Friday, September 3, 2010

Scented Memories

As I was driving to work this morning, I caught a whiff of ripening grapes in the Valley. This scent brought back so many memories of my childhood, driving through the Napa Valley on our way to my Aunt's house. It's amazing how smells can take you back to specific memories. Maybe, this memory jump-started my passion for wine.

I remember sitting in between my siblings, wishing I was at a window seat so I could smell the Napa Valley. My little sister recalls getting nauseous by this scent. Not me, I even love the smell of a cellar...the wood, fermentation, maturing wine...heaven!

I was just speaking to a friend about "scented candle memories". I wish I could bottle up some of the scents from my most precious memories. I work with a sensory scientist, and I am sure she would be able to identify the chemical compounds of my scented memories and bottle them up for me. The only obstacle is relaying the scent memory. For instance, how do I describe how my favorite book smells?!

With this olfactory flashback, I was reminded how circular life can be. I never thought I'd be driving through the Napa Valley every day to work when I was younger. Driving through St. Helena and Calistoga was a treat, especially at night with the white lights on the trees. Now, it is my routine. However, whenever that scent makes its way to me, I am immediately taken back to my pre-wine days of wonder.