Monday, March 2, 2015

The Smell of Love

I remember when the sixth Harry Potter book came out and I first read about Amortentia.

Actually, what I mostly remember from that book's release is getting home from work at 2 am after my bookstore's giant Harry Potter party.  Let me tell you what, nobody knows how to have fun like a couple hundred people so obsessive about Harry Potter they're willing to hang around a bookstore for hours just to buy their books at midnight, unless it's the people who work at the bookstore and spend weeks decorating the store, planning their costumes, and staying up for several more hours after getting home at 2 am just to get a head start on The Half-Blood Prince.

Anyway.  Amortentia.  A love potion of sorts to you muggles.  It wasn't so much the "love" part that intrigued me, but the potion's scent.  Each person who comes near it smells something different, seemingly their favorite scents; I remember Hermione smelled freshly mown grass and new parchment and something else.

Immediately upon reading this, I, naturally, wondered what Amortentia would smell like to me, and in very short order was perturbed to find I had no earthly idea.

This is no doubt because I have a crap sense of smell, which doesn't normally bother me; in fact, it's been a real boon to me in recent years, being in possession of three small children and all the bodily fluids they derive so much joy from flinging around.  I generally don't mind cleaning up after sickness and potty training and all the other liquid parts of my glamorous life, most likely because I usually can't smell them.  I am bothered by strong perfume-type smells mostly because they induce an immediate pounding headache, but really all this means is I have to stay out of Bath and Body Works and any section of our church where large groups of college-age males are gathered.

So, fine:  I know what smells I don't like, but what about which smells I do?  This has bothered me, that I didn't have a favored scent, that I had no idea what I would smell if Amortentia was wafted under my nose.

But finally, finally, I smelled it.  The scent that sent me a-swooning.

ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?  Are you thinking all kinds of fancy things like jasmine and sandalwood and notes of vanilla and lavender?  Because if you are, then I daresay you don't know me at all.

Diced onion sizzling in bacon grease.

That's it.  I made a new potato soup recipe a few weeks ago, and I keep finding excuses to make it over and over again, because that second step of dicing a white onion, then cooking it up til it softens in the leftover bacon grease of all that beautiful bacon you just fried up?  It is heaven.  It is nirvana.  World peace could be had if they'd just cook up a bunch of onions in bacon grease at all those talks and summits and meetings, I'm convinced.

And so, of course, I'm curious:  If we weren't all relegated to the sad, sad world of muggles (aka CRUEL REALITY), and you were smelling Amortentia, what would it smell like to you?

To put it more simply (for those of you who hate whimsy and fun):  What is your favorite smell?  Do you have one?  Have you ever smelled onions cooking in bacon grease?  Is it not divine?



  1. Here's what Amortentia would be for me: Pick a chilly day, say, Thanksgiving Day. Stick a turkey in the oven. Go outside for a two hour walk. Come back inside the house. That scent of outside chill followed by roasting turkey in the warmth of one's own home- that is Amortentia.

  2. But yes, onions and bacon frying - that's also Amortentia.

  3. A saddle shop. The cool, crisp, sharp scent of leather. And swathed alfalfa fields, even though I'm deathly allergic to alfalfa.

  4. Onions and bacon frying would be heavenly, as is the scent of a chocolate cake baking (even though I don't really like to eat the cake).

    But I think for me it would be the smell of lilacs. Especially the scent that comes to you from a slight distance, from a whole grove of them. It's absolute heaven, and always goes away too soon.

  5. I'll have to think on this one... but I do know that most mornings I like to cuddle with a cup of fresh, hot coffee.


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