Studio Saftey: The Unexpected Journey Triggered By Smell

Have you ever experienced a moment when a scent transports you back in time, igniting forgotten memories? This phenomenon can catch us off guard and leave us immersed in the past with startling clarity. Today, as I reached for the D•Lead hand soap to wash my hands, I found myself enveloped in a wave of nostalgia that carried me back to a time spent in my Dad’s shop.

My Dad was an Industrial Arts teacher at the same Junior and Senior High School my sister and I attended. His office was a hub of activity. We often found ourselves there after school, eagerly lending a hand with projects or assisting in the preparation for the next day’s classes. It was a space full of creativity and the sound of machinery, where we created unforgettable memories among the clatter of tools and the unity of students.

In the shop, a large trough-style sink stood as a testament to the industrious spirit permeating the space. Above it, a metal container housed a supply of orange, gritty soap dispensed with a distinctive push-button mechanism. Pressing my palms together, I felt the soap’s rough texture against my skin, and the familiar scent of the industrial cleaner filled the air.

Today, I was overcome by a wave of nostalgia as the smell of D•Lead soap wafted through the air and the gritty sensation of the soap returned to my skin. Suddenly, I was transported back to my father’s classroom, standing at the trough sink. The memories flooded back to me with startling clarity — the sound of the push-button dispenser, the feel of the gritty soap between my fingers, and the reassuring presence of my father by my side. In that moment, I was reminded of the profound impact my father had on my life; his influence has shaped me into the artist and person I am today.

After cleaning the last bit of paint from my hands, I couldn’t help but smile as I took the unexpected trip down memory lane. Although my father is no longer with me physically, his spirit lives on in small everyday moments – a whiff of a soap’s scent, echoes of laughter in the workshop, and memories that continue to shape and inspire me every day.

So here’s to you, Dad — thank you for the lessons, memories, and timeless reminders of your love and guidance. Although you may be gone, you will always be with me, a guiding light in every unexpected scent and cherished memory.


More About the Soap

I recently purchased a tube of Natural Pigment’s Stack Flake White, a lead-white paint made using the traditional techniques of the Dutch Masters. Due to lead’s hazardous nature, I also ordered D-Lead Abrasive Hand Soap, which effectively removes heavy metals such as lead and cadmium from the skin.

Natural Pigments has a wonderfully detailed article on the process they use to make the Stack Flake White pigment.

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  1. Stefani Tadio says:

    This has happened to me too and it’s surprising how strong and instant the trigger is. (I could almost smell the soap as you talked about it.)

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