Ahh… the smell of new tennis shoes.
My granddaughter got new tennis shoes today, and while lacing them for her, I got a good whiff of that brand-new sneaker smell. I don’t know whether it’s the fresh canvas or pristine rubber. There is just something special about that aroma that really took me back to another time and place. My first memory of new tennis shoes is when I was six years old. My brother, then 12, helped our cousin with a landscaping project. With some of the money he made, he bought me a pair of red, Keds-type sneakers that I had been wanting. How I loved those shoes! I believed I could actually jump higher and run faster in those wonderful red shoes.
It’s a funny thing about smells. Sure, most of us admit to an affinity for the aroma of sizzling bacon or that ever-popular new car smell. Yet, some scents seem to transport us, take us on a mind-trip to another lifetime.
* Honeysuckle always takes me back to my grandmother’s rock house in the country.
* Crayons and Play Doh are eau d’elementary school
* Burning leaves hark back to campfires, and for me, a time long ago when we lived in a small town where we actually did rake autumn leaves into piles, then burn them
* The sweet smell of a baby’s head. Is it some unique blend of innocence and purity with baby lotion that keeps us, as Frank Barone (in “Everybody Loves Raymond”) put it, “sucking in that youth.”
* Chlorine reminds me, not just of swimming as a child, but, also the wet, slippery floor of the dressing room at the pool.
I believe it has been proven our olfactory senses are directly linked to memories and nostalgia. I know for certain, I have an urge to buy new tennis shoes – maybe red ones.