Today I cut open a butternut squash for a beef tagine dish I was trying out, and as I scooped the seeds out of its bottom and breathed in its pumpkin smell, it struck me how misplaced its smell was. Butternut Squash is a fall smell! It put me right back into an apple-picking and pumpkin-carving mood.
This cooking experience illustrates nicely how smells conjure memories and can symbolize a certain time in our lives – one reason to use smell in your writing, especially in memoir. So going back to the butternut squash belonging in fall – what are the smells of spring? What would put you immediately into a springy mood? Here are my spring smells; feel free to add yours!
Freshly cut grass (my favorite smell! More on that some other time)
Hyacinth
Lily of the Valley
Lilac
Air after spring rain