I spoke about this to a friend sometime back and it stuck in my head..thought should blurt it out on the blog as well. I read Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh and there were lines in that book about the smells. How the female protagonist, an Indian living in America felt that the smells of her house followed her to the playground leading to other children making fun of her and those smells that lingered on.
Smells are so distinctive..I mean I go abroad, come back and the smell of Bombay hits you when you step on that airport tarmac. Such an unique smell it is redolent of slums, ammonia and other things and there is no other city which can replicate it. Each city has a smell...its like Manchester's Curry Lane, which I used to live next to, again smells so strong of spices and Indian/Bangladeshi food.
I wonder when I used to cook at home with my turmeric, garam masala powder, how would a foreign person think about those smells? Would it repel, attract, interest or disgust people? Most people I have met like the smells of Indian cooking but not everyone and Indians abroad are distinguished by the smell of curry, something I remember someone telling me. I would hate to step out of my house smelling of curry!!
Smells are about places, that chocolate you had here..the perfume someone gave you, the acidic and fried up smell of fish which I don't like very much..so next time you step out, raise that nose in the air and smell it up....:)