posted on March 7, 2012 at 5:28 pm

fiery messenger

after we pay our money

we wander through the dim darkness to our seats

some music plays or is it machinery behind the walls

we sit back in silence

at first nothing

then a cavalcade of aromas

burning paper

disinfectant in schools

banana lunchbox on wet day

smell of pears soap

smell of mums christmas decorations from england

inside dads car old spice and tobacco and cold leather

chlorine in summer on the breeze

acne cream takes you back 40 years in one second

smell of the lolly shop on a warm day

smell of egg and chips

smell of custard and gooseberry tart

smell of old burnt toast smell of cornflakes

smell of long gone toothpastes

smell of brylcream and california poppy

smell of ancient suntan oils like skol…..

smell of beer smell of the pub

smell of perfume we’ve not smelt for 30 years

smell of fireworks

petrol and engines

the sea the salt the rotting weed the rock pools

smell of nauseous morning and cavalier night

the rabbits hutch

the cheap motel room

the kitchen round your friends

and then it ends slowly

the theatre fills with sweet incense

the light comes up

and we wander out again

stunned and lost in sudden found memory

37 Responses to “cinema of scents”

  1. avatar
    a | 7 March 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    banana lunchbox on wet day’ so familair

  2. avatar
    colette | 7 March 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    Envelope me in a fantasy of five senses particularly olfactory

  3. avatar
    Bernadette Keys | 7 March 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    What an evocative piece

    Brylcream reminds me of my Pop…I miss him

    What about the acidic smell of vincents and bex?

  4. avatar
    danny | 7 March 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    These caves hold many riches
    The pyramids Egyptian glass
    Bats swarm in uneven circles
    Monarchs invade the horizon
    Locusts inhabit the lonely fields
    The trains come at night
    Often in twos or so it seems
    The house rumbles as plates rattle
    The baby awakes lifting his head
    Only to shift to a new position
    Her eyes brown as tumbleweed
    There is no breath like hers
    Here in the dessert rattlers sleep on stones
    There is water between the dunes
    And mouth watering grapes upon the shores
    But that vision vanishes under closer inspection
    Mounds of dirt divided us
    Sand took our spirit to market
    The sun devoured our divine souls
    Rain divorced us without warning
    There is life if we could find a tree
    We sinned in the open air
    We connected in the stark breeze
    We overlaped in the crease
    We dreamnt of bitter seas
    We cherished our significance
    We questioned our chemistry
    We dropped our heads like horses
    Waiting in the burnt glow of dusk
    For our belated recovery

  5. avatar
    Ryan | 7 March 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    It’s incredible how smells conjure up full stereophonic flashbacks of distant memories.

  6. avatar
    CAth Meeson | 7 March 2012 at 8:26 pm #

    And those were the sublime scents offered at the perfumery,
    Like the souls of days gone by
    Paraded upon the shelves in some long last arcade
    Maybe within somewhere a genie lay
    Waiting to bid a deed
    But with the evocation
    One never knows
    Just what it will reveal !

    Hope to see you at the play in Melb Be Marvelous Mr S.Kilbey 🙂

  7. avatar
    colette | 7 March 2012 at 8:50 pm #

    To be honest, there was this fantastic fantasy about being free on Friday. The fantasy was fed by some lines that said something about perfect sunrise on that perfect day and it was made to seem so easy. Also some other lines: something about the magnified intensity of quality plus quantity threatening to dim the sun itself, perhaps promising an even shallower glimpse into a mirrored pool… but would the narcissism evaporate it or would its evaporation dissipate the narcissism?…Anyway, she was afraid they may find themselves washed up on rocks like two blockheads which they may even enjoy for a change – to feel simply human, perhaps that is even owed to them… and then that’s assuming it fits into my routine let alone the wider scheme…Instead, I insert some ear candy floss and what do I hear? Not a hymn but ‘Block’. The closest I come to going to church these days. One built upon another rock by Stefano, Pedro, Martino, Timo, Ricardo and flock.To be careful or not be careful and to know the differences for what to wish is for what she prays these days.

  8. avatar
    Roddy C | 7 March 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    The intuitive emotional connections between smell and memory are an amazing thing. All those trace memories that certain smells provide can be incredibly powerful and almost overwhelming sometimes.

  9. avatar
    BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 7 March 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    What a fantastic blog today, you are in top form my friend. I always will remember the smell of banana nut bread. My grandmother always made it from scratch. Her small home was filled with the scent. Even days after she baked. And I think my grandma self baked, because those were not home rolled tobacco sticks in the ashtray. They had a different scent.

