Does Knowledge Have a Fragrance?

fragranceRecognizing a Fragrance

The doctor for whom I worked had me stymied.

“You know,” he said. “She’s the patient who always wears turquoise and Este de Lauder.”

“Huh?” I asked. “How do you remember that?”

“I just remember fragrances,” the doctor told me.

“Do you know how many patients we have coming in here who wear Este de Lauder?” I asked.

“Yes, but she always wears turquoise and always wears a skirt – never pants.”

He had seen the patient in town and told her he’d phone in a prescription for her, but he couldn’t remember her name.  Our doctor loved his patients but tried to disguise himself when he went to town so he wouldn’t get stopped in Walmart or Food Lion for a request like this. His patients didn’t understand that he simply could not remember everybody’s name, so he relied on us to help  him. Asking a patient for her name would have been an insult because, of course, he should remember her! While he didn’t remember her name, he did recognize the fragrance that (he said) she always wore.

My job, he thought, was to figure out who the patient was by that fragrance and then call in the prescription for him. Between the other nurses and our secretary, we figured it out and the prescription was called in that same day.


The Fragrance of Knowledge

There are so many fragrances in the world – and  any of us would recognize many of them. Some of these fragrances bring us pleasure or anticipation. Others turn our stomachs and make us wary. That’s because we have a history with the different fragrances.

When the apostle Paul was writing to the church in Corinth, he talked about fragrance. What fragrance is knowledge? Scripture says that we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are saved and those who are not. To one, we are the aroma of life; to others, we are the aroma of death. This is because our fragrance means different things to different people – and it all depends on their hearts.

It is through us, His people, that the fragrance of His knowledge is in every place.  It is through us, His people, that others learn to know about Him. It is through us that others obtain knowledge – for we are the the only Gospel they read.


Let’s not blow it.



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