General Question

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

What is the oddest odor that strikes you as memorable?

Asked by evelyns_pet_zebra (12873points) June 22nd, 2009

There are certain odors that I like, and I can’t tell you why, because I’m not real sure myself. Sure, summer rain on asphalt or fresh cut grass or the smell of a dusty backroad have the power to take me back to the place I grew up, and let me relive my childhood. But there are other odors that just seem weird to have a positive influence upon my mood, like the stacks in a library or the smell of a dirty window screen or the scents in a dusty and deserted old barn. Do you have a liking for a certain smell that would make other people think you are a little screwy? Or is it just me?

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43 Answers

applesaucemanny's avatar

I like the smell of books!

Likeradar's avatar

The smell of beer in the sun reminds me of my childhood which was way more functional than that sentence makes it sound.
My family spent every summer on Fire Island when I was little. I spent a lot of time with my dad and his friends on the beach and on peoples’ porches. I thought all his friends smelled the same.
When I went to my 1st summer party in high school, it was like, “oooohhhhhh….” The smell makes me very happy and secure feeling, and I’m not even a beer fan.

essieness's avatar

Sawdust reminds me of my dad. He was a carpenter.

Clinique Aromatics Elixir reminds me of my mother. She wore it when I was a little girl.

Judi's avatar

the smell of the sandpaper like soap that was in the dispenser in my grade school.

kenmc's avatar

The smell of my grandma’s basement comes to mind first.

There are smells that are (apparently) rare and once I smell them, it instantly takes me back to my childhood. When the smells were familiar.

I love when that happens.

AstroChuck's avatar

The smell under my watch.
I love that smell.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@AstroChuck you are really an odd guy, you know that?

Judi's avatar

sniffs under watch

essieness's avatar

@AstroChuck I totally get that.

Likeradar's avatar

@AstroChuck What’s it smell like?

AstroChuck's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra- Why, thank you.

Seriously, I still remember the smell of my grandmother. She wore Youth Dew by Estée Lauder. Whenever I smell that (which isn’t too often) it takes me back 30+ to Grandma’s house.

knitfroggy's avatar

The smell of Love’s Baby Soft Perfume makes me think of Christmas. I always got a bottle of it in my stocking up until I was in junior high.

cak's avatar

There is that odd mix of gas and cut grass, right after someone mows a lawn – it just reminds me of my dad on a Saturday afternoon. Oil of Olay, the basic kind, my mom used it for years – before she discovered department store stuff. Then it was Estee Lauder’s Youth Dew.

I can’t really describe the smell, something about a shed, the lawn mower, different supplies, (think paint, gas can…all that stuff) and the smell of rain mixed in. Another smell of my dad. When it was raining, I’d head out there with my dad to work on my bike. I put more oil on that change than they get from the Middle East in a year. He just laughed and helped me clean it up.

OH…The smell of fresh hay in a barn…before the horses come in! I loved sitting in my Aunt’s barn with her and talking.

Tink's avatar

Blood ewwww

whatthefluther's avatar

Well, it may not be an odd odor, but the most memorable aroma to me was that from those incredible cinnamon rolls baked and glazed by the cafeteria staff at the Junior High and High School I attended in Los Angeles from 1966 to 1972. The best ever.

lillycoyote's avatar

The smell of Irish Spring scented shower steam reminds me of my dad because he always used it. Once, after he died, I piled bars of Irish Spring soap on his shower chair and ran hot shower water over it and stood at the bathroom door inhaling the scent just to remind me of him. I cried so much I’ve never done it again.

kevbo's avatar

Diesel exhaust = Mardi Gras

Dog's avatar

The smell of gasoline has always brought back good memories of working on cars and the pride when you turn the key and the engine roars to life despite all odds.

Though I no longer use turpentine when I paint in oils I love the smell and it always makes me feel the zen of creating art.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Mothballs- I love them and hate them at the same time. My grandma wouldn’t have it any other way.

DominicX's avatar

It’s funny; as nostalgic as I can be, smells don’t seem to do it for me. There was one time I was in some building somewhere I could smell something that kind of smelled like my grandmother’s house, but that’s about it. Smells don’t seem to bring back memories for me; it’s mostly music and images with me. I have a big nose, too.

