borsch: 1 post

On Scents, Memories, and Borsch

Last night I dreamt of making borsch with my late grandmother Valentina. It’s been three years since I last made it, but in my dream everything was as precise as it was in real life, down to the smells of vegetables and the rough texture of Valentina’s cutting board. My dreams of Ukraine recur frequently, but this particular one was especially vivid.

I have been writing about scents and memories for many years, and yet it always strikes me as remarkable how strong the recollections can be. I also noticed that the more I studied aromas, as part of my perfumery training and later during my practice, the more I could evoke scented memories. For this reason, I encourage everyone to practice simple exercises, such as selecting a couple of simple scents (black pepper, lemon, orange, or black tea,) and smelling them every morning for a few days in a row. As you smell, try to describe the associations that the smells conjure up for you. If you write them down, even better. Once you put something into words, it becomes easier to remember, even if it’s as intangible as a smell.

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  • Kim in One Summer Day in Our Ukrainian Village: Dear Victoria, I am so deeply saddened to read about the tragedy that struck your village. Distance is what makes the situation worse as it is times like these when… June 14, 2024 at 3:45pm

  • Maria Perry in One Summer Day in Our Ukrainian Village: Dear Victoria, What terrible news and I am so so sorry for your neighbor. It is devastating to hear about the war in Ukraine, but so important to have recounts… June 14, 2024 at 12:11pm

  • Victoria in What is a Rushnyk?: Thank you very much. You can try looking for a rushnyk on Etsy. A number of Ukrainian artisans have shops there. June 14, 2024 at 11:59am

  • Victoria in What is a Rushnyk?: It was such a lovely museum. A volunteer effort. June 14, 2024 at 11:58am

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