Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sense and Sensibility

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I like to think of myself as a sensualist. Before I lose you, let me explain. I don't mean in a sexual way; That's a discussion for another blog entirely. I mean that certain sights, sounds and scents evoke a strong emotional response in me, either positive or negative.

For example, visually I like deep, rich colors like burgundy, hunter green, purple and of course, black. Gothic visuals like old cemeteries, cathedrals or fog-shrouded landscapes also appeal to me. I like gazing at the night sky, fireplaces, campfires and candles. Underwater scenes on TV and aquariums can mesmerize me.

My least favorite colors are bright yellow, orange and pink, which is a little odd because I love the fall foliage in North Carolina in October, which is yellow, orange and red. Frenetic fight scenes, car chases or flashing lights on TV and in movies drive me up a wall, as do a lot of today's TV cartoons.

As far as sounds go, I like a variety of music, from 80's hair metal to classical. It depends on my mood, but some sounds I love or hate consistently. I'd have to say my favorite sound is Wendy's heartbeat. Rain and running water is always a good thing, even after the wet, miserable winter we had. So are crickets and frogs at night, and a cat purring. The sound of a wolf howling sends a shiver through me!

On the flip side, a playground full of kids running, jumping and yelling at the top of their lungs can make my head explode. Too bad our apartment is right next to one. Fire alarms, car stereos and babies crying will also do the trick.

Night blooming jasmine is one of my favorite scents because when I was a child we had one in our backyard. Natural patchouli, not the synthetic stuff, is also a favorite. Yes, I can tell the difference. The smell of the beach brings back fond memories, as does the smell of baking bread and cookies.

Conversely, freshly cut grass is a scent that I can't stand. I cannot walk down the detergent aisle at the grocery store, and garlic and reclaimed water used for city sprinklers are also no-no's.

Are there any sights/sounds/smells that cause a strong positive/negative reaction in you? Do you find that you use them in your creative endeavors?


Beth Ciotta said...

What a great post, Krys. Loved reading about your likes and dislikes. Your descriptions were quite lush. Nice.

As far as sounds, well, aside from silence--pure bliss--I do like the sound of the ocean. My husband and I lived across the street from the beach for many years. At night we could hear the waves crashing on the shore. Heavenly.

While creating, I sometimes listen to celtic music or intrumental movie sound tracks. It's soothing and inspiring at the same time.

As for sights, I love bright colors, but I'm also drawn to jewel tones. I love nature. The more extreme the more inspiring.

And lastly--smells. I think you pegged it. Hard to top freshly baked bread and cookies!!

Hungry now!
SIS Beth

Chris Behrens said...


Wow, I can't imagine how nice it would be to live close enough to the ocean to actually hear the surf! And I agree about silence, sometimes it's the best 'sound' in the world.

SIS BJ said...

Hi Krys

I agree with Beth, great post!

The colors and landscapes you like are the ones I like as well. I love early morning fog. I feel as if something magical will rise out of the mists.

For sound, again it's very early morning when all I can hear is bird song.

I can tell the difference between real and fake patchouli as well. I carry some in a small pouch in my wallet.

Tori Lennox said...

Pink is my favorite color. :)

On the dichotomy front, I hate the sound of lawn mowers, hedgers, etc. but I love the smell of new mown grass. It reminds me of summer when I was a kid. :)

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Hi Krys,

I really loved your post, and your descriptions were beautiful. Well, most of them were anyway. The sound of screaming children also drives me crazy. I'm sorry that you live right next to a play ground.

Red and black are my favorite colors. I love bright colors mostly but also love the jewel tones. Bright yellow is very obnoxious to me. When I see anyone wearing bright yellow clothes, I just think they look like a big giant canary.

As for sounds, the sounds of nature (birds singing, waves splashing...) are simply heaven. Loud banging noises drive me nuts, like pots and pans or heavy china dishes being put away. Also the sound of an alarm in the morning puts me in a pretty bad mood. I would much rather wake up on my own, nice and peaceful like.

Smells? Puppy breath is right up there at the top. I wish I could invent a dog treat that gives your dog puppy breath. I would be a millionaire. I happen to love the smell (and taste) of garlic. Well, maybe not garlic on one's breath, but the smell of it cooking makes my mouth water.

Bright, sunny days with a light breeze bring me so much joy. They put me in the mood to get outside and enjoy nature. Rainy or overcast days are extremely depressing to me. I'd simply just like to lie on the couch with my blanket and sleep the day away.

Oh, and I must mention that I also love cemeteries and gothic scenery. Any sort of Italian landscape evokes a deep yearning within me and a passionate desire to visit Italy.

Thanks for making me smile.
SIS Bren

Mary Stella said...

Great post, Krys.

I'm drawn to jewel tones and pastels. I like everything in the purple family, from the lavender streaks at dawn to the glowing heart of an amethyst.

Not crazy about orange on me, but love it in sunsets, fruit, and happy clown suits.

In smells, I love spraying lavender on my pillows at night. Some people find the scent of lillies too strong, but I love the smell. I can practically feel it flowing up my nose and sparking my brain.

I'm also an ocean girl and love the sights, smells and sounds I hear when I'm on the water. Luckily, I live in the Florida Keys, islands surrounded by water, and my house is on a harbor so I only have to step outside to satisfy my senses.

One thing that amazes me down here is that the quiet of night opens us up to sounds that are overwhelmed by other noise during the day. The beat of birds' wings when they fly overhead; the splash of fish jumping in the water; the "saw" of palm fronds.

Such inspiration.

Elle J Rossi said...

Wow. How can I compete? I love the imagery of the comments today. That is a sign of a great post.

I love the sound of a babbling brook as the water dances over the rocky bottom and twists and turns with each curve of the landscape.

I love driving down an old gravel road with mature trees creating a canopy overhead. This is particularly enjoyable if you can enjoy the ride from the bed of a pick-up truck.

I love the sound of coffee brewing in the morning. Strike that. I love the sound anytime coffee is brewing. The smell? Also my absolute favorite scent.

My favorite color (right now) is green. It does change from time to time, but I'm used to that and just go with the flow. I enjoy decorating my home in browns, burnt orange, olive green, golden yellow...It makes me feel comfortable, rustic and warm.

I hate the sound of cold food. Yes, it has a sound. I think this is the main reason I feel nauseous when I see/hear people eating it.

I hate when people repeatedly clear their throat. Over and over and over with the ahem, ahem, ahem. Cough already or go somewhere else!

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Elle J Rossi said...

Darn. I forgot to add this. My favorite sound, sight and smell is a summer thunderstorm. I love them!

Chris Behrens said...

Wow, I was hoping when I wrote this that I would get a few good responses, but they've all been GREAT! Fantastic imagery for all the senses. I can see, hear and smell all the things that everyone has mentioned. Some great, some not so much. Thanks everyone!

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