Yarn, Yorkshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Sensory thoughts- smell!

Listening to the radio helps me relax, especially at night when worries are so strong. On Sunday night I heard a programme that explored the way the senses not only elicit memories , but can actually make you relive the moment, experience the feeling as if you had really traveled back in time.

So I thought it would be rather fun to see if it was true, and once I got started I almost couldn’t stop. The sense of smell was where the programme began, so that’s where I will start. Smell is I have found the first sense which is beginning to fade for me. It does have it compensations, I can’t smell stinky socks anymore! But some aromas are still strong and  are just so evocative, a lot from childhood, but also more recent times. Here goes.

Old Spice, anyone’s Dad use that.. if I smelled Old Spice ( classic) I was straight back to childhood and my Dad in his dinner jacket ready to go out to a do. It was  in a clear bottle with a blue sea and a ship sailing on the label.. I just googled Old Spice, I gather they don’t make the classic cologne anymore so I won’t be smelling that again, sad.

Imperial Leather, now that’s not changed, and it was my Mum’s favourite soap and the one we had at bath time. I don’t use it myself except when it is on special offer, but again the very aroma takes me straight back to the childhood baths shared with my Brother and us taking it in turns for who had the horrid tap end and who got the slope to slide down! We had that squabble every night, poor Mum.

I bought  Flash bathroom cleaner recently instead on my usual brand and realized  that was what my Mum’s bathroom now smells of. It transported me to her bathroom in her little bungalow.

Daz, another product from my childhood, and one I don’t use often. It has a very distinctive smell which time travels  me to our kitchen with its  wooden ceiling drying racks, a Rayburn, the dog and his basket and sheets and steam everywhere. Tis Monday wash day, cold roast meat , mashed potatoes and runner beans followed by rice pudding for dinner.

Cut trampled grass, bliss, I am in a tent at an agricultural show.

Hot tar, walking home from school.

New books, the lovely smell of new paper, in the town library for the first time.

Cooking cauliflower, a smell you either like or love. I love walking past a house where cauliflower is being cooked, it is the smell of Sunday Dinner. All is well with the world.

Tomatoes in a hot greenhouse, back at my lovely Grannies house.

Wet duffel coat, the smell of a happy days sledging.

Bracken, is just the smell of the Yorkshire moors.

DOG, well dogs do smell of dogs, and I grew up with dogs, and I can’t express the joy I felt when as an adult in my 40’s I got my own dog, the first since I left home and he smelt of dog.

Coty  make a perfume called Masumi. It is the perfume of my teenage years and I loved it, I occasionally smell it on someone and I am 16 all over again.

Mr E used to smoke Clan tobacco, he doesn’t anymore, but if I pass someone smoking Clan I am in my 20’s and that blissful stage of being head over heels”in love”.

Rain on wet pavements, city living in Cambridge, the only city I ever lived in. The feeling of being young and everything is still possible.

Johnson’s baby powder, just smells of my babies, the warmth and coziness of a warm baby freshly bathed.

Boys coming out of school just smell of hot stickiness and pencil. Master H smells then of his Dad at the same age.

Bacon on a campsite, happy hols with our boys.

Woodsmoke from a chimney, the smell of the Oxfordshire village the boys grew up in.

Oh yes smells are evocative, but then so are the other senses as I discovered in my memory bank. More of that later. But what smells are triggers for your memories I wonder. Please do share… or write your own post and link back to this.




Comments on: "Sensory thoughts- smell!" (7)

  1. Great post.

    That biscuity smell of a cat’s paws
    Tomatoes in a green house
    Cut grass
    Chloe perfume
    Bread baking
    That particular smell that schools have ….all are familar and comforting

  2. Smells are very evocative, so many in your list hold lovely reminders for me too. My Nana always gargled with TCP and as you remember that has a smell that lingers.

  3. I too associate the smell of hot tar with walking home from school on a very hot day!
    Tomatoes in a greenhouse? Spending days with my Grandparents.
    Cut grass? Two things – the preparation of the school running track (UGH!) but also that summer is on it’s way.

  4. Whenever our family discuss what our discs and luxuries will be when we’re called to appear on Desert Island Discs (surely, one day!) my luxury is always a box that I can lift the lid and get a different smell each time. Mostly I’ll settle for yours, though the perfume that transports me back to teenage years is April Violets because my grandmother always wore it.
    What a wonderful and thought provoking post.

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