Traffic in Tehran, Iran by tehranshake

I was walking home from work today and I could not help but notice an incredibly wonderful but indescribable city smell that reminds me so much of Iran. Becoming nostalgic about this smell has, for better or worse, become a habit of mine. It was in college when I first began to smell Iran in the United States. At random moments, I would get a whiff of this familiar smell of the oddest mixture: soil, concrete, water, roses… I remember how Fatima would always tease me for bursting out in a huge smile in the middle of our conversations and saying “It smells like Iran.” But I know that she always understood what I meant.

Having lived in the United States for a majority of my life, I nonetheless still consider Iran as my true home. And as a result, I always become ecstatic when I find a little slice of Iran in the most unexpected and hidden corners of the world. It is the sweetest nostalgia.

Isn’t it strange how powerful scents can be in jogging our memories? I always wonder if it is possible to make a “scent camera” that would permanently capture the scents of a place. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to just turn it on and be relocated back to a time and place where you can be at one with your happiest memories? Maybe for now we can all just take a moment to breathe in the familiar breathtaking smells that surround us everyday and allow them to help us make new and unforgettable memories.


1 Comment

Filed under homeland, nostalgia, smells

One response to “smell

  1. Fatima

    I think it is interesting how the entire region has a similar distinct scent. I think it must be from a mixture of heat, fumes, dust and water. I have smelled that smell in Pakistan, Iran, the Middle East, even in South Africa. It is a smell you rarely find in most of the US, but I even remember smelling it on a trip to Miami, Florida. Better than a camera, perhaps they can figure out how to bottle it up in a spray perfume 🙂

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