Smelling memories

You know those things that remind you of a good time in your life or a loved person or a place?

I just sat at my kitchen table and had a stroopwafel with tea.


Stroopwafels are these delicious Dutch delicacies. Two thin waffles with caramel or syrup  between them. When you let it warm over the tea, the waffle  starts to smell really good and the filling warms up.

A Dutch friend introduced me to Stroopwafels years ago and I get them from airport shops when travelling. I flew to Helsinki for a weekend a while ago and found these at the airport.

Last weekend I went to pick up my cat from my mum in the town I’ve lived most of my life and walking from the station I smelled all of the autumnal smells of my home town. The town is by the sea and our house is in a suburb surrounded by trees and the sea. I sometimes feel like a season doesn’t start before I’ve smelled it there.

A smell can take you across years in a blink, not to a specific time necessarily, but to a specific frame of mind. As I taste and smell Stroopwafels, years of teatimes alone and with friends flood 8ver my unconscious, spilling over a bit. As I smell the earth and leaves and sea and trees around my mother’s place, I  feel at home.




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