Today I sat beside a woman who smelled like mint gum, floral perfume, and Bic pen ink. These, to me, signify a grown up woman. Add in a little pencil lead and you have just described the scent of my grade school teachers.
My Gramma smelled like that too, minus the pen and pencil smells. We used to sit with her and Grampa at church (the best part of church for me) and she would pass me a candy to quietly unwrap. These days workplaces, schools, and churches pride themselves on being scent-free environments. I had forgotten about these smells and the nostalgic tidal wave that washed over me today was surprising.
Other smells are ‘woman’ smells for me too:
Coffee with Mint Gum
Cigarettes partially obscured by perfume
What a Woman Sounds Like:
Bracelets moving along a wrist, making a faint ‘ting’ sound as they rub together or when a charm bracelet rattles, or a loose watch strap. Usually these sounds would occur when the woman was rummaging through her purse for a pen so she can write a cheque or sign a permission slip.
Throat clearing. This signifies ‘shut up about that topic right now’ and was usually directed at a male relative but occasionally at us kids too.
Yellow (hello). This is how my Gramma always answered the phone. She would have no idea who was calling because no call display, and would always cheerfully answer. My Dad usually answered like this too.