Nostalgia And Smells.

Smells - Anna-Mom

I tucked her into bed.  I went to kiss her. 

“Mom, I love the way you smell.”

Be still my beating heart.  Be still.

When I posted this sweet little happening on the Twitter, my friend, @kristenfountain2 said she “loved the way (her) mom smelled when (she) was little.” 

“I can still imagine it,” she recalled.

It’s amazing how smells bring back memories of people or places.  The smell of Oil of Olay makes me think of my mom.  Ivory soap?  Big Mama.  I can’t smell car grease without thinking of my Grandfather. 

Oh, and a brand new box of Crayola Crayons?  First day of school.  Any first day in elementary school.

These familiar smells can unleash a flood of memories.

What smells bring back memories for you?

17 Comments

Filed under life, Relationships

17 responses to “Nostalgia And Smells.

  1. My Grandmother was a fabulous lady. She had a smell. I was given several pieces of jewelry from her as well as several strands of various stone necklaces. I keep the necklaces in the pouch they came in and when I need a little something, I open it up and take a huge whiff. It makes my heart ache and picks me up at the same time.

    I have never worn the necklaces. I plan to someday when the smell is gone and if it never goes, that is fine with me too….I kind of actually prefer it that way.

  2. Wendy

    Jennifer, I don’t know you, but your post makes me cry. I understand totally. There are scents I smell at times and it reminds me of my mom. There is one bottle of parfume I still have that was hers. I can’t get rid of it. I still smell it from time to time and it is White Shoulders. It is not an expensive parfume, but it was her favorite many years ago.

  3. Yeah, those first 2 made me tear up.

    I was going to say that when I was pregnant w/our #2, I was so sick and at that time I used Cucumber Melon lotion.Each time I smell that lotion now, I get nauseated all over again. (that was 8 yrs ago). Crazy how a smell can trigger all that!

  4. Joey

    Growing up, my Dad would grill hamburgers (seems like) every Saturday for dinner. Everytime I fire up our grill to cook hamburgers, I’m reminded of him.

    PS – thanks for sharing Kristen’s comment, I can see Kitty smiling right now.

  5. Joe Herbert

    Every few years, I smell something that faintly resembles the way my grandparents’ house used to smell. Each section seemed to have its own aromatic that remains permanently forged into my memory. The kitchen had a distinct fragrance that smelled like sugar cookies; the bedrooms smelled of mothballs and old polyester clothing. My grandfather’s basement was musty, mixed with the rust of seemingly ancient tools. He died when I was ten. My grandmother moved out a year later and into our house, bringing some of those scents with her, only to be mixed and eventually undone by the foreign air. I wish I could smell some of those things again. I didn’t get enough time with them.

  6. Mom

    Yes, this blog made me cry and all the comments too, dang…I wasn’t going to cry…o well.
    Old Spice…that does it for me… my dad would wear it, I would stand in the bath room and watch him shave, then he would shake that old bottle of Old Spice, rub it between his hands and splash on his face, then he would grab my fat cheeks and rub mine… several years ago, I bought a bottle of Old Spice just so I could smell my dad one more time.

    My other favorite smell, when John Henry & Anna were little, I would give them a bath, then put the Johnson’s baby lotion on them.,…soooooo sweet!

  7. Amanda Morgan

    Giorgio cologne for my dad, he still wears it and I just love it. He’s worn it for as long as I can remember. Oil of Olay for my mom. I use it now and I think of her everytime I put it on. Youth Dew by Estee Lauder for both of my Grannys. I got it for both of them every Christmas. Baby Magic for my kids. I still put it on them even though they are no longer babies, I just love the smell and it reminds me of when they were so little.

