Linnea's Lights Blog Contest Winner - Caitlin Feener

Guest post by Caitlin Feener
for Linnea's Light Blog Contest - Winner!

A Mother’s Nose Always Knows

I have my mother’s eyes, her keen sense of direction, and unwavering compassion for all forms of life. But above all of these wonderful traits, plus many more, I inherited her unbelievable sense of smell.

And when I say unbelievable, I mean unbelievable.

Considering that I could probably apply for a job with the FBI as a drug and body-sniffing police dog, inheriting my mother’s sense of smell has had its ups and downs. I have watched my mother do mold inspections while house hunting using nothing but her single handy-dandy nose tool. I have witnessed her relocate my child self to certain areas in a room due to faint detections of human excrement in the air. And I have watched her face cringe in disdain over “that horrible undertone” she smelled in just about every single perfume or lotion I excitedly brought home during my teenage years.

While our sharp noses haven’t always been a picnic for either one of us (especially when my brother hit puberty and had a constant musk of grease, dirt and oil about him, which was later coined as the “adolescent boy” scent), my inherited sense of smell but has also allowed me to experience some of the most incredible moments in life.

My nose is like a camera, capturing the essence of a certain place in time. When I walk into any home, I can smell the carpet, the dinner cooking in the oven, the air freshener, the walls, and the faint trace of memories—all bundled into one unique and unforgettable package. I can smell vacations—Santa Barbara smells like cherry candy and ocean air. Oregon smells like marionberries and pine trees. Grass Valley smells like lavender, and France smells like Campari, rainy days, and Amber Myrrh lotion. I can smell my childhood bedroom. I can smell playing outside on warm summer nights. I can smell the first time I fell in love. And I will always and forever be able to smell my mom.

My mom is a rose. Maintaining a rose garden in every house we’ve lived in, she would plant a particular rose bush for different people in her life. I was always the Peace rose. Rose is always a note that I know my mom will enjoy in a candle or a perfume. She adores Votivo Rush of Rose—such a pure representation of what a rose really smells like. I recently had the opportunity to smell Carriére Fréres Damask Rose blend was completely captivated by the alluring, mysterious blend. I can’t wait to surprise my mom with this candle at Christmas this year—I know she will love it.

My mom is tea. When I was a child, I have many memories of my mom sitting her pitcher in the sun so she could have a large batch of fresh iced tea. I used to hate the stuff unless I added tablespoons of sugar, but I still loved the smell of her lemon tea basking in the sun. To this day, tea is still her drink of choice. Tocca Bianca has captivated her soul, and she wears the gorgeous green tea lemon-scented perfume every single day. She has also recently discovered the wonderful world of Starbucks chai tea lattes, so I’m looking forward to incorporating a beautiful chai blend candle into her life.

My mom is grapefruit. A true citrus lover, I remember when my mom went through her grapefruit phase when I was a kid. She would have grapefruit every single morning and attempt to get me to eat it too. Once again, I used to hate the stuff unless I added tablespoons of sugar (I’m sure you see the trend). To this day, she favors grapefruit candles of all sorts. If it’s a grapefruit blend, I know my mom will be hooked. One of her favorites is Aura Clairvoyant. I gave her a small tin and she burned it down to nothing in about 24-hours flat. I can’t wait to give her NEST Grapefruit, a fragrance I know she is going to fall in love with.

My mom is violet. Those decadently floral French violet candies are one of my fondest childhood memories. My mom always used to have them around and my parents would bring them home for me every time they went to Europe (the pre-Cost Plus World Market days). Violet is a common bond I share with my mom—we both can’t get enough of it. One of her favorite violet fragrances is Morning Violet by Votivo. Pure and beautiful, this candle is relaxing and nostalgic for us both.

My mom is all of these notes, blended with the rich strength of sandalwood, the sweetness of sugar, the comfort of amber, and the soothing nature of chamomile. She smells like home-cooked meals, 50 hour work weeks while keeping a perfectly clean home, and a selfless dedication to making the world a better place for the people she loves. I will always be able to honor and love the fragrance of my mom.