Thursday, March 29, 2012


How long will it be, do you think, before we can smell the things on our computers?
Have a whiff of lilac:
I didn't grow up with lilac, in the Deep South. It just doesn't grow well in central Mississippi. When we moved to Iowa years ago, I was introduced to lilacs and their heady scent. I encouraged Julia to come experience the lilac for the first time.
My mother is a lover of plants, and she's discovered that lilacs can -- just barely -- thrive here in western NC, in the cooler elevations.
A balmy day, light wind, bursting blooms, a stormy sky. Spring is here.
All that to say, by the time I'm an old lady, I wonder if we'll have a little scratch pad on the side of our laptops/ipads, and we'll be able to scratch-n-sniff what we see on the screen. Roses? Filet mignon? What would it add to the novel you're reading on your Kindle, if sounds effects could be added, as they did in the old radio shows? What if you could smell the stormy night air in chapter 7, or the Sunday dinner being cooked in chapter 11? Some young Steve Jobs is bound to invent it, I'm sure.


  1. Yes! I have always thought about scents coming through the computer screen or tastes. I'd like to lick the screen when I see a recipe I want to try. Now I think we could probably patent that idea, don't you?


    Lilacs are profuse here in the north and almost everyone grows them. There's just nothing like the scent of lilacs in bloom.

  2. When I am in a new place, especially, I wish I could bottle up the fragrance in the air -- if it is nice, that is. :-)
    I don't think that sort of thing can be digitalized the way sounds and images can be. And mostly I'm glad of it.

  3. I've tried lilacs here in Georgia knowing they probably wouldn't make it, and they didn't. Sigh...I guess I'll just have to be content with gardenias, camellias, azaleas, and hydrangeas. Actually, I've never seen a live lilac bush! For shame. I love lilac scent, but I've only smelled it in a bottle. I'm sure it's glorious on the bush.


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