The Smell of Fear

Fear is the mother of morality.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

After posting Tuesday’s blog, regarding the pissy smelling tunnel of my childhood, my mom emailed an interesting thought. I responded. Then I thanked her for giving us this week’s Gypsy Question Thursday blog. Grab your coffee and a healthy dose of fear… here we go.

Many monsters, in films and novels, have used the line, “I can smell your fear.” Generally they’re speaking about your personal smell. Rather than a come-hither pheromone or expensive perfume, they smell your endorphins, adrenaline, etc. But this is not your body and its ability to chameleon its scent. This about your fears themselves—the objects, the places, the situations.

First, think of the thing(s) you are afraid of. Now then, does it have a natural smell? Elevator grease? The heavy metallic smell of blood? Secondly, there’s the reverse, which may be easier for some to do. What smells induce raw emotional terror in you? Medical or general purpose sterilizing chemicals? The aroma of electricity? The stench of disease? What do your fears smell like?

I give you two options, let you attack this thought from both sides, because in trying to answer it myself after talking to mom, I realized woodticks have no aroma, and the smell of the woods doesn’t make me automatically fear their presence. But conversely, I remember driving down the road once and suddenly smelling that sickly sweet scent of doom the engine gives off right before it overheats. I remember watching the gauge and slowing down, for fear of crashing at high speeds. See… I don’t necessarily have a fear of accidents that I would list or note or even think of when asked my fears, but that smell induced it quick enough.

Now then, your fears…?



3 Responses to The Smell of Fear

  • Mandy DeGeit says:

    SKUNKS! I freak out when I smell skunks. I’ve never been sprayed, but the scent of one is enough to make my heart pound in my chest and I get all jumpy/paranoid. Say a cat were to jump out from somewhere at the exact moment I catch a whiff of it, or I caught a glimpse of something black and white, I’d be gone. Bleuch!

  • paula says:

    The smell of strong , sweet perfume makes me so nervous, I don’t know why.I smell it and I’m filled with anxiety. Weird , uh?

  • stephen pontius says:

    my fears?, are on par with the former lead singer of the smiths.

    morrissey said “irish blood , english heart yes i’m made of ”
    “there is no one on earth i’m afraid of”
    “and no regime can buy or sell me”

    probably my favorite morrissey solo album.

    i used to be fearful of going to the dentist. when we would go , my mom’s teeth were always perfect no cavities. my sister rarely had to get a cavity filled.

    and with me they would always have to schedule another appointment in a couple of weeks to fill the the one they could’nt do that day in our appt. timeslot.

    after geting dentures this fear has went away and never come back.

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