Our neighbours are dogsitting. The other morning,their 9 year old son came to my house as usual at 8:15 am. He had already taken their loaner dog out for three walks that morning. I heard the six a.m. walk in my dreams. I talked with his dad last night. The dad is less fond of the dog. Well, that's not exactly true. He is less fond of having his house smell like someone else's dog. He thought the dog should stay at home and be visited by his family (all of whom are at work or school all day anyway). He was outvoted and now his house smells of eau de dog.
This morning I was freezing so I put on a sweater and shirt I haven't worn since last winter. The shirt smells funny and it made me think about house and clothes smells. How everyone thinks their house smells normal and everyone else's house smells a bit funny. My shirt smelled like it was someone else's, although it probably smells like a wooden drawer.
We once bought a house largely because of its smell. I'm not kidding. The garage smelled exactly - and I mean exactly - like the cold room of my great grandparents house. I was transported back every single time I went there. The same cold room is finding a place in the novel I am working on right now.