Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Metaphoremembrance—Olfactory Edition

My now Palanca Award Winner College Instructor introduced me along with my other classmates to the word, Metaphoremembrance. He seems to have a penchant for long words no one has ever heard before. I sometimes think he’s just making them up.

I don’t mind it, however. At least he saved me from thinking (or researching) for words that’ll pertain to whatever unnamed meaning out there.

Going back to metaphoremembrance

This long word pertains to an emotion or memory triggered by a stimulus perceived by any of your senses. And so as stated in my title, I am going to give you a list of those things, captured by my olfactory nerve (found somewhere inside my nose), that allow me to feel or remember pleasant thoughts.

1. Freshly baked bread – Although no one had ever baked bread at home (we used to bake cakes, muffins, brownies, and cookies but not bread) I feel safe whenever I smell freshly baked bread. I may be subconsciously reminded of the Fridays when I go home to Manila from my week’s stay at Los Baños. I sometimes get off the bus near Shangri-la Mall where rows of bread from Le Coeur de France are displayed at open shelves, if not on tables, to entice potential customers. The odor reminds me that I’m close to home.

If other people submit themselves to jasmine, coffee, vanilla, or whatnot, I just need the satisfying smell of freshly baked bread for my aroma therapy.

2. A box containing whatever gadget – It carries the smell of technology which is kind of comforting because, one, it means I can afford a new high-tech thing and, two, I am taking a step further to the future.

3. A baby preferably newly bathed – The ultimate scent of innocence! And it is probably what love smells like—not in the perverted, obvious sense. Think of it this way, almost everyone loves a baby (not necessarily everyone loves having a baby though). A normal person fuming with anger is tamed by the mere sight of a human being packaged in its most possible pristine form. If you don’t get what I mean, try to hang out in the nursery room of the hospital nearest you. Sniff as hard as you can!

4. New shoes – OK, this is a bit Imeldific! But hear this: the hygienic odor of a new pair of shoes reminds me of new adventures. Be it another year in school, moving on to get higher education (syempre new shoes pag graduation!), a party that celebrates a special occasion, another year at work—they all spell new adventure which have got to be fun!

5. Nature, the unpolluted variant – The smell of grass, trees, the sea, and the likes remind me of all the vacations I have taken especially those spent in various provinces in our country. The serene aroma of nature therefore works as a good “decompressant,” reminding me of the rewarding times when I did stop to smell the flowers!


Metaphoremembrance is really a great thing. When most of our brain cells have withered, little of what we remember now will stick with us. So to assure that you will keep with you good memories, I suggest you chain them with things your senses will forever perceive. Your eyesight and hearing may fail you at old age but you can always have your sense of smell to run to.

So if you’ve just had a good event worth-remembering, sniff! And next time you smell the most immediate thing you sniffed, you’re sure to smile for the happy thought you just remembered!

**note: I promise to upload my thoughts between my last post and today as soon as I can. I apologize for being a bit busy to update you with my life or lack thereof.

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