Sunday, January 29, 2006

SCENTED MEMORY #3: Disney World, Florida

There's a special aroma in the air at Disney World, a smell that permeates monorails, Contemporary Hotels and even the Hall of Presidents. A smell that says, "I've just been vaccuumed, shampooed and scrubbed." A scent that says, "I'm a clean air filter." A scent that says...."I'm in a whole new small world where the people are all part of the circle of life." It's a scent that I recognize every time I'm at Disney, and I absolutely love it.

Plume et Palette at EPCOT, France Pavillion

Having grown up in South Florida, just a short 3 hour ride from The Magic Kingdom, you can imagine how many times I've waited in line at Space Mountain, sucking in the wonderful Disney-fied air. School trips, family trips, last minute trips, all to a place where bushes are sculpted to look like animals and Geir is sold by the bushel at pseudo-Norway. A place where visitors pay retail for Madame Rochas (fools!) at Plume et Palette. A place where you don't mind paying $3.95 for a box of Orville Redenbacher. A place where I can eat a barbequed turkey leg before entering the Tiki Room, and enjoy a Dole pineapple/vanilla sorbet/ice cream cup before visiting the laughing place. The very idea of it just gets my adolescent juices flowing...rides, music, parades, and women dressed up like drag-queen princesses. I love it.

So...Scented Memory #3 is dedicated to the unique smell of Disney, whatever it is, be it carpetfresh, lysol, or the bouquet of a thousand disenfectants. No other place smells quite the same way and I love it. From hotel rooms to cafeterias, it is truly the scent of vacation.

Do you have a favorite smell that is associated with a unique place?


Kelley said...

Of course growing up in Florida, I have some of the same memories. Do you know if they still have a store that will mix your own, unique fragrance? I remember this so clearly (my mother doesn't) and how they tested different families of scents on my arms and then made me wait. The man came back and sniffed all the places on my arm and for about $20 gave me a tiny bottle of the most wonderful fragrance created just for me. It got lost on the drive home but I am thinking that this was the moment I got the fragrance bug...from Walt Disney World!

katiedid said...

So, this isn't mine, but the first thing that popped into my mind is something a friend wrote about a smell unique to a specific place:

From "Things That Flummox Me,"
6) Why the bathroom in my office smells like chicken lo mein EVERY SINGLE NIGHT at 5 p.m.
7) Why this never fails to make me CRAVE CHINESE FOOD. We’re talking about the smell of lo mein in a public bathroom. I’m quite certain that it’s not actual lo mein in there.

I can kind of relate to that because of my own experience with bathroom smell weirdness. At one horrid little shop I worked at, the bathroom was the repository for all sorts of things, including our air compressor, and... the microwave. One of the salespeople had a serious Hot Pocket addiction. I don't think I ever saw him eat anything besides Hot Pockets and the odd blueberry muffin now and again. He'd usually work the afternoon shift, and every day before his shift began he'd head into the bathroom to heat up a Hot Pocket, fix up his hair, and spray on a little Tommy. Sadly, when I smell Tommy now, it smells somehow empty, and I am just SURE something is missing. Then I realize I have now associated the smell of Tommy with the smell of ham and cheese and toilets. Weirdly, Tommy just doesn't seem the same to me without those "value-added" elements. It's all so very, very wrong.

marlen said...

Kelley - I don't remember that shop! Was it in Magic Kingdom? Hey, let's meet up and go to Disney!

marlen said...

K - that is hilarious (as always)...lo mein...though the story has a certain "eeewww" factor. And the hot pockets guy...I think I dated him once.

Patty said...

Does hemorrhaging money have a smell? That's the one I associate with Disney. There was also the rotten egg smell. Sulphur? My youngest was about 10 when we went, and he has a very sensitive gag reflex, and the last morning we were there, it had rained, and the rotten egg smell was just fierce. Walking from our room to the restaurant, he was gagging on air.

Despite all that, I loved it! What a unique place in the world, and even now the smell of rotten eggs makes me smile as I remember the great time we had there.

Anonymous said...

when i smell minotaure i always think about barcelona because during the olimpic games i was been there on holidays everywhere you heard the song barcelona of the great freddy mercury in duet with montserrat caballe and walking in the streets every guys weared minotaure even in the nights dancing at discoclubs every boys smelled of minotaure so the barcelona smell for me its minotaure by paloma picasso i think

marlen said...

Anonymous - that's a great scent association! Barcelona is the smell of Kenzo, Insesne, Quasar and eau de Rochas for me...for various reasons....Oh, and butter garlic mushrooms. Thanks for reading and responding! Please feel free to create a username!

marlen said...

Patty - LOL! The air after a rainshower in Florida often has that sulfurous smell...Ah yes, I remember it well...your poor little guy...Thanks for reading and posting!

Cait Shortell said...

This article is great. I have many wonderful place memories. Among my favorite is the sticky sap of the Balsam Poplar or Cottonwood tree from growing up in Alaska. I featured a lip balm made of the buds in my Best of 2005 list on my blog.

Also the smell of fresh roasted coffee at Bola de Oro on the streets of Xalapa, Mexico. The entire street is just infused with toasted chocolaty coffee beans.

marlen said...

Cait - That sounds like an incredibly enticing travel destination. Mexico is on my list of countries to further explore in the future.