Stinky or Sweet? How's your day been?

“How has your day been so far?” I asked a dental patient waiting in our reception room. 

“Wonderful,” she said, “It’s an absolutely delicious day.” 

I wasn’t feeling quite so enthusiastic, but I appreciated her attitude. It was positive and grateful.

We’ve tackled some serious topics lately on this blog—sexual purity, how to impact a Godless culture, why God doesn’t answer our prayers. Now it’s time to have a little fun. 

To lighten things up and help us recognize God in the little things, I invite you to close your eyes and breathe deeply. Take in the scent of the world around you. For some of you, that scent may include a dirty diaper or stinky trash. Hopefully it also includes a few good smelling scents. If it doesn’t, change your location and try again. 

Here are a few of my favorite scents: 

1. Sheets fresh off the clothesline. 

Mmmmm. Heavenly. 

There was a generation of women who didn’t know what a clothesline was, but recently it became trendy to use “solar dryers.” I’ve used solar dryers since long before solar dryers were cool. Just sayin’. 

2. Warm puppies. 

My boss would say, “puppy breath,” but he’s a dentist. Notice what he doesn’t say: “dog breath.” Or people breath, for that matter. 

3. Warm babies. 

 Fresh out of the bathtub, scrubbed pink with Johnson’s Baby shampoo, and preferably asleep in my arms.

4. Any white flower that blooms in the South. 

Gardenia, magnolia, honeysuckle, lily of the valley, ginger lily, Easter lily, or narcissus. These smell good enough to eat. 

5. Popcorn popping. 

Even if I haven’t thought about popcorn in six months, when I walk into a movie theater or pass the popcorn machine at Target, I want some. Now. What is it about that smell? 

6. Mountain air. 

Blowing up from the valley and through the rustling trees, the scent is indescribably amazing. 

7. Steak on the grill. 

Apologies to my vegan friends, but this scent draws bears out of the woods, neighbors from across the street, and every carnivore within five miles. 

8. A pine forest warmed by the sun. 

Sweet and spicy, it’s like a Christmas tree lightly toasted. Thank you, South Carolina. 

9. Bread right out of the oven. 

Batista bakery, with its bin of 2-foot-long loaves standing upright, wrapped in white paper sleeves is a scent-sational childhood memory. Mom always sent us for two, knowing one would never make it home. 

10. Ivory soap. 

This is one of my earliest favorite scents. I bathed with it as a young child and thought if it smelled good, it must also taste good. 

Wrong. So wrong. 

Isaac loved the scent of his son. A hunter, Esau smelled like the open field. “So he went to him and kissed him. When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said, "Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed,” (Gen. 27:27). 

Most of the time, I’m thankful God created us with noses, olfactory nerves, and things to smell. What are some of your favorite smells? Leave a comment below and share them. I’d love to hear from you.

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  1. Yum! Fresh bread straight out of the oven. I also enjoy the smell of clean leather, fresh cut hay, and bacon. And I don't know what it is about popcorn, either, but I want some too when I go to Target!

    1. I'm nodding amen at fresh bread, breathing deeply of clean leather, and if freshly cut hay is anything like freshly cut grass, I'm right there with you, too. My husband would cast his vote for bacon. What is it about that smell that gets everyone's nose twitching? Thanks for chiming in today :)