I have strong emotional connections and memories associated with certain scents. I think that this is true for most people. A lot of my memories are triggered by very specific smells and most of them are good. Although some, like stale beer, are not so good.
The smell of bread baking will always remind me of my Grandma’s house. When we were younger, we would spend many, many weekends and holidays at my Grandma’s house and there was always fresh bread and buns waiting for us when we got there. It was a three-hour drive from our house so Grandma had plenty of warning of our arrival, during which time she would be baking up a storm. My family laughs about how we could smell the yeasty goodness all the way from the end of the street. That was how we knew we were getting close and we didn’t have to ask “Are we there yet?” again.
The smell of sheets and pillows that are fresh from outside will always remind me of Grandma. I think that a big part of living in the country was that Grandma rarely used a dryer. I remember, even in the winter, you could find sheets and pillow cases hanging on the clothesline. To this day, even during the coldest days of winter, I put my pillows and blankets outside for a couple of hours to “freshen” them up. It is so much better than Bounce and it reminds me of Grandma’s blue bedroom with the saggy mattress and fresh feather quilts!
The smell of Oscar de la Renta perfume reminds me of high school. Back in the 80’s everyone wore Oscar. It didn’t matter which clique you belonged to or which money class you came from, whether you bought yours at Sears, The Bay, or Kmart, we all had a bottle of Oscar on our dressers. There were other perfumes that we wore all the time too, like Dior Poison and Giorgio, and some of them I still love to wear today. Currently I have Alfred Sung and Oscar on my dresser! Some of us just never want to grow up.
The smell of a wood stove reminds me of my GiGi (Grandfather). He had a wood burning stove in the garage, which was attached to the house, and he would crank the heat up on that thing until you felt like your skin was melting off. Winter or summer, it didn’t matter. That stove was on and it was staying on. And if he caught you touching that stove, you didn’t have to worry about your skin melting off, cause he’d take it off for you.
The smell of chlorine reminds me of the city park pool. Of course as an adult, I understand the need to chlorinate a public pool, but come on! We opened our eyes under that water! It’s amazing that we are not blind. Before the invention of diving toys that sank to the bottom, we used to throw pennies into the pool and have diving competitions. Whomever collected the most pennies won!
And coconut. The smell of coconut reminds me of drinking Pina Coladas, Malibu Sunrises, and Chilly Willy’s, and it reminds me of things better left forgotten. Oh – and pie! The smell of coconut reminds me of pie. Coconut cream pie and all of its coco-nutty, creamy deliciousness.
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