…. My gardenia plant is dead now. Maybe time to get another one. Love, hugs, and kisses to you!

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