EmotionsMemoryMultisensorySmellSoundTasteTouch/Feel/TextureVisual

How smells, more than sights and sounds, are the Madeleine that unlocks the pleasures and torments of childhood

It’s curious how smells, more than sights and sounds, are the Madeleine that unlocks the pleasures and torments of childhood. The whiff of a jar of peanut butter recalls for me an American treat my Poland-raised mother occasionally prepared. The musty odor of a pile of prayer shawls brings back the yellowed tallis my father wrapped himself in whenever he went to shul, with its mystical evocation of the divine. The acrid aroma of a strong cigarette recalls a magnetic elfin refugee friend of my parents, and the hacking cough until he died. And the cloyingly sweet fragrance of a box of crayons brings back my early school days in the early 1950s in a yeshiva on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Source: The Smell of Crayons: Memories of an Upper West Side Childhood – Tablet Magazine

Random sensory quotes

I dream a lot, in colour and in sound and scent. Quite a few of my stories have come from dreams.

— Joanne Harris