  8. Wow! That was sad but sweet!! Memories are awesome!! Yeah, my Dad wore Brut. I got some for my Mom to put on the pillow next to her, my Dad shared with her for 62 yrs of marriage. Whew!! Tears too.
    Loved what you shared, loved what everyone shared. Barbara, you are the sweetest too. Yeah, memories of loved ones, smells, or just things we still say that they said, when something happens, we will always have them in our hearts, our thoughts at times, huh? Thanks for sharing Dusty!
    Love, love, love you! But no love like a Mama’s love keeps us feeling that nurturing heart! Sometimes, my girls will just say, “I need to see you” I know what they mean…..

  9. To this day, when the moment is right and I smell the freshness of spring morning, the smell of my POP’s Old Spice aftershave and the distinct odor of those nasty Picayunes. (“Picayune Extra Mild Cigarettes” “Pride of New Orleans”) Although it said “Extra Mild” on the pack, they were the strongest cigarette I ever smoked, by far. Mix all that in a Saturday morning(pre dawn) sitting in a jon boat smelling the pond, the cricket box and my shirt as I wiped the fish slime off my hands! To most it may may smell horrible….but to a son who was sitting in a boat catching bluegill with his POPS…..smelled like heaven to me! Thanks Dusty for a moment!

  10. Julie Beasley

    Dusty,
    I have just completed 6 days worth of Reading First training that I thought I would NEVER get through. What, you might ask, does this have to do with this blog???
    On the day we talked about teaching children Comprehension, we talked, EXTENSIVELY, about prior knowledge and how often that involves smell. We talked about how, with low-income children, they don’t have the experiences to draw from (or the “smell reminders”) to help them with their comprehension strategies.
    It is AMAZING how a particular smell can immediately take you back to a particular place in time and it is equally amazing how a particular smell can immediately remind you of someone special.
    Now, I have just got to figure out how to “build” prior knowledge for all of my students that do not have the awesome experience and “smell experiences” that I have experienced in my life!

  11. Good ole car grease brings me right back to my Dad…I have a hammer of his and it stilllllll smells like him….love that hammer….my Mom always smelled like Jergens Lotion…doesn’t make me cry anymore…it has been a couple of decades but I really smile and my heart feels hugged when I smell those smells….

  12. Tracey

    I am with you wendy, my mom past away in 2001, that has been the hardest thing I have ever done. Red Roses, she kept fresh ones every week or so on her coffee table, Her home always smelled like them. Blair was around 5 when mom passed, I remember walking through the grocery store with her shortly after moms passing, and we passed the flowers, she stopped, looked around and I asked her what was wrong, she smiled at me and said, Nothing, Granny is walking with us, I said, really, how do you know, she said I can smell her. I looked round and there were the roses. Boy, do I miss her.!!!

  13. Once while dating my husband and I thought we were headed for a break up, I bought some new perfume to wear so he would have something to remember when I left… a lingering smell that make him think twice about what had gotten us to that point… I also bought a cute sweater but this post is about smell… After that event I couldn’t wear the perfume because it made ME sad…

    And they lived happily ever after.

  14. i’m just a big ‘smell’ person, in general. bacon reminds me of my nana’s house in texas when i was little, mothballs reminds me of my great-grandparent’s house, and peoples’ perfumes and colognes always remind me of them, and when new friends wear an old friend’s perfume, it really throws me off!

  15. Susan Elliott-Kinsey

    It’s gotta be Estee Lauder’s Youth Dew. My Grandmother had the oil, the perfume, the powder, and she wore it in layers. Still can’t smell it without tearing up. Sometimes when I dream about her, I swear I can still smell that Youth Dew lingering around my bed. Strong scent for one of the strongest women I’ve ever encountered.

  16. Gailynn

    I have thought about this blog for days & I am sure I am not the only one this happens to, but, smells for me bring about some unpleasant memories. Just as vivid as other people’s smells bring happy and warm memories, but for me, most remind me of painful memories . . .

    The one that I have that is pleasant and feels good is the baby lotion – always takes me back to my babies…….

    Keep up the good work Dusty. You always make me think.

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