-As an elderly person living alone, I often invent “mind games.”

I associate various aromas, scents, odors and stenches with events in my life.

My most conscious aromas pertain to food. A bowl of buttered popcorn smells of “home.”

It is rumored that the scent of cinnamon can help sell a house and pumpkin pie baking in the oven is sexually arousing to a man.

For me, I can never get enough of the smell of vanilla with chocolate close behind.

As a child coming home from school for lunch my mouth watered when my mother had baked scalloped potatoes. What is more appealing than coffee perking and bacon frying when we wake in the morning?


In other categories of aromas there’s that clean smell of pond water and the exhilarating salt spray from the ocean.

And what of autumn and the pungency of fallen leaves? I still remember a whiff of my dad’s annual cigar at Christmas.

I can separate and absorb the heady aroma of spring flowers: lily of the valley, narcissus, hyacinth, lilacs and my favorite, the full blowsy peony with its rose-like aroma, my favorite of them all.


In the realm of flowers, there is nothing more memorable for me than the spiciness of phlox and Sweet William being hosed down at dusk by my father.

Add to these the sun-baked aroma of new-mown hay.

Our noses are constantly assaulted or soothed by our intake of scents that surround us from cradle to grave. The sweet, clean odor of a baby to the moldiness of death.

No one enjoys the stench of sour milk, rotting food, raw fish, garbage, sweaty socks or wet dog.

The fun of this game is that your choices and memories may be completely different from mine. In the course of a day you may say, “Whew, what is that disgusting smell?” or “What is that divine aroma?”