Love the Moment Challenge: Stoping in my Tracks

{photo taken at Spring Bluff Station: Toowoomba}

flowers red

I had a headache this particular afternoon. A nasty one. I dosed myself on medication and drove to the school to pick up the children. Doors opened. Bags were thrown in first, then the children climbed in on top of each other. All usual stuff.  The familiar banter in the back seat seemed so loud this afternoon and I felt my impatience build inside me like a stove top kettle ready to whistle. The children’s behaviour was normal but everything was irritating me. I could see the hours ahead spiraling out of control and it filled me with dread.

Something stopped me in my tracks. It was fascinating.  I arrived home after the school pick up and I opened the door. Something stopped me. I stopped because the remanence of the scent I had sprayed a couple of hours before hit me as I walked in the door. I stopped for a moment — and this might sound weird — but that hit of scent helped me to remember that I was alive, in the moment. I remembered that my children were here with me and I had choices that could change the way the afternoon unfolded. The scent was a trigger for me; an immediate and positive one. I still had a headache, and I didn’t have a rainbows-and-lollipops afternoon, but I was conscious about my choices and made an effort to be more careful about how I reacted to my children.

Love the Moment: Smell

As I look over many of the Love the Moment Challenges, they focus on many of the obvious senses: touch, sight, sound but there isn’t much on smell. I often forget that smell is a powerful and beautiful (and sometimes not-so-beautiful) thing.  

Using scent in the home is a recent development for me. There are a two main reasons for this. Firstly, I have terrible memories from long ago of using fragrance sprays in the home that remind me of the overpowering public toilet scent (yes, so powerful you know there must be something very bad to mask). Secondly, I’ve been busy surviving the days while I raise small children  and have forgotten how nice it is to burn a scented candle that leaves a just-there smell around the home.

Since I met  international perfumer Junji (back in May) and talked to him about the Ambi Pur Air Effects Range (which I have been using ever since), I’ve made an effort to use scent in the home.  Now use scent daily as a tool to create atmosphere in the home, and as a trigger for myself.

ambi pur air effects range

This month, I’m focusing on the sense of smell. I brainstormed some ideas and have listed them below.

Scent in the home

  • Spray before I leave the house for an entire day (so I come home to a nice smelling home regardless of what it looks like)
  • Spray before I have guests (this makes me feel confident that visitors will feel comfortable in my home)
  • Spray before the kids come home from school (so I create a lovely atmosphere for them to come home to plus I hope to build scent memories for them to remember in the future)
  • Light a scented candle once a week
  • Cut a lemon in half and leave it in the fridge
  • Make potpourri sachets with the kids for their drawers
    • Buy small organza bags (used for weddings) from a discount store
    • Stuff with potpourri
    • Tie ribbon at top

Scent as a trigger

I have found this works amazingly well. It’s quite astonishing actually. There are two things I do to use smell as a positive trigger.

One: Spray the house with air freshner before I leave for a day out, and when I come home, the smell reminds me to be in the moment as I walk in the door so I don’t miss the things that are important.

Two: On top of the fridge I keep a scent sachet and every time I walk past it, the smell reminds me to any of these things, depending on the goals I set that day:

  • To reassess where I’m at
  • To pray for my children/others
  • To smile
  • To do another small job
  • To ring/email/sms a friend

Scent as memories

Scent often conjures up memories for me. I want to capture some of that this month, especially in regards to my Mum who died 5 years ago.  Below are a few things I plan to do:

  • Visit the perfume section at a department store and find my Mum’s favourite perfume, Volupte. Spray it on a card and put in on my bedside table.
  • While I’m there, see if I can find myself a new perfume after wearing the same on for the last 15 years (no kidding).
  • Bake bread. My mum used to bake bread and it’s one of the most beautiful smells in the world!
  • Buy fresh flower once this month.
  • Buy Imperial Leather Soap (my grandmother used).
  • Buy lavender in a pot (reminds me of the lavender my mum had around the clothes line).
  • Recreate the Thai food (and blog the recipe) I learned how to cook on my recent scent inspired journey to Thailandscent memories

Scent as love

The only thing left of my list is to take some time to notice the little things that give me joy.

  • Breathe in the scent of my childrne’s skin after a bath
  • Stop to smell a rose (literally)
  • Cuddle and nuzzle my husband
  • Next time I’m at the beach, take the time to breathe in the smell of freedom
  • Make something that smells nice as a gift for a friend. This may be anything from a cake to a candle.

If you want to create your own scent journey this month, brainstorm a list under these categories:

Scent in the home

Scent as a trigger

Scent as memories

Scent as love

It doesn’t matter if you can’t get through it all. I’m putting a star next to the things I really want to do this month. They are:

  • find my mum’s perfume
  • buy fresh flowers once this month
  • make bread
  • make potpourri sachets with the kids

Scent Journey jot pad

{click the picture to download the PDF file}

scent journey

What scent brings back memories for you?

Other Posts

Slow Life Down Without The Need to Be Less Busy

6 Things I Learned in Thailand

I See Colour

Out of the Office: In Thailand

 Love the Moment

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  • Reply
    October 4, 2011 at 4:43 am

    Cut grass
    New West
    YoYo biccies

    Oh so many….

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      October 6, 2011 at 8:58 am

      Diorissimo, is that what you wear Lucy?

      • Reply
        October 6, 2011 at 1:30 pm

        No, not me, I wear New West. My Mum used to wear Diorissimo. It stops me in my tracks when I smell it. I love it.

        Can I tell you something Kelly? I actually bought some Ambi Pur today based on this post…


        • Reply
          Kelly Be A Fun Mum
          October 8, 2011 at 11:26 am

          Which one? Do you like it? I’m a little addicted to them now I think. HA!

