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memory, triggered

medicine bottle



I love this bottle so much. It looks so medicinal. I love its shape, and the raised Chinese characters on the bottle. It looks like it belongs in a store that concocts herbal medicine that taste really bad, but are really good for you.

My mom gave this to me because I told her that my neck has been bothering me lately. It helps relieve tense muscles, and it has a very strong aroma. Once I smelled it, it instantly reminded me of my grandmum.

This is odd, because I haven’t seen her for nearly 16 years. Just smelling it brought back a memory from so long ago, and I can see this memory with such clarity now. It is amazing how a scent can bring you back somewhere you thought you had forgotten.

Jin and I hope to go back to the places we were both born to visit our families. Hong Kong, and Korea. I am excited to see my grandparents again.


  1. oh that thing works like a magic! and i agree with you on how easily a scent can bring back so much memories.

  2. I hope you two will be able to go back soon. It's fun thinking about scents and what meanings they bring to us.

  3. i agree, scent can be a powerful trigger sometimes, hope you will see your family and grandparents very soon :-)

  4. that photo of the old papers is really lovely. I visited Hong Kong for the first time two years ago and absolutely loved it. I wished I had more time to see more so I definitely want to return. I recently acquired a camera from a flea market and strange enough even though it belonged to a stranger it triggered forgotten memories from my childhood. It was a nice feeling. Have a great weekend!

  5. May, whenever I put this on, Jin jokes that I smell like an old lady. If Jin and I go to Asia, can you look after our cats again? haha! you totally don't have to, but I felt so much better last time we went away.

    Alexandria, if I go to Korea, I will have to ask you for a list of wonderful places to go see!

    Renilde, I didn't know it was such a strong trigger. I have experienced this in a long long time.

    Lili, your visit to hong kong sounds wonderful. I think my view of hong kong is a little different. I know my visit back will be a tough one, seeing all my family, and the language barrier (I do not speak chinese very well!) but half of me is really excited to treat hong kong like a tourist would, even though I was born there.

  6. I love this stuff, I have had it in my medical box for years, ever since I was recommended it by a doctor in Chinatown....... plus like you said, the bottle is just so great in itself ... such great photographs, well done.

  7. beautiful memory. Scents and smells often bring memories to me. It's a slower way of remembering, more intense, i love it. Hope you see your grandparents soon!

  8. oh wow, what a nice gift from your mom.
    thats why i love being asian, with all these magical medicines that western culture could never provide or even understand!
    many of those chinese medicinal smells make me think of my grandma too!!!

    hope your neck gets better :-)

  9. Oh wowee, I use that medicine oil as well! It really helps when you're feeling ill or the sniffles! I love it! :) I'm always using it! :) :)

  10. Mom just gave me one of these bottles. Don't know how or when to use it.