Pregnancy has, for me, brought many important reflections and emotions. Among the most intense is the way it has cast a new light on the intricacies of memory and time and how I stand at a juncture that will so profoundly weave myself through past, present, and future.
Questions such as ‘What do I remember, what will I remember, how will my daughter remember?’ and 'How can I hold on to the moments that matter?’ confront me as I venture into the realm of motherhood. In turning these over I have been repeatedly drawn to the role scents have played in shaping my own recollections - a subtle yet potent force that bridges the divide between now and then.
For instance, I grew up on a farm, but it is not the sights or sounds that summon my childhood, but the distinctive smells that swirl around the edges of my consciousness, pulling me back to that simpler time.
This reminder of the profound connection between scent and memory has inspired me to experiment with the use of incense and other fragrances during moments of solitude or shared experiences with my partner and family. By imbuing these moments with intentional scents, my hope is to create sensory anchors that signify the importance of being present and cherishing the experiences that enrich our lives.
For instance, during my yoga practice, I light a specific incense that envelops the room with a calming aroma, serving as a gentle reminder to remain present and focused on each breath and movement. This scent has become a symbol of mindfulness and self-care, linking together the moments when I am truly present and in tune with my body and mind.
Similarly, I have integrated scent into my nightly personal care routine. As I cleanse my face and prepare for sleep, I use a blend of artisanal incense with soothing properties. The comforting fragrance prompts me to pause and look inward, reflecting on the day's events and expressing gratitude for the moments I have shared with the people I cherish. This ritual, anchored by the enveloping aroma, has become a chain of memories that remind me of the importance of nurturing my well-being and maintaining a deep connection with those I hold dear.
By using scent as a cue, I am gradually building a collection of meaningful experiences, where each aroma serves as a reminder to cherish the present moment and nurture the bonds that make life truly fulfilling.
For me, this is an exploration in which I delve into the artful dance between scent, memory, and attention, uncovering the beauty of their intricate connections and the potential they hold for anchoring us to life's most precious moments.
Through the mindful use of fragrance, I believe we can craft a rich tapestry of experiences that endure in our memories, cultivating a deeper sense of presence and appreciation for the moments that matter, both alone and with those we hold dear.
Find my favourite incense here.