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  1. #1

    Question I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    I have a short (maybe for some hard to believe) story for you all that leads to a question...ok, so here goes:
    My Uncle died a couple years ago leaving my Aunt completely alone (they were never able to have children) and they were married for 31 years. Suffice it to say, she was very sad and lonely. She sold their large house which was far too big for them both and now was beyond what she needed or could care for on her own. She got rid of so many things when she was ready to and moved to a very small apartment. On what would have been their 32nd anniversary she wanted to be alone, she was not fit for company and needed time to grieve on her own. So she sat at home, listlessly watching TV and trying to block it out for awhile. While watching TV she actually was trying to think of the answer to a question on a game show and not thinking of him for a second-when suddenly out of nowhere she caught the strongest whiff of my Uncle's cologne (which I'm sad to say was old spice, he was a simple man who was more often on a tractor than in a car) and she felt like he was there beside her for that moment. She was sitting in the living room on a brand new couch and pillows and nothing of his was in the room other than his picture. She believes he was trying to let her know that she was not alone, that he was with her. She firmly believes this happened, she didn't imagine it-that it was too strong and out of the blue and lingered too long to just be her imagination. So my two-part question is this: Have you ever had something like this happen, and if you were able to leave behind a fragrance to let someone you love know you were there, what would it be? (Please understand this is not a religious question, so let's not get into a heated debate about where we go in the hereafter-let's respect each other's beliefs and stick to the question, ok?) This is a curiousity for me, it got me thinking which fragrance I wear the most that someone might associate with me. Just wondered what anyone else thought?
    ~~~~~~~~Pulsing veins of green rushing nutrients through unfurling leaflets , dirty-faced little blooms poking their sleepy heads up through cold March dirt...the promising scent of unfallen rain hanging heavy in the dark cloud-ladden air...Oh the beauty of Spring here in the country!

  2. #2

    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    That is a very interesting story indeed TaraYvonne. I completely believe it and I also do believe in "spirits".

    To answer your questions, No, I haven't had this happen to me or to anyone else I know so far. And if I were to be able to leave a fragrant trail for someone I love, then it will have to be Parfumerie Generale's L'Ombre Fauve, simply because "the girl" really likes it on me. It is the scent she mentally "associates" with me and my personality... a little naughty, a little sensual.. vastly pleasurable and It's been my SotD/SotE for numerous occassions that we've had a smashing time together.


    PVC and Leather. A Chain and a feather




  3. #3

    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    Just as our brain can produce noises or speech or images which we are certain to have been "external," it can create scent hallucinations, and the case of your aunt would be a classical context for such an occurrence. She was trying not to focus on the memory of her beloved, but the opposite occured in the form of an olfactory memory.

    As to your question - it may be a hopelessly romantic anti-capitalist notion, but I would not want to be remembered by the smell of a commodity (even if we primarily define ourselves through commodities these days) - apart from the fact that with a collection of 300 such commodities ()) I could not be pinned down on a signature scent. If I was gone, I would hope my wife or daughter would remember me - in olfactory terms - through my individual smell. N.B.: No perfume smells better than little Emily's hair
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  4. #4

    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    Just as our brain can produce noises or speech or images which we are certain to have been "external," it can create scent hallucinations, and the case of your aunt would be a classical context for such an occurrence. She was trying not to focus on the memory of her beloved, but the opposite occured in the form of an olfactory memory.
    The scientist in me agrees, but the romantic in me disagrees.

    Regardless of why your aunt smelled your uncle's Old Spice, I think it's a great story. It's never happened to me, but a friend of mine once smelled freshly lit cigars in her hallway, the exact same kind her dead grandfather would smoke, yet no one was around, and the windows were shut!

    I think if I passed away I'd love to leave a signature scent behind, however it would have to be MY scent... like The_good_life says, I'd rather be remembered by something that is irreplaceable...

    I do emit a rather unique aura of "human" smells - sometimes good, sometimes bad lol. I wonder if one day people will remember me in the same olfactory way as the mother in the movie "Volver."
    Sales thread here

  5. #5

    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    How wonderful to be associated with a beautiful smell! I hope my legacy to my loved ones and this world is plentiful, and if a familiar smell brings a thought of me along with it, I would be happy.

