These Ancient Eyes: Quirky Sense Of Smell

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Like most wolf therians, I’m very aware of my sense of smell (when my allergies allow me to feel like I HAVE one, that is), but there are certain times when I wish very much that I could be like my friend Nyx, who doesn’t have a sense of smell at all.

For instance, everyone knows that scent is a strong trigger of memory. It’s also tied to one’s stomach in a lot of cases – smelling food can make you hungry, even if you weren’t a moment earlier. Or, alternately, smelling something gross can make you nauseated, even if you aren’t sick. However, what I’m taking issue with today is that my brain apparently combines scents and finds strange things horrifically repulsive.

Last night, broccoli and cheese was part of our dinner. I’m the designated dishwasher, so before I went to bed last night, I was finishing up the dishes. This included the pot that the broccoli and cheese was made in. I love the scent of broccoli and cheese. It’s delicious.

Our current dish soap is green apple scented. I also love this scent. It reminds me of Jolly Ranchers, and makes me want candy.

Now, dinner had been about six hours earlier, but, silly me, I hadn’t thought to come in and rinse the pot to make my washing of it easier when I got there. So, I decided to squirt some soap into it, fill it with hot water, and let it soak while I did the other dishes.

I don’t know if it was the soap, the broccoli, the hot water, or some combination of them – but as I was washing the dishes, the scent drifted over to my for-once-unblocked nose… and it was possibly the most disgusting thing I have ever smelled. I reeled back from the sink and said “whoa,” thankfully fairly quietly. The scent was so strange that I couldn’t even PLACE it – it didn’t smell like broccoli and cheese, or hot water, or even green apples. It smelled… I can’t even compare it to anything, but imagine the worst scent you can – that’s what it was like.

Now, as most canines, I’m intrigued by scents. So I began hunting for the source of the strange, disgusting smell. It didn’t take me long to localize it to the pot… or to squick out the moment I got a better scent of it. Had I been a canine in the physical, I’d have been pawing at my nose as if I’d just been skunked. My eyes were watering, I kept shaking my head, and I had to take my glasses off because my face was heating up and they actually fogged.

I did the only thing I could do – I yanked the pot into the sink and dumped it, then started running water into it, scrubbing furiously. I breathed through my mouth, wished that my nose would choose that moment to stuff up (it didn’t), and got that pot as clean as I could as quickly as possible. Soon, the only scent coming from it was the Jolly Rancher-esque scent of the soap.

However, the damage had already been done. My stomach had turned, and nothing could get that smell out of my nose. I sniffed several other things before leaving the kitchen – old coffee, cat food, a piece of bologna, which I also ate in an attempt to clear the scent. But ultimately it was ducking into the bathroom and brushing my teeth for the second time in less than an hour that managed to clear the scent and replace it with the Scope mint of my toothpaste.

I don’t know if that weird scent is to blame for the fact that I couldn’t get to sleep last night, and when I did, it was incredibly fitful, but I did learn one thing – soaking a cheesy broccoli pot in apple soap and hot water is NOT something I’m going to do again.