Thursday, June 5, 2014

Scent, Memory

My grandmother loved a party and she threw several spectacular ones at her house in Rhode Island during the summers I spent with her. The hall was invariably filled with Oriental lilies and to this day their scent transports me. With a fragrance so strong it can travel through rooms - just a few stems are enough to induce a reverie.

21 comments:

  1. I feel the same about hyacinths.

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  2. Thank you Phyllis for sharing your time and thoughts with me over at my place. As for here with you a great party always induceses great memories and the gift of entertaining is passed down.
    Love the feeling you have here with the white lilies and I too can smell their familiar scent.

    A lovely weekend to you, and one that inspires much.

    Xx
    Dore

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  3. Phyllis what wonderful memories. I adore bunches of lilies...almost any kind, they are so stunning!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

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  4. My daughter has often said that the paperwhite scent is what she will always remember about me (this is way…. in the future, mind you!). Scents are very powerful and evocative indeed.

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  5. Heavenly! I love these inside and out. This fall I'm going to simplify my white border garden and include more white lilies.

    Phyllis, here is the info for my family room carpet in Maine:
    http://www.prestigemills.com/larsen/?icolor=0001&imfgr=B05&IPATT=B052312&dn=SUMMIT&page=sizes

    Enjoy the weekend ahead :)

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  6. I love this post. My dad tells me of a memory he has as a very small child standing on the front porch of his boyhood home after a snow. His memory, he says, is so vivid that he can remember what he felt at that moment, even now, almost 75 years later, when there are many other people, places and events that he has long forgotten. They say that our most clear memories are imprinted when sight, sound, smell and touch create almost a multi-media file on our brains. Scent must be such a strong part of that impression. Thank you so much for sharing that. xo, N.G.

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    1. Dear Nina, what a lovely image - thank you for sharing as well, and for the kind comment. I am sure you are correct about the combination of senses imprinting our longest lasting memories. Have a wonderful weekend. Phyllis

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  7. Phyllis,
    Scent does this to me as well. My grandma wore Shalimar as long as I can remember and the fragrance, while too sweet for me, always reminds me of her and all of the special time we spent together.
    Your lilies are lovely, do you cut the stamens off? I know they are well known for leaving a stain on anything they brush by. Lovely post. Enjoy your weekend.
    Karen

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    1. Oh Karen, I have a perfume story that involves Shalimar as well - maybe there will be a part two to this post. You know, I have cut the stamens off in the past because they can make such a mess, but I found the flowers didn't have the strong scent when I did that - there might not be any actual connection, perhaps it was something else - but now I just try to keep them out of harm's way and clip any drooping blooms off the stems. Have a wonderful weekend! Phyllis

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  8. Oh I feel the same way about scent - apparently it is a great way to remember things for an exam, by placing a vase of particular flowers next to the one who is studying, then by thinking about them in the exam it will help the student to remember. Don't know if it works, but the scent of flowers always transports me to far distant memories, so I'm sticking with the story! Your lilies are gorgeous.

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    1. I will have to give that a try - my girls have final exams the week after next. I will experiment!

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  9. A few stems of white lilies on your table, simply lovely and perfect! I love strongly scented flowers and thankfully so does my husband. My neighbor in our last house thought lilies and paperwhite narcissus smelled like gasoline! My grandmother had gardenias in her Florida yard and that scent now brings me right back to her gardens and the beach.

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    1. Hi Cindy, I know some people find those scents hard to take, but I love them all. And gardenias are wonderful; they immediately transport me to Florida.
      Have a great weekend!
      xo

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  10. Beautiful to look at and to smell. I just bought some dalias and sweet peas that remind me of my Grandparents, they always had them in their yard. Sweet memories,
    Kathysue

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  11. I love all highly scented flowers Phyllis - hyacinths - Lilys - roses - paperwhites.
    A great post.
    Hope you have a lovely weekend,
    Liz x

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  12. Those look so lovely in that simple vase!! Love the scent of Lilac as well as the Lily!

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  13. Thank you for giving me hours of enjoyment! Your blogs are interesting, beautiful and exciting.
    Apartment Designs

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