Last year Amanda and I left our respective husbands, Michael and John, at home (yes I have decided to “out” everyone) and had a holiday in Cambodia and Vietnam. I had never travelled in Asia before and always thought that I wouldn’t be able to cope with the humidity. However, I found it one of the most exciting and memorable holidays I have ever had. Yes, it was humid but I was so fascinated by the sights and the totally different cultures that I barely noticed the humidity and I was certainly not going to let it get the better of me – there was just so much to experience. I could go on for ages about these countries, but this post is not really about that holiday, it is about the memories which have been evoked by a certain smell. Amanda had taken with her a cake of cucumber and green tea soap which we used every day in Cambodia. I think it ran out by the time we got to Vietnam. I have recently started to use the same soap and have been amazed by the powerful memories the scent of the soap has brought back. Memories which are so strong I can almost transport myself back to Cambodia and relive each day. I can see myself walking down the street, riding in a tuk tuk, visiting the markets and eating the food. I can even feel an adrenalin rush as I relive these memories. I still want to return to both Cambodia and Vietnam, but for the moment all I have to do is have a shower and use my cucumber and green tea soap and I am there.
To lose one’s sense of sight would be terrible and does not bear thinking about, but to lose a sense of smell would, to me, be almost as bad.