How do we smell? Well, by a very direct route, those molecules go straight to the brain.
“Your ability to smell comes from specialized sensory cells, called olfactory sensory neurons, which are found in a small patch of tissue high inside the nose. These cells connect directly to the brain. Each olfactory neuron has one odor receptor. Microscopic molecules released by substances around us—whether it’s coffee brewing or pine trees in a forest—stimulate these receptors. Once the neurons detect the molecules, they send messages to your brain, which identifies the smell.” See here on Smell Disorders.
Here is my list in no particular order of preference:
1. Petrichor ~ the scent of rain on dry earth, or the scent of dust after rain. Calming, sad, lovely. Reminds me of arid Karoo farms.
2. Freshly baked bread. A Huffington Post article refers to a study which, actually says this smell makes us kinder to strangers. Smells like home.
3. Magnolia, outside the lounge window in East London, when the girls were little. Reminds me of times gone by.
4. Jasmine, the first flower to appear in Spring in South Africa. Brings me happiness.
5. Arnica, the healing oil I used when doing Reiki. Makes me think of peace and fulfillment. Healing.
6. Baby oil, the all fingers and toes of my young babies. Love.
7. The indefinable smell of a lover. Indescribable, beyond words.
In the words of the incomparable Sinead for all those who have loved and lost:
8. The smell of books. Makes me happy.
“Bergamot oil yields a citrus-like fragrance, with a distinctive spicy-floral quality. The scent is both spicy and sweet, and is prized in perfumery for its ability to blend well with other aromas to produce pleasing, complex scents.” See on What is Bergamot? Sensual smell.
10. Clean sheets mixed with Lavender. Comforting happiness. Hearkens back to childhood innocence.
Rain image from under a silent light