  • Reply
    Tara @ Mum-ments
    October 4, 2011 at 7:28 am

    What a beautiful way of remembering!
    I’ll be putting air freshner on the shopping list n finding the perfect one to spray
    Love all these ideas

  • Reply
    Kristie harte
    October 4, 2011 at 7:45 am

    The smell of wood burning always takes me back to campimg with my family. They were fantastic carefree times for all of us. Even now in the city, if I catch a whiff from a chimney, I stop and take a big breath in.

    I have forgotten what its like to have a nice candle in the house (thanks to the kidlets).

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      October 6, 2011 at 9:01 am

      What a gorgeous memory Kristie!! I’m hoping to recreate some of the same memories or my own kids. Smell and memory are so closely linked.

  • Reply
    Veronica @ Mixed Gems
    October 4, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Unfortunately, my first thought was an unpleasant memory, but I’ve quickly pushed that aside….I love the idea of scent. It lifts my mood. I’ve started burning candles again fairly regularly to the point that I’m going to start making my own candles from the wax scraps. There are a few scents that stand out for me – lemon eucalyptus when walking in the park, flowers especially lillies, frangipani, jasmine and lavender, baked cinnamon, White tea and ginger, fresh laundry, to name a few. I like your ideas though of building new memories or rituals with scent such as offering a prayer or thought for your children. Lovely post.

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      October 6, 2011 at 9:04 am

      It’s so interesting that smell can conjure up good and bad memories, isn’t it. I guess the power of one always comes with the equal power of the other. That said, I loved your stand out scent list. Lemon eucalyptus….mmmm.

      Ooo, making candles…will you blog about it?

  • Reply
    October 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    The smell of fresh earth after the rain; the smell of a baby’s hair when you snuggle up with your bub; the smell of gum leaves in a campfire; the smell of fresh seaweed on the shore; the smell of just baked chocolate cake; the smell of sun warmed basil growing in my garden.


    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      October 6, 2011 at 9:05 am

      I’m finding reading all these comments about scent SOOOO inspiring!

  • Reply
    A Keeper
    October 4, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    I love burning candles, but somehow got bogged down in the effort of it all. Such a great idea to refocus our thoughts and feelings. Off to get one going now 🙂

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      October 6, 2011 at 9:12 am

      That’s it. It’s so easy to be bogged down by everything that we forget to enjoy these simple pleasures that really don’t take any extra time… I have found the sprays beautiful to use because I don’t burn many candles anymore, expect at night when the kids are in bed. Even then, I’m a conscious because I’m laiable to forget to blow it out! HA!

  • Reply
    Zoey @ Good Goog
    October 5, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    I love the smell of baking bread, sandalwood and cedar.

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      October 6, 2011 at 9:13 am

      I’ve forgotten how much I love the smell of wood Zoey. You reminded me. I think it comes from my dad being a builder and constantly working with wood.

  • Reply
    October 8, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I like the idea of using scents in the home, however I can’t use air fresher as the chemicals in it it make me sick :/
    essential oils are a great alternative 🙂

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      October 10, 2011 at 11:23 am

      Yes, oils last a long time too, don’t they?

      I like the Ambi Pur air freshener because they use natural Nitrogen-based propellants.

  • Reply
    Kandy Shepherd
    October 8, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Hi Kelly, I have always been interested in scent and the effect it has on our emotions and memories.
    My mother wore Chanel No.5 and it always evokes her presence for me–I could never wear it myself. The other day my daughter took off for uni without perfume and (on the bus together!) we tried to transfer some of my recently sprayed Chanel Allure onto her wrist via mine. It worked! She thanked me, but said she would never wear Allure by choice as it is my perfume and she will always associate the scent with me. I only just realised as I typed this that both my mother and I chose “signature scents” by the same brand.
    I so enjoyed being on the scent journey with you–marvellous memories! Love your idea of spraying Ambi Pur around the house before you leave so you come home to the scent. I must try that!

  • Reply
    October 8, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I love vanilla air freshener. Its so yummy. (keep in mind, alot of air fresheners only last 1-2 hours, so if your going out for the whole day you need a timer one on, or a wall one plugged in, but the wall ones are the cause of the most house fires, best only to put on for a short time if you are home) 🙂 But yes I love to spray vanilla just as people arrive.

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      October 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm

      The one I use lasts for up to 4 hours (and I find if I’m not in the house, for longer). I’ve never used a wall one (and prob won’t after that bit of info -ha!). I don’t mind the sachet type that sit there (and not plugged in). Mostly I love the flexibility of spraying what I like depending on my mood. I’m a fan of candles too but don’t light them often.

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      October 8, 2011 at 1:46 pm

      Oh, and I love vanilla too. I have a vanilla lavender one that is my fav…

  • Reply
    Mothering Motherless
    October 9, 2011 at 10:37 am

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  • Reply
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    October 14, 2011 at 4:47 pm

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  • Reply
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  • Reply
    November 12, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I’m a new fan of your blog and find myself browsing late at night whilst my brood sleep.
    I know this is an older post but I just wanted to add my two pence worth.
    My favourite all time scent was freshly cut grass. But then I had a baby. And for those first few days I couldn’t stop myself from breathing in his newness. His hair, his sleep suits, just him. Then along came my second little boy and I was hypnotised all over again. That ‘newborn’ smell makes me want to shed a tear. So when (11 years later) my youngest arrived I knew I had to make the most of those first few days and have him as close to me as possible.
    I still love the smell of cut grass but give me a newborn baby any day!!

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