My association with scents is a very deep and dates back to my childhood days.
As a child, I was very sensitive to strong smells. So, any perfume or cream with a strong smell was a strict no-no for me. But the problem stayed on as my Mom used a perfume, and I sneezed ! My dad used an incense stick and I sneezed !! My sister used a mosquito repellent cream and my bouts of sneezing continued. So, it wasn’t enough if I stayed away, but the entire house had a restriction on using anything with a strong smell.
From days back then, there was one ‘scent’which always bothered our entire family. It was the smell of fish. We are a vegetarian family, and dinner time was usually the family time for us. All of us would assemble at the dining table for exchanging notes on the happenings during the day. We really looked forward to this family time everyday.The only fishy thing that happened everyday during our dinner time was the smell of fish being cooked/fried by our Bengali neighbor. Their kitchen and our kitchen/dining was just a wall apart.
We had our dinner at around 9 p.m, and we could smell the fish being cooked from our neighbor’s kitchen at the same time. We decided to vary our dinner time by 10-15 minutes up and down, but somehow, the ‘fishy’ times continued to coincide with our dinner and family time. I guess, after a few tries, we just put up with it and got used to the smell.
Even today, if any one of us smells fish being cooked, we are reminded of the ‘fishy’ times we had back then.