    Banana Nut Bread is my favorite scent.


  10. avatar
    Jesiah6 | 7 March 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    I’d go to that cinema, but there might be some past smells I’d rather not experience again. Do they give you an optional clothespin at the door?

  11. avatar
    . | 7 March 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    thanks for igniting some impressions i can’t forget
    like the smell of lp sleeves in my father’s cedar chest
    or the black cups of coffee on my grandma’s antique desk
    stormtroopers, han solo, and earthworms by the back deck
    springtime blooming too soon in the south and out west
    the worst moments of childhood and some of the best…

  12. avatar
    Wilfred Paradise | 7 March 2012 at 10:40 pm #


  13. avatar
    danny | 8 March 2012 at 3:59 am #

    I am dying
    But we all are
    Or so I’m told
    Death hangs like drapery
    It is the sparkle on wood
    It sleeps in unkempt beds
    On should not be afraid of the dark
    Silent shadows around tree trunks
    It is part of the process
    A chapter in a cycle
    A mere page in a novella
    The final movement in a symphony
    The last scene in a play
    It has It’s own music
    It dances on cold fires
    It swims like fire underwater
    It frowns like a circus clown
    It breaths just like angels do
    It is deception cloaked as expression
    It is your last party invitation
    Yet I am no longer scared of long nights
    Surfacing like pods of artic whales
    A Mexican wrestling mask is death dressed up
    Low tide is death slowed down
    A cough is death in real time
    So I find solice in moments of control
    All of which form a perplexing gallery
    Every picture a good woman I let down
    Every sculpture a reason to live

  14. avatar
    danny | 8 March 2012 at 8:28 am #

    Any shark attacks on bondi of late?

  15. avatar
    Lenny | 8 March 2012 at 9:38 am #

    Harkening the ol’ factory…Speaking of alternative senses and artistic mediums that are largely undeveloped and unheralded save for the occasionally brilliant scratch ‘n sniff book; did you know that SK (you) and TP are listed in the “Notable Individuals” sufferers section of the Tinnitus Wiki. Does this Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing true?

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 8 March 2012 at 4:17 pm #

      ringing on n on n on

      • avatar
        CAth Meeson | 8 March 2012 at 7:13 pm #

        Steve, With Tinnitus you could try the Sound therapy on the walkman, probably have already, Jourdry is the lady i think, Aus product. Or most sublime, an energy field healing via a gong bath,, the most beautiful sonic bath, great for clearing the energy field and cellular blockage, may help?They are based up around Byron Bay 🙂

    • avatar
      Michel | 10 March 2012 at 1:15 am #

      As long as David Neil will enjoy playing “Gloria” onstage, I am afraid he will remain on the Tinnitus list…

  16. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 March 2012 at 11:04 am #

    I really havent seen star wars. Dont want to either.

  17. avatar
    Narelle | 8 March 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    definitely not musk…an absolute favourite and it was hunted high and low, in every ‘hippy’ shop in he 60s and 70s…until we found out where it was sourced from…then there was the second favorite parfum…amber…and it also has an interesting history…and now unavilable
    brylcream, memories of my dad “a little dab will do ya”…the youtube ad is quite funny to watch

  18. avatar
    That Girl | 8 March 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    Pears soap,who knew..Visting my Grandmother at Xmas receiving that first hello hug,breathing in the smell of Tweed perfume.Special days indeed.

  19. avatar
    Steven Krut | 8 March 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    This is a brilliant idea that will probably change the world. Odor as mass entertainment. It’s an idea that’s eluded all the great thinkers of modern times until now finally you’ve sniffed it out. I can imagine that the idea will spread like wildfire and in short order there will be Cineplex-like chains of scent theaters in every city. The carefully packaged and heavily promoted combinations of odors that are presented in these theaters will probably be called “smelms.” There will be many different genres of smelms, of course. Fancy art house smelms full of the enticing odour of pretentious petunias and capricious carnations. War smelms, full of pungent whiffs of gunpowder, the rankness of burned out cities, the smell of napalm in the morning… As with films, the best form of advertising for smelms will be word of mouth and when someone tells you not to go experience a smelm because it stinks, they will literally mean that it stinks. And, naturally, the industry that grows up to create all the smelms will annually bestow upon itself a vast array of awards in categories like, Most Persistent Aroma or Best Supporting Bouquet. Yes, it will be a sweeter, more redolent world once the smelms have arrived.

