Bizarrely evocative scents

I purchased Froot Loops today (mmm!) and when I opened the box and got a whiff of their frooty goodness, I immediately thought of New Jersey. You see, when I was a little kid, my parents wouldn’t let us have sugary cereals – we were stuck with Raisin Bran. The only time we got the good stuff, like Lucky Charms and Trix, was when we visited my grandparents in New Jersey. So, smelling Froot Loops immediately makes me think of the kitchen in that little house in New Jersey.

What bizarre scent-memory locations do you have locked up in your mind, and why?

Every time I smell that perfume, Curve, on someone, I automatically think of one of my past ex’s… Makes me feel all warm inside for some reason when I smell it… :stuck_out_tongue: And every time I smell clove cigarettes, I think of one of the nights I was out with friends where I had me first clove… Fond memories… :slight_smile:

I really regret buying that vanilla-scented toilet spray.

I don’t want to know, do I, hawthorne?

I use to make scented candles, and one day my son got curious about the little bottles of highly concentrated scented oil I used. The one he decided to douse himself in was Gardenia. At the time I was suffering from the effects of an infected spider bite and taking strong antibiotics. The combination was bad, bad, very bad.
Now whenever I smell gardenia, my stomach clenches.

I recently bought some store brand body oil that I love, mostly because it cost half as much as the other brands. Guess what it’s scented with. Also there are magnolia trees all over the place where I live, magnolia smells like gardenia.

wet dog smells like school.

we wore those thick wollen blazers that smell of dog when they get wet.

so wet dog reminds me of rainy days stuck in a classroom.

“Silkience” shampoo reminds me of the summers I stayed with my grandmother in the country. I would go canoeing all morning, bike home for a hearty lunch, bike back, and swim all afternoon.

At night I would take a long bath in her old fashioned claw foot tub and wash my long hair to get the river water out.

I was in bed every night by ten, exhausted, and blissfully happy.

The best days of my whole life, without question.


I babysat a kid once who ate chocolate cookies with grape juice, she threw up, and I will never forget the smell, I also threw up as I tried to clean it, so there I was, GAGGING, and cleaning up puke.  I STILL hate the smell of grape koolaid!

Went to Italy last year (and would go back in a blink if finances permitted). I understand that in addition to all the restaurants and bistros there are also a few museums, churches and the like in Italy, but our main goal was to wander around and EAT…

Lots of places served Rocket, aka Rughetta, a.k.a Rucola, a.k.a. radicchio. As a garnish, as a plain salad, in a salad, as a pesto… Marvellous!! Fresh and peppery, light on the palate, and very different from the flavours I encountered prior to this (I had never eaten it before that I know of, and I am not an especially pedestrian eater).

In any case every time I taste or smell radicchio now I am drawn SHARPLY and INSTANTLY back to the small pizzeria in Rome, the family bistro in Florence, the trendy new off-the-beaten-path joint in Lucca…

Shoot, I wanna go back RIGHT NOW!

and don’t even get me started on the red oranges… :wink:

Wow. This just happened to me about last week. At work, in the evening, the janitor washed out the men’s bathroom with chlorine bleach. The smell of chlorine and water on tile immediately sent me back 25-30 years, to when I was on swim team in high school. It smelled exactly like the closed in Natatorium in Atlanta where we used to practice for our high school team. The memory was extremely vivid.

The smell of a freshly lit Marlboro cigarette takes me back to my lustful teen years, and one trashy, slutty girl that my heart still yearns for.

It’s good that I don’t smoke anymore…

Ah yes. I love Proustian memories.

The most ubiquitous one I can think of is the smell of a school. I swear I think every school on earth smells exactly the same. That weird combination of papers, books, pencil shavings, B.O., industrial-strength cleaning solvents, and who knows what else just has the power to propel me back in time every time I step through a schoolhouse door.

I also love the scent of dry pine straw, especially on a hot, hot day. It reminds me of a particular camp I used to love as a teenager.

Avon’s “Skin so Soft” original bath oil reminds me of Venezuela. I went there for a month when I was fifteen, and I used that for mosquito repellant. Everytime i smell it, I have a memory of me in my swimsuit and shorts, chopping down tall tall brush with a machete…and the mosquitos were so damn HUGE.

Lorie