I am very sensitive to smells. More than anything, a smell can trigger powerful emotional responses and memories for me. I also am usually the first to notice a bad smell. And super strong, heavy scents like a lot of perfumes give me headaches.
I started making my own laundry detergent a little over a year ago, and I really like the clean, fresh, very light, almost no trace of a scent that it leaves behind....except for my sheets and towels. I really like my sheets and towels to have a clean and fresh smell to them. I’m weird that way.
The story I’m about to tell is what made me decide to write about it today, though. When my oldest son (12-years-old, going to be 13 in October, eep!) was a baby, I used to love the way he would smell when I picked him up from the church baby room at Bell Shoals Baptist on Sundays. I never could figure out what detergent they used to make the blankets smell so nice, but I really liked it.
I think I found it today while shopping at Walmart, not typically a favorite haunt of mine, but sometimes its usefulness slightly outweighs its irritating qualities. I have gotten to where I almost can’t stand to walk down the laundry aisle because the scents are so overpowering now that I’m used to my almost unscented homemade stuff, but I thought I’d try one more time to find something for the towels that would give them a little more sweet smell. I was a little wary because the last time I tried to use my old detergent, which I had always loved before I started making my own, the strong perfumy smell on the blanket I had washed in it made me so sick I had to rewash it in my homemade stuff. So, today I sniffed a few and said, “No way,” until I finally found it. What I found, if it isn’t the same it sure does evoke some sweet memories of those days, is this: Walmart’s store brand (Great Value) liquid detergent, Tranquil Lavender scent. Before anyone asks, I am still making my own detergent, but I like this for my sheets and towels, like I said, and it sure brings back sweet memories.
See, the smell isn’t just a nice smell. It’s a memory of those sweet days of being a new mom and of the friends we shared in that church family there in Brandon, FL. Drew and I feel like that is where we kind of ‘grew up’ together. We lived there as a young married couple, bought our first home there, loved our church family there, and have lasting friendships still today that were forged there, and our two oldest children were born there. So, today’s excursion to my not-so-favorite store ended up being a nice walk down memory lane. It’s so funny how a smell can evoke feelings that just encapsulate a phase of my life so strongly, isn’t it?
I’m enjoying today how laundry is helping me to remember the sweet fragrance that the friendships we made at that time in our early married life and the sweet fragrance of the spiritual growth we both experienced while members of that church have carried over into this time of my life and helped shape us into who we are today.
Kind of glad I decided to go to Walmart today.