Writing Prompt: Scent Memory

There are certain scents that awaken memories or trigger certain emotions. Some pleasant, some not.

For me, there are some that I can recognise instantly and stir up all sorts of images:

cut grass
burning leaves
wet cat fur
fabric softener
boiled eggs (not so nice)

These are the first 10 that spring to mind.

Try writing down familiar scents and write what you love or hate about them. Do any of them conjure up certain memories?

Pablo Neruda – XVII: One of my favourite poems

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

that this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Writing Prompt: When the rose is dead

I was flicking through one of my journals, re-reading the entries and placing myself back in the memories that inspired me to record them within the book’s pages. Near the back of the journal I found a pressed rose, yellow, the colour of friendship.

I recalled a poem that I read 20 years ago.  I might have been touched with the words, but at the time was too young to appreciate what they meant. Although there is reference to love, to me,  it is more about memory and although the physical may whither, the memories stay with you, they have permanence in your thoughts.

Personally, I live to make new experience with the people I love, but replay those moments that have made me happy, whether they were 20 years ago, last month, or this morning. There are some thoughts, sights or even scents that can send my heart racing. Read this, and write down what it reminds you of. What do you feel when you read this?


Music, when soft voices die

Music, when soft voices die,

Vibrates in the memory;

Odours, when sweet violets sicken,

Live within the sense they quicken.

Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,

Are heap’d for the belovèd’s bed;

And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,

Love itself shall slumber on.

– Percy Bysshe Shelley

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