  6. #6

    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    if it will help her sleep better at night, then she should think that. but im a man of rational thought. i do not believe in the soul, and therefore i do not believe in spirits. i sometimes smell things that arent there.

    furthermore, she was trying not to think of him, and its possible some thought, or some stimuli, in some distant way triggered the memory of the scent.for example: lets say the question was "what meal do people usually eat bacon an eggs at?"

    perhaps she has a fond memory of that smell with him while they were eating breakfast.

    she doesnt know where the smell came from. she doesnt know. and yet she automatically made the assumption it was his spirit.

    IMO, the afterlife would be torture. its an ETERNITY. youre roaming around wherever for 900 trilion years. and after that....you still have another 900 trillion years to endure. and after that, all of eternity. its never ending. even the most wonderful pleasures in the world shouldnt go on FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER AND EVER AND EVER.
    "Be good, and you will be lonesome"-Mark Twain
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    I smell phantom smells, a lot. Your aunt is not alone.

  8. #8

    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    I smell phantom smells, a lot. Your aunt is not alone.
    Ditto.

  9. #9

    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    Quote Originally Posted by helo darqness View Post
    if it will help her sleep better at night, then she should think that. but im a man of rational thought. i do not believe in the soul, and therefore i do not believe in spirits. i sometimes smell things that arent there.

    furthermore, she was trying not to think of him, and its possible some thought, or some stimuli, in some distant way triggered the memory of the scent.for example: lets say the question was "what meal do people usually eat bacon an eggs at?"

    perhaps she has a fond memory of that smell with him while they were eating breakfast.

    she doesnt know where the smell came from. she doesnt know. and yet she automatically made the assumption it was his spirit.

    IMO, the afterlife would be torture. its an ETERNITY. youre roaming around wherever for 900 trilion years. and after that....you still have another 900 trillion years to endure. and after that, all of eternity. its never ending. even the most wonderful pleasures in the world shouldnt go on FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER AND EVER AND EVER.
    I know this is dragging things a bit off topic but.. nobody ever said an afterlife would be perceived from the same perspective that you have now as a conscious, living human. I've been in altered states of mind (not drug induced!) that have been pure euphoria. Time ceased to exist and pleasure was not a localized phenomena but more a state of being.

    After that experience, I always thought that if any kind of heaven exists (and I'm not a religious man, either), that a loving entity would make it something like that sensation. Just pure, perpetual bliss, devoid of rational thought and all other human perspectives.

    Anyways, I've never experienced a strong phantom smell, but my mother has. It was the scent of her grandfather's cigars, and they filled her empty house, she said. I have no doubt that she smelled it, and honestly don't know what to think the origin of it was. I do have first hand accounts with the supernatural and ascribe to the idea that such things are possible and quite likely scientifically explainable although not with today's understanding of science (the holographic universe theory is one interesting explanation for many many psychic and other phenomena - it just doesn't have enough science behind it.. yet).
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  10. #10

    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    I smell phantom smells, a lot. Your aunt is not alone.
    Forgot to mention I smell phantom smells too
    Last edited by L'Aventurier; 4th April 2009 at 03:01 AM.
    Sales thread here

  11. #11

    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    Can we please keep this only limited to the questions guys? I respect your right to feel any way you want-and who knows, maybe you are right that there is no Heaven. But is making your point so important to you that you would begrudge someone else who has sustained a loss their own ideas if those ideas give that person comfort? Would you begrudge her the thought that maybe he does still exist if it helps her sleep at night? Is being right so important that you would choose to hurt his loved ones in your quest to prove yourself right? Please lets keep to the two questions...that way no one is offended and we all can get along peacefully. I had no intention of getting into a debate-that's why I asked for the thread to remain neutral in order to respect everyone's right to their own beliefs. They were simple questions that I asked: Has this ever happened to you (even if you felt it was a hallucination) and if you could leave a fragrance association behind for your loved ones, what fragrance would it be? Those are two easy questions to answer without getting personal. So let's have fun with it, not fight

  12. #12

    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    I have felt this before; my father, my grand-mother, others. I consider myself very much based in the real world, but I experienced it.
    The scent that truly is most evocative of me, it smells very much as my freshly cleansed skin smells, is Femme.
    I would want people to be able to smell Femme and know c'est moi (it is I). Femme c'est moi!!!
    Last edited by Brielle87; 4th April 2009 at 03:50 AM.
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser à sa source

  13. #13

    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    Quote Originally Posted by L'aventurier View Post
    I think if I passed away I'd love to leave a signature scent behind, however it would have to be MY scent... like The_good_life says, I'd rather be remembered by something that is irreplaceable...

