I've become transfixed with the power of the sense of smell, and I've also been on an Andy Warhol bender lately—not looking at his art, which I don't particularly admire, but reading his writing and his interviews. He is brilliantly thought-provoking.
These two interests intersected as I was re-reading, for the third time, Andy Warhol's The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again).
I love his notion of creating a "smell collection."
I switch perfumes all the time. If I’ve been wearing one perfume for three months, I force myself to give it up, even if I still feel like wearing it, so whenever I smell it again it will always remind me of those three months. I never go back to wearing it again; it becomes part of my permanent smell collection.
Seeing, hearing, touching, tasting are just not as powerful as smelling if you want your whole being to go back for a second to something. Usually I don’t want to, but by having smells stopped up in bottles, I can be in control and can only smell the smells I want to, when I want to, to get the memories I’m in the mood to have. Just for a second. The good thing about a smell-memory is that the feeling of being transported stops the instant you stop smelling, so there are no aftereffects. It’s a neat way to reminisce.