The smell of love

Do you have a favorite lotion?

Mine comes from the Hotel on Rivington. It’s fun-sized in its squat little sample container, clear, so you can see the baby-pink goodness inside. It’s the perfect weight for lotion lovers, velvety thick, and my skin drinks it quick like.

But the best part is its fragrance. It’s not too flowery, musky or sweet. It’s made from Indian fig extract. I’ve never met an Indian fig, but I love the way it smells—a full, exotic, jammy bloom.

The lotion is called LOVE. And I kind of love that. Because it does smell like what love can feel like. You know when it’s fresh and new and wakes you up to life? But the scent and softness linger, too, like a familiar comfort.

And it made me think. What does love smell like?

It smells like my mom’s from-scratch sketti sauce—the legit business that starts with minced onion and buttery garlic cloves, sautéing in gold oil. Ingredients are stirred in as it simmers on. And, like most things, the hours improve it.

Love’s smell is Vanilla Oatmeal suds in fine, blonde hair. The boys’ shampoo is one of my favorite smells. But when they’re in my lap, we’re reading a book and their brains are whirring, I swear that thoughts heat their heads and intensify that scent.

Or, in the early morning, when I sneak in to wake them up. Their warm heads, sweet-sweaty with sleep, smell like everything I feel.

It’s also my sissy’s car—years later, it’s still some parts new-car smell, some parts lawyerly, orderly and fun. It’s a best-buds road trip, a miles-of-music box.

It’s the musty (and is it chlorine?) smell of the Tampa airport after a late-night flight. I know. Ew. It’s not a great smell, but it’s distinct. It means I’m home.

Of course, it’s the warm whoosh of just-baked waffle cones that wafts onto Main Street USA from the Ice Cream Parlour. There have been reports of trickery—that they use smell-a-vents, pushing out a puff of heaven to lure you in. But I have  intel that promises those valves have been closed for years. ‘Cause the real deal can call you to the mothership all on its own.

Disney Digression
Disney Digression

But love, my love, smells like the pillow on Jeff’s side of the bed. It’s not his cologne or deodorant. He’s been through a lot of flavors in the last 13 years. It’s the smell of his person, his skin. I inhale a chemical reaction. The smell of him calms my core.

What do you think? Am I wacko or does love have a smell?


  1. Marmee says:

    One of my favorite smells was the scent of my three children when they were newborns….best smell in the world, a new born baby. Of course garlic simmering in oil does get ones attention!!!

    1. Mindy says:

      Newborns are the sweetest smelling!

  2. memedina05 says:

    One of my favorite smells is the smell of refried beans. lol. It instantly brings me back to my childhood. My mom and I would make breakfast together every Sunday and listen to old spanish records and have a dance party in the kitchen.

    1. Mindy says:

      I love kitchen dance parties. I’d rather dance in there than cook any day. 🙂

  3. ahburch says:

    I love the smell of fall…crisp air, apples, cinnamon, wood burning, pumpkin…I could go on and on! I think it reminds me of the season Jason and I ever first started dating. One of our first dates was a haunted hay ride. It also became the season of our wedding, where white pumpkins mixed with white wedding flowers…love! Now I need to light my pumpkin spice candle and let my mind float like falling crimson leaves in the autumn air.

    1. Mindy says:

      Fall does smell the best. 🙂 I love our shared love of seasonally-appropriate scents.

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