    I do emit a rather unique aura of "human" smells - sometimes good, sometimes bad lol. I wonder if one day people will remember me in the same olfactory way as the mother in the movie "Volver."
    I'm thinking that just a human scent might not catch someone's attention as much as a foreign odor like fragrance would, you know what I mean? You can't miss it, you can't pass it off as something else. Your mind will tell you what the scent is, from your olfactory memory of it. In her case, I think "old spice" can't be confused with anything else. It's not a cooking odor, or pretty much any random thing she could have smelled. Maybe that's why it had to be cologne. So she wouldn't miss it or mistake it for something else. In her mind that's how he thought she would put two and two together and know he was with her. Because she would easily identify it as his scent, the same and only one he had been slapping on for years.

  14. #14

    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    A provocative question indeed, TaraYvonne, and an interesting story. I have never had such an experience, but I'd love to. And for me, I think I would choose a soft, slightly sweet woody violet for such a visit.

  15. #15

    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    Hey girl, I am looking for violet fragrances right now, have a good one in mind?

  16. #16

    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    Quote Originally Posted by TaraYvonne View Post
    Hey girl, I am looking for violet fragrances right now, have a good one in mind?

    Oh, for you TaraYvonne, I would pick Ava Luxe MIDNIGHT VIOLET. It's gorgeous and IMO complex in the same manner as Ormonde WOMAN (do you like that one?). Here are the notes: Violet, Blue Iris, Orris, Earth, Black Hemlock, Galbanum, Pink Pepper, Cinnamon, Cedar, Sandalwood, Incense, Wood Balsam, Moss, Civet, Cashmere Musk.

    It's a little on the "sophisticated" side for me, but I love it anyway and covet a bottle!

  17. #17
    Basenotes Institution 30 Roses's Avatar
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    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    TaraYvonne, there are so many good violets out there! Have you tried any of these?

    Annick Goutal La Violette (sweet, with a spicy rose note) I love this one!
    Penhaligon's Violetta (green, with violet leaf)
    Serge Lutens Bois de Violette-- If I ever buy another violet, this will be the one. Wood and violet together, very smooth. See online at Aedes de Venustas (you can order a sample)
    Berdoues Violettes de Toulouse (see Beautycafe.com)-- fruity violet with a raspberry note
    L'Artisan Verte Violette-- not a fav of mine, but it has a raspberry note as well.
    YSL Paris-- Rose/violet, quite powdery
    Guerlain Les Méteorites-- powdery

    There are lots of others-- do a search for threads about violets for more ideas!

  18. #18

    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    I left a mini of Mitsouko parfum in my partner's flat, and he's been known to sniff it when I'm away. I think I'd be happy to be remembered by that smell. And while smelling Mitsouko would bring me to mind, only his memory could remind him how I smelled in Mitsouko.

    The other way I am remembered is by the scents I have given rather than the scents I have worn. My partner will spritz Let Me Play the Lion when I'm not there and think of me. My sister and some friends also have smells of their own which I introduced them to or gave as gifts. If I only had a few fragrances, I would be delighted to receive one as a gift from a loved one, and be reminded each time I wore it.

    Violets? Try Balenciaga Le Dix. (I don't know much about which scents you like, but Le Dix is good stuff.)

  19. #19

    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    Quote Originally Posted by Haunani View Post
    Oh, for you TaraYvonne, I would pick Ava Luxe MIDNIGHT VIOLET. It's gorgeous and IMO complex in the same manner as Ormonde WOMAN (do you like that one?). Here are the notes: Violet, Blue Iris, Orris, Earth, Black Hemlock, Galbanum, Pink Pepper, Cinnamon, Cedar, Sandalwood, Incense, Wood Balsam, Moss, Civet, Cashmere Musk.

