Sunday, May 30, 2010

Does space smell and other odiferous contemplations

My smarty-pants friend Beth guessed the answer right away, but I was surprised to find out what, according to that very select group of space travelers and moon walkers, space smelled like.

Although some said fried steak, which I suspect was more a case of wishful thinking, the general consensus is that space smells like hot metal and burnt gunpowder. At first, I was disappointed to hear this. I expected space to be fragrantly fresh, filled with undefiled wafts of heavenly aromas. But I suppose it is reasonable to expect all those burning gases and exploding supernovas to leave their mark forever floating in the molecules of space (my totally unsubstantiated supposition, by the way).

Because smells are linked to the part of the brain controlling our emotions, we often associate a certain fragrance with a memory of a person or event. This works both ways--for better or for worse.

Our doggie-by-default loves the way my husband smells. As soon as he gets out of bed, the pooch jumps up and rolls in ecstatic delight all over the sheets still warm with the lingering smell of my husband. I told him not to get too smug about doggie's preferences because I saw her roll all over a dead bird as well.

Whether we consciously perceive it or not, we all leave an odiferous trail marking our presence. The apostle Paul tells us that Christ "manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God . . ."

May the trail you leave behind today be sweet and remind others of God.


  1. I love the smell of gunpowder!Remember cap guns? My great-grandfather used to let us pound the ammo strips for cap guns with a hammer on the back step and that smell is like summer nights to me now along with the metallic tang of marigold fragrance, tin watering cans, lawnmower gas and grass and the taste of raw oysters served up over a pail of saltwater in the backyard. So, in my thinking, space also smells like marigolds. I love the dead bird comment to your husband. Tough being married to a writer. :) Great post!

  2. Only you, Lori could pull all those wonderful memories out of gunpowder(except for maybe a gunslinger). Yes! I loved the smell of cap gun strip exploding on rocks.

  3. Enjoying your blogs. Stay in the chair and keep on writing my friend.

  4. Thanks, Beth, Hoping to see some poetry--any chance of that?


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