Smells from Notre Dame

Think you know where I’m going with this one, right?

As a writer, I have to “exercise” all my senses, and scent is definitely one of them. So here goes:

  • Incense. Mass at the Basilica on Sunday morning featured the newly-installed Bishop of Lafayette, IN. While he obviously was a Purdue fan, Notre Dame welcomed him, and he returned the welcome — dousing all of us with tons of blessed incense. Thank goodness for air conditioning, which helped clear the air!
  • Grilling. The individual dorms set up luncheon fare — brats, hot dogs, burgers, etc. — on the grounds outside, and students hawked their wares at passersby. The pungent odor of charcoal blended with the scent of magic markers (used to write out their prices on poster board signs).
  • Cigarettes. Being from Illinois, where smoking has been all-but-banned in every public space, I’ve gotten used to the clean smell of fresh air. Our neighbors to the East, however, haven’t opted for this type of law. Consequently, I found lots of cigar and cigarette smoke wafting across campus (though smoking IS banned in Notre Dame Stadium!)
  • Clothing. Because it turned cool early, people brought out hoodies, jackets, and jeans — all of which have a distinctive scent. Perhaps it’s mustiness from being in a closet or drawer for so long; maybe it’s simply newness from being purchased that day at the campus bookstore!
  • Brass. Band instruments made of brass — trumpets, trombones, tubas, etc. — offer up a metallic smell as their owners march past.
  • Dog. Surprisingly, many people brought their dogs to campus to watch the festivities. I saw a Puggle (Beagle-Pug mix), a Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever-Poodle mix), and many others (one wearing a cute Notre Dame bandanna!)
  • Grass. No, not the drug! I’m talking about freshly-cut green grass, the kind you walk on. The scent of mud blended with the grass and reminded me just how beautiful this campus is — in every season.
  • Beer. Okay, you knew I had to smell that! While officials are fairly rigid about prohibiting alcohol inside Notre Dame Stadium, tailgate parties were being held all over the place — parking lots, nearby hotels, and I expect dorms. In addition, I saw people carrying beer cans around campus, heard more than a few slurred words, and got a whiff of brew whenever people opened their mouths to talk or cheer.
  • Cologne. Not just on the women but on the men, too, in the form of after-shave lotion, antiperspirant, etc. Much better than plain-old sweat!

Join me as I do some more reminiscing tomorrow.

2 thoughts on “Smells from Notre Dame

  1. Deb, it is amazing how many vignettes and scenes materialized from your senses. You captured the essence of a college campus in early September. Am so enjoying this tour! Thanks for sharing

    Write On!


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