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Age: 25-35

Simple Man

Salt of the earth Southerner. Drag racing enthusiast. Bearded since 1972. My father. 

When he held me my head laid on his collar bone. Beneath his beard his neck was always freshly shaved. Creamy wafts of sweet soap and musk: Barbasol shaving cream. I loved the smell so much I would take the small puffs that remained on red, white and blue can and wipe it under my nose leaving a white mustache. As it dried the scent faded to a cool soft wisp. 

He has chewed tobacco since the age of 15. My parents promised one another to quit their tobacco habits when they got married. It’s the only promise my father hasn’t kept. Kodiak Wintergreen, the green and black can with a grimacing bear. Mint with wet tobacco overlaid with notes of spit, tar, and black licorice. His spit cups were not to be knocked over. Resting on his collarbone the creaminess of the Barbasol mixed with the harsh tobacco spearmint together creating a scent that is greater than itself. It's the essence of a way of life, a place that is home.

- Jeanette Price


Pine precedes the tree

Pine Trees. and bumble bees. Sun beams. Stoked with the whole family team. 
The way the Pine fills me, soothing the whole intestinal tract. It feels so good to be back. 
The way the lightning strokes the most precarious branch, giving my olfactory circuitry an outlet to dance. 
I long to savor your intricate compounds and the way your scent fills me with pure satiety. 
I love how you express yourself through your bark as reserved, and your needle as sexy. 
Sometimes I think a pinecone may just fall out of my head, which makes me wonder if I would continue to smell pine the same.
I love how versatile your existence is, and how you always show up when i am needing the most reminding. 
I think if I could have one pet, I would have a pine tree to play with. 
Except, I might turn your needles to velvet, so we can play nicely.

- Kyla McIlwee


Brief Breeze from Childhood

Goat’s smell – strong, stubborn, spicy and spiky, but warm, worth a long hug, like a sun-dried hay embraced. Even though it smells like shit, it fills me with love every time I meet that smart sharp-eyed animal.

- Milda Laužikaitė


Extended Smell of Childhood

Snowy road, salted deep blue. Colored with yellow ochre sand rests its hump . The smell of brick chimneys breathing. Bluish grey rolling down the hill, easy, slow, quiet – no one is around - snow stays whole. All the feet rest home by the fireplaces or central heating. We walk alone. Sound of my shoes opens the curtain of smoke, I see the valley filling up with the morning light. Snowy road, salted white. I carry a bag of frozen boiled potato skins. By the time we get to the river, my warm hand wakes them up and they talk with smell. Dog rushes over ice, barking, excited about friends he is going to meet. Clapping their soft wings to the cold water stream ducks fly quacking loud, ready to share another morning with us and, of course, tasty snacks saved for them by mom. 

- Milda Laužikaitė


Nani's dal (Grandmother's lentil)

A significant childhood memory that I associate with scent is that of a special lentil curry made by my maternal grandmother (or ‘nani’ as we call her). I love my grandmother’s cooking and not only is it an extremely satisfying meal but also an instant mood elevator.

A regular day at school was long, hot and filled with lots of activity. By the time I got back home, I would be exhausted, cranky and famished. I used to be a fussy eater and my tantrums about the lunch made at home were a regular occurance in the house. The scenario would be quite different of course, if I got a wiff of a hot and sweet aroma of the curry my nani (who stays two minutes away) made and sent home , steaming hot, right before I got home. 

The sight of that of a little container with a tiny handle on top (so that it can be carried like a handbag) and the aroma of the lentil curry doesn't cease to please me even today. This curry has distinct flavors of roasted cumin and mustard seeds, curry leaves, raw mango and chilli. Jaggery, an important part of our native cooking (which I’m normally not fond of) is also a vital ingredient in this dish. It is a dish typically made by people coming from the state of Gujrat in India. The dish smells of all these flavors and a lot of love. This poured over steaming hot rice was and still is easily one of my favorite scents and meals. It’s a scent I associate to home, warmth and Nani’s soft hands and warm cuddles.

- Aditi Mehta