What’s That Smell?

The winner of Emily Freeman’s new book Grace for the Good Girl is: Michele Wilt. Please send your home address to [email protected] along with what it is you won. We’ll get your prize out to you right away.



1. a distinctive usually pleasant smell, esp of spices, wines, and plants

2. a subtle pervasive quality or atmosphere

[via Latin from Greek: spice]


Of all our our senses, smell is the most connected to memory.

Even now, when I stand next to a woman in line at the grocery store wearing White Shoulders perfume, I miss my Aunt Patty.

When I smell leaves burning, I am transported back to high school and it is suddenly football season and my friends and I are walking to the game after having a burger at the A & W.

When I smell cinnamon, I think of canning applesauce with my friend Carmen the one fall we used to much of the spice and the entire house smelled of it.

And I will forever associate Lilly of the Valley with my mom. I can’t even remember why. I don’t know if her Avon perfume smelled like that or she grew them in her flower garden.

Smells have  a strength that creates lasting memories.

In my Bible this morning, I came across this:

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

Are we spreading His fragrance? Does the ‘smell’ we emit to others match His?

Unfortunately, many times I know my actions downright stink. And they don’t always reflect Christ. Oh yes, maybe I hold it together when the dry cleaners ruin my favorite sweater, but when one of my kids or the husband ticks me off?

Oh, buddy…..

If we are to spread the fragrance of knowledge of Him EVERYWHERE, that means even in our homes.

And our cubicles.

And at the intersection when someone cuts us off.

This week, let’s watch our aroma. Others are watching.

And even sniffing.

Does our aroma match His?

One of you who leaves a comment on this post will win the following aromatic giveaway:

~A Bath & Body Works green tea & white pear candle

~ Some simmering wax bars from At Home America in Fruit Smoothie scents

~ A copy of the New testament in the English Standard Version. Perfect to keep in your purse or car.

Just leave a comment telling us a scent that you associate with something or someone from your past.

Winner announced Tuesday.

Yep. I’m unplugging until then.

Happy Labor Day Weekend everyone!










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  1. I associate the smell of freshly baked Peach Cobbler with my mother. She was a GREAT cook and you always knew, no question about it, that it was going to taste DELICIOUS!

    I just read “My Triple-Braided Cord” and it definitely spoke to my heart. I too, can identify with your struggles. But what a mighty God we serve! Thank you for sharing.

    God Bless!

  2. Gardenias remind me of my grandmother because she had a couple of huge bushes in her yard when I was a kid. I’d pick them whenever I came to visit too. Now I have my own gardenias!

  3. The smell of fresh baked bread reminds me of my grandma. She didn’t bake it often because it was an all day, manual process. But she always made a loaf for us, which we’d pick up from her as she lived just a mile or so away. The best thing was that the smell came from her house to ours with the bread. I should pull out my bread maker one day soon……

  4. smells … so many to choose from … Tabu reminds me of my Mimi. Vitalis and Old Spice of my dad. Gasoline and saw dust of my once tree surgeon husband. Love, love, love the smell of farms! dirt, manure :] and animals!!

  5. Great post! There are alot of smells that can take me back, way back to my “younger” years. But whenever I smell wood burning I think of my parents’ campsite. It was a place of laughter with family and friends, along with swimming on hot days in a pond that my dad so proudly cared for. Thanks for the revisit! :)


  6. Well, Karen, we must be on the same wave length! I just wrote a post on my blog today about our sense of smell and how it can whisk us away to another time and place. I featured a recipe that triggered a memory for me while cooking it last week – salmon patties. Although it’s a “fishy” smell it still took me back to my younger days ~ ahh, I love the memories no matter how stinky frying fish can be!

    Have a great weekend!

    Sweet Blessings,

  7. Oh Karen, so many smells, so many memories. I’ve just been sitting here thinking aout them all. Some of my favorite childhood scents are no longer around. This may sound really wierd but BAN deodorant came in this scent that was very comforting to me because it reminded me of my parents. They changed that scent probably 40 or more years ago but I can still smell it in my memory. The other scent I can still “smell” even though it’s gone was the scent from dittoed papers. I remember getting the purple printed papers in class and knowing my mom was right down the hall. (She volunteered at my school and ran the machine.) Today many memories will transport me back… a cherry pipe, cinnamon-sugar mixture from Snickerdoodle cookies, a campfire, the rain… what wonderful memories. Thank you.

  8. There’s a certain spaghetti smell that whips me back to the days before I started first grade (there was no public school kindergarten back then). My mother took me to my elementary school with a friend who would also be starting first grade. You know, so we could have a look around the school and feel familiar with it before we actually started class. When I smell that spaghetti, it sends such a warm feeling through me! It’s like I’m six years old all over again. Love it!