    It's a little on the "sophisticated" side for me, but I love it anyway and covet a bottle!
    I actually own midnight violet, and I just ordered a sample of Ormonde woman. So I have the bases covered on that, thanks though! I'm liking darker, earthy scents right now. I'll check out those others, 30 roses!
    ~~~~~~~~Pulsing veins of green rushing nutrients through unfurling leaflets , dirty-faced little blooms poking their sleepy heads up through cold March dirt...the promising scent of unfallen rain hanging heavy in the dark cloud-ladden air...Oh the beauty of Spring here in the country!

  20. #20
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    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    Back to TaraYvonne's original two questions.

    The ability to re-experience a scent (call it vivid memory) is rare but it certainly happens. That is, I can't experience the smell of cinnamon right now, sitting at my computer. I can remember a lot about cinnamon but that's different. The few such vivid memories I've had mostly happened a little while after I'd left a room where I'd been smelling something. At this point I can't control the vivid memories. They don't happen because I'm trying. They happen when I'm not trying. I've never heard "professional noses" from perfume houses asked if they can control this. I don't recall Luca Turin mentioning it in his blog or The Secret of Scent. It would be interesting to collect information on this.

    Given the unpredictability of vivid scent memories, I can believe that your aunt's feelings might have produced hers. But if there are spirits, their ability to interact with us is clearly very limited. Maybe some can zing a scent memory, sometimes.

    On the sceond question, to be remembered by a particular scent would seem to require only wearing that one scent for the rest of my life. I think most BNers enjoy the variety of scents too much to do that. But it's a possibility to consider.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    I can identify with your aunt, TaraYvonne. My dad died 24 years ago, but to this day, anytime i smell Old Spice, i remember him. Old Spice aftershave was officially my first scent.

    I think i have over-done things with the number of frags i own, so much that i no longer have a signature scent. I suspect the scent i will be remembered for is whichever of the ones i bought for my wife has had the greatest impression on her. I am not entirely sure though.
    ointments and perfume delight the heart....

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  22. #22

    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    Quote Originally Posted by TaraYvonne View Post
    Can we please keep this only limited to the questions guys? ....... They were simple questions that I asked: Has this ever happened to you (even if you felt it was a hallucination) and if you could leave a fragrance association behind for your loved ones, what fragrance would it be? Those are two easy questions to answer without getting personal.
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    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

  23. #23

    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    I get strong phantom scents reasonably frequently. It is usually gone too quickly and I cant recall what it was afterward. After my father died I kept thinking I saw him out of the corner of my eye.

    Whatever the reason, I am pleased if it gave comfort to your Aunt, we all need as much as we can get.

    I wear too many different perfumes these days to have a memorable signature, though I did wear R de Capucci exclusively for about 7 years.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    TaraYvonne, my cousin has been smelling a phantom perfume in her house for the past 25 years. It is always the same scent, a very old-fashioned ladies' scent, and it is not a scent that she has ever worn. So I tend to believe your mother's story.

    I don't have any scents I would wish to "leave behind" for my loved ones. They eat so much garlic and onions they would not smell "me" anyway! But I think it would be nice if they could hear me laugh. I have been told I have a pleasant and distinctive laugh.

    30 Roses selected some great violet scents for you to try. I also think that Borsari Violetta di Parma is a nice, simple, and sweet violet scent. You might want to sniff it if you get the chance.
    Last edited by Leesee; 5th April 2009 at 10:46 AM. Reason: typo

  25. #25

    Default Re: I have a crazy thought provoking question for you...

    I would pick Touch by Fred Hayman I think. Touch is a perfume I just discovered recently, and I sort of fell in love with it. I wasn't sure about this perfume the first two times I tried it, but felt like it was a perfect fit for me after the third try. If anything I've learned from trying sample perfumes on is I have to wear it more than once to really get my true impression of it. I've gone from loving to hating a perfume within a week.. I guess I'm fickle lol. Touch is very ladylike though, and has a beautiful rose soap smell. It's very sweet and innocent too.. reminds me of a perfume an angel would wear.

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