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Thoughts For Thursday – How Smells Can Revive Old Memories For Me

August 12, 2010 · 16 comments

in Thoughts For Thursday

When reading a post at ‘Budgeting in the  Fun Stuff’ about nostalgic foods, it made me think about how smells make me nostalgic.  So I thought I would share how certain smells take me to an entirely different time and place.

  1. An elementary school.  It seems like all elementary schools smell the same, and I just love that smell.  For some reason, I feel a little sad when I walk into an elementary school.  Probably because being a little kid is such a great time in life.  Not much responsibility, and a whole lot of fun.  On a completely different note, have you ever walked into the gym from your elementary school as an adult?  I know that as a kid, the gym seemed HUGE.  When I went back to my old elementary school shortly before it was demolished, I was shocked at how small the gym really was.
  2. Roast beef.  Whenever I smell roast beef, it makes me think of Sundays in the winter when I was growing up.  I have so many memories of coming home from sledding or skating and walking into to a house that smelled of roast beef and vegetables.  A wonderful memory.
  3. Burning Leaves.  I love the fall, and I love the smell of burning leaves.  It reminds me of being up north as a kid and we had a yard absolutely covered in leaves.  We would burn them in a giant metal barrel and I really enjoyed the raking and burning.  I know it isn’t environmentally friendly, but I enjoy the smell anyway.
  4. Hospital.  Once in a while, I will get a random smell that reminds me of a hospital.  Normally you would think that would be an awful thought.  However, it takes me back to when I had my kids, and I instantly imagine a newborn in a little cap.  So cute…
  5. Skunk.  OK, I know this an odd smell to enjoy, but again, it makes me think of up north as a kid.  I don’t want to smell an overly pungent skunk, just from a distance.
  6. My grandma’s house.  I can’t describe this smell, and it comes across me at the weirdest times.  But sometimes, I will be somewhere and it smells exactly like my grandma’s house did.  It brings back memories of hide-and-seek in the basement and eating ice cream!
  7. Lilacs.  Whenever I smell I lilac, I remember walking home from elementary school in the spring.  There were a couple lilac bushes I would smell on the way home, and it invoked a feeling of excitement that spring was finally here..
  8. Rain.  I love rain and storms.  The smell of a storm reminds me of sitting on our enclosed front porch as a kid and watching the wind and the lightning.
  9. Bike tires.  The other day I was riding my bike, and the smell of the tire totally took me back to when I got my first 2 wheeler when I was 6 year old.

It’s funny how when I look at this list, most of my memories are from childhood.  Turns out that is very common because we encounter most new smells when we are young.

Do certain smells remind you of a certain place or event?  Feel free to leave a comment, I would love to hear about it.

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