Another subtle and unobtrusive type of synaesthesia noticed

The other day my umbrella broke, so I went shopping for another one. I wanted another one that folds up and fits into a handbag. I went to those stores that sell cheap stuff, but the umbrellas looked like they’d break in a minute. Variety stores only had black umbrellas, which is an uninspiring colour and a stupid choice for safety and visibility. So I paid a bit extra and got a nice pretty umbrella from a gift shop.

I got to use it the next day, and when I did I noticed a lovely smell. After a while of wondering where that lovely smell was coming from I figured out that I’d bought a scented umbrella. Funny thing – I couldn’t identify the floral-type fragrance except that it had a sharpness that was reminiscent of some essential oil from an Australian native plant, and it was a scent that seems to be the archetypal smell of gift shops. I’d never realised that gift shops have a typical smell, till I’d smelt it outside of the usual context of a gift shop. After a while of sniffing my umbrella I noticed something else, that the smell was making me think of the concept of delicately ornate pure white cake icing. I can think of no logical reason why this scent should remind me of cake icing. The umbrella wasn’t white. It isn’t a flavoring smell, and I’m sure I’ve never eaten icing that smells or tastes like that. This appears to be a case of (fragrance) smell -> (food) concept synaesthesia. Almost as strange as a scented umbrella.

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  • By That smell…. | Am I a super-recognizer? on September 27, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    […] kind of smell. The floral fragrance was exactly the same scent that I wrote about in this post:… Why does the scent of a white hawthorm make me think of white cake icing? An ancient trace of a […]

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