YARNLADY's avatar

The smell of sulfur, mixed with the smell of pine reminds me of camping/hiking in Yellowstone National Park.

The smell of ozone in the wires overhead reminds me of trips Downtown, where the trolleys were hooked up to wires. It used to give me a terrible headache.

Jack79's avatar

The smell of freshly cut grass in the west side of Hyde Park in London, just north of the ducks.

shockvalue's avatar

I love the smell of mothballs

Lupin's avatar

The aroma of freshly mimeographed papers. I used to love that smell.

pezz's avatar

The smell of eggs on cups and glasses where someone didn’t wash-up well from breakfast.

lozz's avatar

The smell of my dog’s ears. Also the top of his head, which sometimes smells like curry powder

janbb's avatar

Skunk – the smell reminds me of driving back to our farm after a rare dinner out at a restaurant when I was a kid. It’s a real country smell.

FutureMemory's avatar

Lava soap – it reminds me of my Dad, he did construction when I was a kid.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Magic Markers®

Nope, not any old markers. They have to be that specific brand.

casheroo's avatar

Rain on asphalt. It smells so familiar each time, and reminds me of playing in the rain as a child.
Funny, I very much dislike the rain now.

SirBailey's avatar

I never forget the smell of all the yellow rubber raincoats with the metal clasp “buttons” in front that all the kids would wear in elementary school on a rainy day. They would all be wet, hanging on the coat hooks in the classroom and have a distinct smell. To this day, when I smell wet rubber anything it reminds me of elementary school days.

I remember wishing I had one in the worst way, but I was too fat and you couldn’t alter those raincoats.

Supacase's avatar

Rain on asphalt takes me right back to learning to ride my first real bike (by myself) on my 6th birthday. I didn’t care that it started raining.

The smell of cat paws. (Except after a trip to the litter box.)

This one is embarrassing, but there is a tree that smells like semen. I have yet to figure out exactly which tree it is, but it reminds me of my first love.

SuperMouse's avatar

Jergens pink lotion (now it is called original scent). I got a little tiny bottle of it when I was around 8 years old.

The smell of car brakes brings me right back to driving down Decker Canyon.

That incredibly distinctive smell of the inside of a Volkswagen evokes really strong memories of my childhood; the family car was a 1965 VW Microbus.

Aethelwine's avatar

The fishy smell near a body of water. It reminds me of our fishing/boating vacations. My happiest memories.

Supacase's avatar

@SuperMouse I love the smell of Jergens.

markce's avatar

Seriously; the smell of your pee when you’ve eaten asparagus. I’m not saying whether I like it but it’s sure memorable.

whatthefluther's avatar

@Lupin….I think you nailed it (at least for the “older” jellies)...thanks for reminding me about that mimeograph odor….very, very memorable! See ya…wtf

nayeight's avatar

The smell of old metal jewelry & cats. I remember going to this old womans house with my mom who owned a ton of cats. She also made really pretty jewelry but it smelled weird, like cats & old metal. She gave me a pair of earrings and before I wore them I would always sniff them. Weird…

Judi's avatar

Oh, and patchouli oil always reminds me of my hippie days.

knitfroggy's avatar

@janbb I’m glad I’m not the only one that is “fond” of the smell of skunk. Once when I was a kid, probably about five we were driving down our dirt road and I said to my mom Mmmm someone’s having enchiladas for dinner! She said, Babe-that’s skunk! Now every time I am with her and we smell a skunk she says “Enchiladas!”

Clair's avatar

@Judi I get older people commenting me on patchouli often in public! I was born way after the 60’s so people look at me kind of strange. It reminds me of my grandmother. She’s yet to come out of her hippie days.
@knitfroggy EW! haha!

noodles123's avatar

road tar, cut grass, old wooden furniture

Pandora's avatar

The smell of my brothers stinky socks. Boy did their socks really stink in the summer. But if I do smell stinky socks it quickly reminds me of summers growing up and going to the park and all of us hanging out till dark playing hand ball. All would be fine till they came home and took off their socks. For some insane reason they would always double their socks making their feet sweat a lot and really smell. Couldn’t stand the smell at the time but it would remind me of many fun summers.

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