  20. avatar
    colette | 8 March 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    Oh sorry, more to the point if you’re interested: foul smell of four brothers, not pretty; mum’s hands sometimes smelt of garlic and onions, sometimes of Je Reviens; Dad would dutifully wear Brut sometimes then I discovered this Scandanavian sprucey stuff instead; a parent walking into our classroom and saying it smells like a fart which was true; me and my girlfriends: strawberry lip smacker, vaseline intensive care, reef oil, Charlie, Impulse and other repulsive compulsory stuff; stale cigarette smoke from the bus trip in; the boy at the dance who smelt of brandy… personally my favourite smells were Jontue and Heaven Scent. My brother laughed at me for my vanity, but I thought I hate the smell of fake tan, Yardley’s Lavender, so much better. And my friend’s mum’s Anzac cookies were quite good. I think I’ll leave on that note and not get too into the realism. Except to say the scent of Kent cigarettes was considered ultra sophisticated.

  21. avatar
    Richard | 8 March 2012 at 7:17 pm #

    great post

    I’ve always marvelled at the ability of smells to take me instantly to places and people and events that may be decades away

    and when thinking about this post I noticed something I’d not previously twigged to

    which is that I don’t think I can imagine smells

    I can recognise smells instantly
    but I can’t bring them to mind

    if I try to imagine a smell all I can smell is whatever is in the air
    it’s as if the smell has to be there for me to ‘remember’ it

    quite unlike a face or a voice or a song


  22. avatar
    hellbound heart | 8 March 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    jesus, smells conjure up such blindingly brilliant recollections….
    dad was a brylcream user and a smoker of flagship tobacco, have to admit to loving the aroma of a freshly opened packet…..the far less apoealing odor of Mum’s Winfield Reds (thank god they don’t smoke now)…..
    the smell of freshly mown lawn and sprinklers and bitumen baking under the midday sun……
    cooking beetroot and home made chocolate cake and washing that’s been out in the sun all day….
    that lovely exciting smell that the corner shop used to have as you approached the lolly counter with twenty cents in your hand…
    oh man, this is amazing…..
    love always…..

  23. avatar
    ChknOutlaws*** | 9 March 2012 at 9:40 am #

    Have u considered revisiting the magic man close by who helped greatly with ur inner core? Or do u c him on a regular basis.? U did declare he did something wonderful…especially to the magnificence that is ‘the disillusionist’ as used that as the template.


  24. avatar
    Anonymous | 9 March 2012 at 10:01 am #

    a favorite recipe of late: add a dozen or so drops of vanilla extract into bathwater (as warm as you can comfortably pour your bath), bring a couple of (wash the skins first) oranges to nibble on while in tub, as you peel the oranges don’t discard — put peels in tub… then turn the button on/jacuzzi if avail — if not, no worry: the heat/steam brings the fragrance out too… It smells just like one of those orange creamsicles they always sold in the movie theaters. Best part — the oil of the orange peels stays on you and later when you’re under sheets… still smells like it — even the next morning: your skin smells like it when you wake up; no memory needed!

  25. avatar
    colette | 9 March 2012 at 4:51 pm #

    I would not like to align myself with you horned beasts. I may encompass an aspect of masculinity in my make up. But it is not dominant. Just as slatterns may be part saint, sirens may be seers and even seers are not necessarily all evil. Therefore I’d like to see myself more as a Billie Whitelaw than Beckett. Then again, where were the boundaries there?

  26. avatar
    Lenny | 10 March 2012 at 12:18 am #

    who’s behind closed doors…

  27. avatar
    DavidP | 10 March 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    the smell of the starch factory nearby whilst I was at kindergarten
    once in every third blue moon I would get whiff of it as I grew up
    and be instantly transported back to another time and place
    and would note and contemplate the passage of time
    havent smelt that in over 20 years now
    the smell of incense instantly inspires
    frankincense, myrrh, rose, sandalwood, copal
    and oh the enticing smell of new breedlove 12 string guitar
    especially potent when just pulled out of its case

  28. avatar
    Cocoamo | 12 March 2012 at 11:16 am #

    I thought the aroma of a barn full of newly mown alfalfa hay was as close to heaven as one could reach until I drove through a grove of orange trees in blossom here in suneee Floreeda.

    Your Friend in Pennsylvania
    (Now in Cocoa Beach)

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