Saturday 4 July 2020

The Personality of Smell

The Personality of Smell

Imagine for a moment that you have been asked about the personality and colour of smell in a job interview. What would you talk about? It is known that some people visualise colours when they smell certain scents, and this is apparently more common in artists. Perhaps it is possible to train the brain to recognise scents from other sensations.

Let's keep it simple and focus on a few specific scents and describe visual characteristics and memory prompts.

Coffee is the first. The smell of freshly brewed coffee, or coffee beans roasting in an oven must be familiar to everyone. Coffee is exotic and exuberant, dancing in the streets of Rio de Janeiro clothed in bright coloured feathers, attracting crowds. No shrinking violet is coffee. In your face, loving media attention, alert, head turningly attractive, ready for anything. That is the personality of coffee.

Somewhat gentler is the scent of lemon. Soft downy day old chicks, pale yellow baby shawls, flowers imitate the colour beautifully. A confused fruit that looks so very inviting but the juicy flesh is bitter like an unmarried aunt. Memories of walking in Mediterranean fields with crushed thyme and mint triggering lemon like whiffs, but never quite succeeding. Tall, thin and acerbic, a bit stand offish, an observer rather than a game player. That is the personality of lemon.

And now for garlic. Garlic is a bumbling Pickwickian character, with black greasy hair sleeked back with Brylcreem, a waddling gait and a sweaty handshake. He is a seedy vacuum cleaner salesman who wheedles his way into your home and leaves you with a bad taste in the mouth. On the positive side, he loves entertaining and having his large family around for spectacular Italian dinners al fresco. He never bothers the very young or very elderly and is indulged by many for his good nature and loyalty. A colourful character who may burst into song with a glass of red wine in his hand.

The scent of rose is altogether different. Overpoweringly seductive, she is approaching middle age, her face heavily made up. Her hair is bleached blonde and bouffant style, maintained with strong hold hair spray. Her ample bosom straining to be free of her expensive French lingerie, she walks with a flick of the hips which openly states her availability. Beware young men, she might tempt you into dangerous ways!  When seen strolling down the High Street, men doff their caps to her hiding a hint of a smirk, while women indignantly rustle their skirts and turn the other way.

Now have I got you thinking about personalities and smell? Where will your imagination lead you? Your turn to try. Your interviewers will be impressed.

#smell  #creativewriting #food #flowers