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Vignette's avatar

What smell brings back great memories?

Asked by Vignette (2887points) November 16th, 2019

Pretty much as asked. Some smells can bring back some vivid fond memories…what are yours?

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17 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Hyacinths and those sticks that are segmented and easily broken, dogwoods, maybe?
Certain colognes and overly chlorinated pools.

rebbel's avatar

Deep frying oil.
Some weeks ago, while I was cycling through the city center, I smelled this, and in an instance I was thrown back 37 years, to a shoarma joint, playing Moon Patrol on an arcade machine.

Vignette's avatar

@rebbel Your answer transported me back to old taverns where I too played pinball and the smell of solenoids sparking away in the back of the machine and stale beer came flooding back!

hmmmmmm's avatar

Smells can trigger such strong memories and emotions for me. At times, I wonder if there are odors that are having significant effects on my mood or well being that I’m not even aware of.

This summer I walked by a painting van parked in my neighborhood. At that moment, the guy cleaning up the paints lit up a cigarette. The smell of oil-based paints and freshly lit cigarette hit me hard, as it brought up good memories of my grandfather, who was a house painter. I loved the combo of the paints and smoke as he’d take me out in his painting van to go get an ice cream.

Every couple of years, I catch a whiff of an old, mildew (or something) smell that triggers memories of my first car, which leads to strong memories of old girlfriends, etc.

I wish I could scratch and sniff my old childhood photographs to get a more whole experience. Smells are amazing.

YARNLADY's avatar

The ocean
log fire
bread baking
fresh cut grass

Dutchess_III's avatar

Cut grass.
Rain on hot, wet cement

Vignette's avatar

@YARNLADY The fresh cut grass is classic especially the first one of the spring.

@Dutchess_III I am with you on the wet cement. That one takes me back to my first house I owned.

Sagacious's avatar

Palmolive bar soap.
Cotton candy.

Vignette's avatar

Great choice on the Lilac @Sagacious In my top 5.

Dutchess_III's avatar

As a teen we used oils instead of perfume. So the smell of strawberries and musk.

Yellowdog's avatar

Balsam, Frankincense and Myrrh and Rosewood-based incense, rose oil, the ocean or any large body of water (saltwater or fresh), several colognes from the past (especially Brut), leather, peppermint, cinnamon, the cabins at summer camp. wood fire, ivory soap, Johnson’s baby shampoo and baby powder, Irish Spring and similar soaps and detergent.

Glad to see someone else (Original poster) likes Vics Vapor Rub

johnpowell's avatar

My grandpa (RIP) used to wear this vanilla spray that smelled like old man.

But we were farming people back before grandpas heart gave up. Litters of kittens in the barn, under the barn, and just everywhere.

So we had a cat that had just given birth and passed away during birth. But we had four kittens to deal with and we didn’t really want to bottle feed. So grandpa had a cat that was on the tail end of weening and he thought he would just transfer our teatless kittens to his lacting cat. So we had to pair them up like you do bluetooth headphones.

So we used grandpas signature vanilla old man fuck-machine spray on the mom cat and the kittens. Didn’t take long for the nipple-machine to think the kittens were her own.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Good story @johnpowell! I tried to put an orphan bunny on a nursing cat. It worked for a moment. Then all hell broke loose.

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longgone's avatar

My mum’s old perfume smells comforting.

Some weird smells others dislike (mothballs and musty little ponds) take me back to Korea, and being ten. The smell of very hot and humid summer days works similarly.

YARNLADY's avatar

Old Spice reminds me of my dad.

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