  9. I love the smell of pine! It reminds me of Christmas time and the wonderful times I had as a child. But more importantly, it reminds me to make my children’s Christmas’ magical as well!

  10. Strawberries cooking remind me of all the times Mom and I made strawberry jelly together. This might sound strange, but the scent of cows reminds me of hanging out on the farm with my great-grandparents. The scent of fresh air and cows on a jacket is enough to put me back on the porch, sweeping leaves with Grandma or taking the milk bucket to the barn for dinner. I miss that!

  11. For me it is the scent of a fresh Chrsitmas tree that truely brings Christmas Atmosphere to my home. But when it comes to the fragence check we have been doing this with our family since watching “Facing the Giants.” There is a scene where the coach asks about their attitude and then tells them that their attitude stinks. My boys thought the scene was funny, but after discussing it – it has now become a way to remind the boys to check their attitudes. Thanks for the reminder

  12. I love the smell of freshly mowed alfalfa/hay fields, it smells so fresh and clean. When I was in high school I would help my dad by raking hay and driving the tractor for the baler.

  13. Brut aftershave reminds me of my PaPa, who passed away at the age of eighty-nine shortly after my wedding, the last family event he was able to attend. Six years later, my Mema still has his Brut sitting on their bathroom counter, just as it was in my earliest memories.

  14. I associate the smell of campfires/smores with meeting my husband for the first time.
    littlegray88 at yahoo dot com

  15. Via Email: In Michigan, a common food prepared and one of my favorites is pasties. They take a lot of time to make, but they are delicious! When I make them, on a rare occasion, they trigger thoughts of my parents and I picnicking at Lake Antoine, MI. I’d climb on my father’s back and he’d pretend he was a horse, paddling through the water. I felt close to him and loved by him. I especially love this memory because today, my parents are divorced, and my father is estranged from me.


  16. Oh yes……scents are amazing.
    My mom wore Shalimar so of course I keep a small bottle by my sink.
    My favorite scent is baby powder!

  17. I love to be by someone who is wearing eternity perfume. It reminds me of my grandma who I spent so much time with growing up. She was someone very special to me and I truly miss her so much. She was always the sunshine in every situation no matter what was going on and made things ok for everyone. She lived such a caring, loving and faith filled life. I think she gave off such an aroma that was pleasing to God. I am trying very hard to fill her shoes and raise my children so they feel confident, secure and loved like she made me feel. I love to smell someone wearing that perfume and wonder if they are as special as my grandma. Thanks so much for reminding me to that everyday I give off an aroma and I hope it smell wonderful and not stinky.

  18. My father is an alcoholic and mistreated his family. I have very little fond memories of my dad as a child but……the smell of Juicy Fruit chewing gum takes me back to a happier place. He drove a truck and when he came home he would have the gum in his bag. We would get it and chew the pack up. He may have brought it for us but he would never had said, he did not know how to be kind. Once in a great while, I will buy Juicy Fruit just for the memory.
    My dad has Alzhiemers and I am making different memories with him without the anger I used to have. Isn’t God good.

  19. I too have strong associations from my past with scents. I once read that the part of our brain associated with scents and smelling are near the part related to memory. I don’t really know if this is true but it might explain the strong memories I have associated with certain scents (good and sometimes bad). Growing up my Grandmother lived with us and she was always cooking or canning or baking. Fried chicken on Sunday after church, the smell of vinegar (which my brother and I thought Yuk) until we tasted her wonderful home canned pickles, pies and cakes she would bake after we got to lick the spatula. My Grandmother has been gone for a long time but to this day when I smell fried chicken cooking I think of her and remember all she taught me about life and the Lord.

  20. The smell of coconut……always brings a smile to my face as I remember the sunscreen that our mom put on us when we would go to the lake almost every day in the summers. Brings me back in an instant, seeing my mom sunbathing, me and my siblings playing in the sand, or on the swings and of course in the water…….great memories!

  21. Homemade sugar cookies baking in the oven reminds me of my Granny’s at Christmas time. My cousins and myself would help Granny make and decorate the cookies couldn’t wait to eat one.. O how I miss her so.. But one day soon, I’ll see her again.

  22. Fragrance is so linked to so many memories for me ~ what a wonderful reminder that we are to be the fragrance of Jesus to others around us at all times. God help me to be His fragrance more often than my own (not always so good) : ) and God bless you for your teaching and the chance at a terrific prize!

  23. Sweet pipe tobacco aroma always reminds me of my father who passed in 1977. So many smells remind me of people or times in my life. Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific takes me back to my early teens and reminds me of a friend, Michelle.

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