The Time Machine Attribute photo to Wikipedia

The Time Machine
Attribute to Wikipedia

Dull all the senses but one? I don’t think so. Too much of a price to pay for one super sense. It’s not that mine are particularly sharp, but I think that since I’ve started writing, they are more attuned to the world around them. They are subconsciously and constantly checking out ideas. Imagine it, two people on a tram chatting. There was a lot of ‘he said, she said’ involved. It’s more overhearing than listening in on purpose, but I wouldn’t give that sense up. Sometimes one throwaway line will lead to a story or an idea for a column.

I understand the power that scent has on memories. A whiff of Chanel Number 5 and I’m immediately visiting a younger, more carefree past. I can’t think of a single sense that I would prefer above all others, not even taste. Literally and figuratively, it rounds me out and makes me the person I am.

Alice in Wonderland thought she would have the advantage over others if she ate the mushroom and drank the potion. She soon caught on that there are drawbacks that came along with the advantages.

And it’s the drawbacks that worry me. As the advertisements are always telling us, ‘conditions apply’. Often it’s the stated conditions that take up more time than the peppy advert. If an offer is too good to be true then you need to check the fine print for the consequences. Because there are consequences.

I wouldn’t give up my hearing. A bit like new lamps for old, don’t you think? Lend me your ears and I will give you super sight. But if you can’t hear, you often can’t speak or sing or laugh. Well you can but in a limited way, you wouldn’t be able to control those actions or know what they sound like. Unlike Alice or Aladdin’s mum, I’d be no good to that mysterious man. He would want an immediate decision and, old fashioned though it is these days, I’m the sort of person who has to carefully examine both sides of an issue before committing myself.

Giving up the taste buds is out. Half the pleasure in eating is the tasting and smelling and if the recipe blogs are anything to go by in the visuals as well, so not giving up sight either. I don’t have the nerve to read the recipes online look at the luscious photos and read the graphic descriptions unless I’ve had a filling meal beforehand. Some of those blogs are an amazing mix of pictures, recipes and biographies. I love checking out the descriptions of pungent cheeses, plump olives, spicy salamis, chocolate cake, sweet juicy pears, the drippier the better, red tomatoes and crunchy fresh cucumbers. I live to eat, as I’ve said, it makes me who I am. I couldn’t possibly dull those senses.

I’ve been told that the loss of one sense can heighten the sensitivity and appreciation of all the others but here we are being asked if we would dull all others for just one super sense. I can’t imagine who would fall for that.

I certainly wouldn’t. I won’t give a single one of my children up, don’t ask me.

You encounter a mysterious man offering you a magic potion that, once sipped, will make one of your senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch) super sharp — but dull the others. Will you sip it, and if so, what sense do you choose?

5 thoughts on “A whiff of Chanel Number 5

  1. I’m with you, Mary. That snake oil salesman can take his elixir somewhere else!

    So funny to see Chanel No. 5 here tonight. I have a perfume post coming up. Chanel isn’t mentioned, but it was the first “real” perfume I ever had. It was given to me for Christmas by a man I was dating at the time.

  2. Pingback: On My Front Porch

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