world of wiffledust

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To me, being in a wild world with so many sights, sounds, odors, tastes and textures is a little like walking down dusty paths of a renaissance festival and being bombarded with the scent of apple dumplings and roasted turkey legs while my ears buzz with pan flutes and tambourines, all as I’m touching velvety lamb’s ears and then hard, exotic handcrafted jewelry. But there is more. Yes, taste, we must include that. How about fresh corn crepes smothered in cream and then chocolate
doused strawberries for dessert?

Oh, enough, enough! I’m ready for a festival, how about you? Yeah, I know. It’s still too cold. Until then, I’ll attempt to warm up our rich creamy layers of writing. Each
post will focus on a different sense and I might even bring in that rowdy SIXTH SENSE to round everything up. Okay lords and ladies, let’s begin with scent, shall we?

What is that smell?

What springs to mind here are Sunday suppers, pork loin dotted with rosemary, the scent of raisins and stuffing and spice exploding each time the oven door opens.

Aroma’s, rather delightful or not, invoke memories.


If you have a keen sniffer, you might also be able to detect a storm before it arrives. The earth is different then, soil sighing and humidity yelling. Did you know moisture heightens our sense of smell? It does. And were you aware women have a keener sense of smell? They do. As we age, our sense of smell weakens, though. Middle age is peek smelling season. I vote we all stay middle aged. Oh, wait, too late for me.

Did you ever notice that houses have layers of odors? I remember an old farmhouse we lived in, which smelled of plants, laundry detergent, and an undercurrent of all previous owners combined. It’s as though scent embeds itself into walls and floors.









Developing characters and their environments, we can see how smell could be a vivid way to make a story breathe. If we are writing about a house full of men, scents will be different. I’m telling you,I know
these things. I have brothers. The masculinity, shall we say, does shout smoke, spice and sweat.

On the other side of the road, where mostly females reside, you’ll find the staggering scents of
cinnamon, lavender oil, powder, perfume and candles. Of course there will be fruity odors mixed in and funky, too, depending on whether they keep a clean house and if they cook.

So, if we want our characters to live and remember that they have lived, scent is one
worthy tool. It is exactly why, when I smell baby powder, I can be yanked back to a morning, fifteen years ago, baby on my lap. She has just finished her oatmeal and given me an open-mouthed kiss on the
cheek, leaving a smear. There is sticky oatmeal in my hair, too, left from chubby fingers grabbing to draw me close. I can still hear her coo at the birds, so early my eyes are barely slit open, but yet I’m
chattering to her and overwhelmed with tenderness. Yes, baby powder can snap me back that fast.

Our world is one big, smelly memory.

This week I’m taking my basket of scent and sprinkling it throughout my work. How about you? What particular scent fires up your memory?

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Comment by gracey on June 27, 2010 at 3:34pm
LOL! Gotcha, Dorraine!
Comment by Dorraine Darden on June 27, 2010 at 3:14pm
I rather loved that house, too, Gracey. A barn full of hay, yes that brings back memories growing up on a farm and helping put hay up even though I'm allergic to hay! Re: smoky smells, I was thinking of cigars. I love to sit out by a campfire, and climb into a tent drenched in that smoky smell. Sweat, eh, this I'll give to the guys.
Comment by gracey on June 27, 2010 at 10:24am
Okay, that is the cutest house EVER.
Scents that fire up my memories? A barn full of hay. A catfish pond. damp dirt. I'm not fond of flowery scents, really. And, I have to ask, smoke and sweat are masculine smells? I may be in trouble, there....I love the scent of my old smoky-smelling leather jacket. I love the smell of my darlin' after he's put in a hard day's work.
Comment by Dorraine Darden on February 28, 2010 at 1:53pm
Thank you, Steve. Appreciate you stopping by.
Comment by Dorraine Darden on February 28, 2010 at 1:52pm
Yes, those are splendid scents, Jodie. Can't wait myself. Thanks, Lucky is a good little fellow, found and claimed at a dog shelter.

As far as my name: my dad named me. He was and I am, a big fan of Johnny Cash. He wrote the song Dorraine of Ponchartrain the year I was born, so Mom let him name me. I think I've finally grown into it!
Comment by Steve Kaufman on February 28, 2010 at 11:30am
Jodie- had a lab for 15 years, 1965 to 1980.
next few years are the best, knowing you'll be pouring it on your darling one!
Peaceful Blessings & Forest Spirits Caring, Steve
Comment by Jodie Ann Christiansen on February 28, 2010 at 12:37am
soon spring and I can't wait to smell the breeze and sun-dried sheets.....and the divine aroma of the hyacyinths that are now in bloom at local nursery.........BTW, your doggie is darling..... and, eager to hear/read your sixth sense writing.....thanks Dorraine....love your unique name and wonder the story ,if any,
Comment by Dorraine Darden on February 24, 2010 at 11:05pm
Bunnies would work. Chickens, we need some of those, too. Thanks for the title love. :-)
Comment by wiffledust on February 24, 2010 at 1:34pm
i'm thinking we need some critters too. bunnies at least. and maybe a well. you know with a bucket and all that. i forgot to tell you how much i loved your title!
Comment by Dorraine Darden on February 24, 2010 at 11:28am
Yeah, you're right, it is...wiffly. Yes, we'll make pies and cakes and cookies. We also need some rose bushes or something. Maybe a lemon tree. It looks rather sparse around the ole yard.

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