Saturday, July 28, 2007

passover seder in a bottle

Among other things I collect, I have a bathroom cabinet filled with aromatherapy shower gels. I can't help myself. I like how they smell, and I like using them in the shower. If I walk into a Bath and Body Works sale, I willfully suspend my critical consumer thinking and will buy 5 for $25 without calculating that "on sale" still means that 10oz of what is mostly water and sodium laurel sulfate is costing me $5.

What's worse is that when I go on these consumer splurges, in an addled frenzy I will sometimes buy smells I know nothing about simply because of attractive packaging, or a nice sounding name. I have not yet learned that olfactory products should not be purchased based on visual or aural clues.

So, last night I cracked open a new bottle of "lemon grass sage" shower gel. I guess I bought it because I like lemon, but was aware that without smelling it in the store, I could be in for a completely kitcheny experience. I was hoping more for "Joy" than "thai food", but I was definitely prepared for something that didn't belong in the bathroom.

It smelled like neither end of that spectrum. It had no recognizable lemon scent at all, and the scent it did have was just dancing around the edges of my cortex, teasing me into trying to place it.

It didn't smell bath-y and it didn't smell kitchen-y. It smelled fresh. It smelled green. It smelled... fresh and green. Like lawn, only not really. That was the best I could do. And on top of the elusive smell, it triggered an elusive memory. It was an old memory, and it compelled an action, though I wasn't quite sure what that was, either.

I spent an extra 10 minutes dawdling in the shower trying to figure it out. As I was rinsing out my conditioner it finally hit me. Parsley. It smelled like parsley. And what I was wanting to do was dip something in salt water and sing Dayanu...

Next time I'll pick up the complementary Matzoh and Charoses bath beads.


Anonymous said...

They say that our sense of smell is the one most closely related to memory and you've gone ahead and proven this connection. (Before you ask who "they are, I don't really remember. Maybe I saw it on Oprah or read it in a magazine; either way, there must not have been any odor associated with this factoid.)

Sorry to hear that it sounds like you're not Reunion-bound. I'll try to take bad cell phone photos to share with you.


Leisa said...

I'm commenting partially to check my blogger identity, but also because I freakin' loved this post. And I've only ever been to one Seder. Aren't you glad you're reaching the "Raised Southern Baptist But Now Zen Pagan Spiritual Atheist" demographic?