Scents Memory

While I was having my twice-weekly massage (I know, you feel really sorry for me after my accident, don’t you? But honestly, the aches and pains in my head and neck have been so bad the massage is necessary medicine.), the therapist asked if I’d like to try some aromatherapy.

She said she had a lavender scent that was good for headaches. When she placed the scented pillow over my eyes, something felt amiss. I didn’t smell lavender, but something more medicinal, something not soothing.

I was reminded of travel, but not my trips to Europe or Hawaii, no. The smell made me think of Thailand, India, Vietnam.

Inhaling, I let the household cleanser scent wash through me and then I realized what it smelled like.

Lemon Eucalyptus bug spray. I wore the stuff like perfume last time I was in Southeast Asia, and it worked amazingly well. I sprayed it on every inch of exposed skin every morning and after every shower. I didn’t get a single bite until I ran out of it on my last day.

No wonder the scented pillow over my eyes had the opposite effect of calm. Bug spray doesn’t go there. But once I recognized the scent and assured myself it was not in fact bug spray, I took a deep breath and relaxed.

Incidentally, I looked at the vial afterward and it was verbena, not lemon eucalyptus, but I can’t argue with my nostrils’ associations.

Published by Kari Neumeyer

Writer, editor, dog mom, ovarian cancer survivor

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