Oct 1, 2008

Forever changing senses

It's funny what our senses can trigger for us. Seeing something that reminds us of a person. Hearing an old song that brings back a specific mood or in this case smelling a familiar odor that gives you a moment of comfort.

This morning standing in the shower, attempting to wake up, a sudden but familiar scent became very noticeable to me. It was the smell of Jovan musk that suddenly seemed to fill the air of the bathroom. It's a scent that has very deep meaning to me.

When Diane and I were dating this was by far her favorite perfume and literally the only one she would wear. It's a scent that takes me back to the early days of our relationship when at the end of the night, I would go home I could still smell the scent of her perfume on my clothes and my skin. It was an odor that always made me think of Diane and how precious that particular time in our lives was to me.

As I stood there thinking about the musk and our young lives together I could see Diane standing in front of the mirror getting ready as she does every morning. I slid the door of the shower open and with a smile asked her if she was wearing her Jovan. With a bewildered look she answered "no"

I don't know what triggered that smell for me but I know it was very real to my senses and something that seems to happen a lot more often now. Since I have been on hormones my sense of smell and taste has become more sensitive to the changes around me. For instance I now notice the smell of men's cologne as it lingers in the work hallways long after he has been there. Or even things such as unpleasant male body odor have been much stronger. Riding on the motorcycle yields the various floral smells or even the smell of concord grapes on the vine.

As for my sense of taste, spice seems to be something I crave now. While I used to really enjoy spicy food it now has hit a whole new level. Seafood has become tastier to me and I've now started liking whole-bellied clams and cooked shrimp, all things I hated before. I guess variety really is the spice of life.

My sense of touch has become heightened as well. To be touched now has a deeper sense of pleasure about it. To simply have my arm caressed is heaven to me now, something that had little affect on me before.

It's funny to think that all of this was triggered from one dear smell that was never really there for me except in some deep corner of my mind. Wonder what other tricks my day will play on me!



Lori D said...

How interesting. I don't think I've experienced that yet, but my sensitivity to touch, especially gentle touches, has skyrocketed. I truly understand the pleasure of cuddling or snuggling to someone you love.

Cynthia said...

Funny all about the small things in life that you finally see he light on when you cross over to 'the other side'. We've missed so much in life and yet everyday is day where you'll learn something new. Enjoy it. Not too many can appreciate the experiences and eye awkening we do.

Samantha said...

To borrow a line from Jenny Boylan's great book "She's not there" I'm going to start with:

"It is fucking brilliant being a girl. Welcome."

It was in an email from Jools Gillson-Ellis. She was (is?) a professor at University College in Cork, Ireland. I happen to agree!

Anyway, I'm reminded of a post I made back a ways somewhere about a Trish Yearwood's "The song remembers when." Which is, not surprisingly, just exactly what you are talking about. Hum, Now I have to go find that, because it was a study in contrast between two songs that in effect said the same thing, by two different artists. I remember being quite pleased by that post, but now I don't know where I put it... brb...

Someone once said that HRT is like moving out of a land of old B&W movies to one of rich technicolor. Personally my experience has been more than that. Like going from being a zombie to being fully alive. It's amazing, and yeah, everything is more vivid, intense, powerful, and whatever adjectives you can throw at it. The Musk you smelled believe it or not could have easily been on something hanging in the closet next to what she put on today. I kid you not.

The ride my dear, gets better from here. Much, much better. And it stays better. I walked into my therapists office two hours after she had lunch one day and told her not only what she had, but how it was made. I've since made that omlet from her recipe I pulled out of thin air. Wait till fall really gets going, this will probably be a whole new experience for you. I know my first fall after I'd been on HRT for a while was so amazing. I just sat in a pile of leaves, closed my eyes and listened and smelled the fall. Woot!

So I just added a post to my blog that expands on what I'm saying/thinking/feeling here.


Thanks for this post Karyn, made me think of so much, and just how right Jools is! It is brilliant being a girl, and how much richer life is.

Spicy food, oh yeah! I'm one of few people that can have a perfectly good (if somewhat embarrassing) orgasm from the smell of a good piece of blackened chicken or the guitar rift from a Steeleye Span song.

Makes me think of a recent post I made about Chocolate and mindfulness.

So my question for you is, who cares where exactly the scent came from, it was good for you right? There is so much about this journey that no-one ever really puts in the tour books eh? But how cool is it to be relishing it anyway? Thanks Karyn for a great post! Just made me think of another I want to write on attachment, impermanence and Buddhism, how Buddha missed something so vital and important about it...

Sara said...

I don't know what to say after the omlette and spontaneous orgasms, I'm just so new to all of this. I gotta start eating more blackened chicken ("I'll have what she's having")...

Karyn, to me what happened to you in the shower is sweet and very romantic. I'm guessing that just like a missing-lines drawing, there were enough other hints that your brain filled in the missing scent. That's pretty cool; It's a real and very beautiful manifestation of how much Diane means to you and how much you cherish those memories. It makes me a little sad when trans people disown the memories of who they were before, thank you for not doing that. :)