“You can’t smell perfume through a mobile phone!” What a powerful expression. Think about it. Think about how provocative and evocative the scent of perfume can be. I read this statement recently and it made me reflect even further on how technology was starting to steal so much of what makes us who we are.

Smell can be bewitching, it can be abhorrent, it can be sour, it can be bland. It is a sense that can take us back to our childhood, to our young adulthood, to our babies, to a fresh and unexplored new marriage. It can remind us of classrooms- chalk, ink, armpits, and crusty teachers. We can rediscover the family home- burnt toast, roaring fires, fresh grass clippings, bickering and loving parents.

Sports fields, snotty play mates, summer beaches with seaweed and salt. Our cats and dogs all had smells of their own- when they die, we miss their special aroma as much as we do their very presence. We can revisit all of these parts of our lives- we have old photos and movies, we can go on the internet, we can have stories told by family and friends. But we can only get the “feeling” of actually being back in that moment of time through fleeting moments of smell.

The hairs on our back can stand on end when a smell of leather reminds us of the old family car, when the interior of a house takes us home, when we bury our heads into the aroma of a baby.

Sitting in a cafe surfing the net or meeting a whole new group of “friends” through Facebook or meeting someone on RSVP betrays the basic power of smell. What a moment when a lady sweeps by and leaves a perfume trail. Her physical presence disappears but part of her remains- the part of her that can move mountains and make ships crash on rocks (where was our Italian Captain last year when he his ship capsized?).

We all have our own particular scent, aroma, or smell. The same perfume can smell totally different on different people. It’s a combination of so many aromatic sources that turns your lover into the person he or she is. One man’s meat is another man’s poison.

The person we may meet on line is not the real person. Height, weight, interests, hobbies, colour, creed, race. It’s all like buying something from a catalogue.

But to get offline and mix with people is something entirely different. Remember the song “Love is in the Air?”. Our noses are forever twitching to be satisfied- and to satisfy their bearers! Give them a chance. You might be surprised at what, who, you might find.