As long as I can remember, I have loved fragrances. When I was little, my dad would hold my tiny face with his big hands; hands that always seemed to smell of Old Spice. To this day, 37 years later, that smell carries potent memories of my father ... memories of rainy days, ticks of toast, and those long drives to my dad's dental practice where I was so small, I couldn't see out the window. I just remember seeing telephone poles passing by, blurred by raindrops and thick fog.

Smells take me places far away and to memories long gone. Like invisible keys, they unlock something powerful inside my mind.

Fragrances also took Mitchell's worried mind to places that comforted him.

Tonight, Wyatt was looking through some of my long-lost cologne collection and was as curious about my memories behind them as he was the smells themselves. 

I still keep them, not to wear them, but because they are liquid time machines that only I can travel.

"This one I purchased on a hot summer day in Kentucky." I said. "I remember wearing it the next day as I was walking down a long dirt road in the middle of a prairie. The sun was setting, it was humid, and I couldn't see a building for miles. The sound of crickets were loud and beautiful. I don't remember being so hot and miserable in my life, but I loved the smell of that cologne and turned a hard experience into a good memory." 

Wyatt then handed me another bottle. "Oh, this one brings back strong memories of a dark winter far north in Canada. I was going to the University of Alberta. It was deep in the middle of a frozen winter, the air was 40 degrees below zero ... so cold, you lost your breath trying to take a breath. It was so cold, I wondered if summer would ever come again. This smell is forever attached to long, dark winters."

Wyatt was swept away with my stories and I could tell by the look in his eyes, he was assembling memories of his own and attaching smells to them. Pretty neat, these little liquid time machines.