Somebody put a vaseful of rosal in the washroom, and before I knew it, I was brought back to those breezy, carefree flores de mayo days. Scents do that to me. I get a whiff of Coppertone, and I am transported to Boracay and lazing under the SPF 30 sun. A hint of musk, and suddenly, I am in high school all over again. The sea, when the tide is out, reminds me of elementary years in a school by the bay.
Sometimes, the memories are good:
Firewood and fiestas. Old Spice and family reunions. Cinnamon and Christmas. State of Mind and my "bestest" friends, Berna and Maricar. Noxzema and college at UST. Aceite de Manzanilla and Gianna's baby days. Brewed coffee and last full shows.
And sometimes they are not so good:
Betadine and the operating room. Herbs and Quiapo and the one time a vendor harangued me for refusing her medallion. Mud and the floodwaters of Espana. White Flower/Tiger Balm and the pre-Bonamine days, when the journey home took 14 hours, a sore butt and a losing fight with motion sickness. Sardines and EDSA. (Who would have thought that Edsa would be trivialized by subsequent "Revolutions," and that Philippine politics would forever smell fishy?)
A few years from now, my nose would probably pick out a scent and bring me back to where and what I am now. Would it be Victoria's Secret, or baby powder, or Promil Kid, perhaps? Whatever it is, I'm sure, the nose would know...