Doogs Weekend #5: The Power of Scent

Dove soap always reminds me of my friend Hamster’s house. It smelled like Dove in the early 80s. It STILL smells like Dove soap today.

Ciara and Jean Nate always remind me of my mom. Polo, my brother. The smell of gin reminds me of my grandmother. And every morning, MP kinda smells like scrambled eggs.

The perfume Tatiana, and the scent of gardenias in general, reminds me of Drew, my first love. He was the first to ever give me perfume.

The smell of sulphur — Yellowstone Park. And chlorine and Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers will forever be summer.

There are so many indescribable scents that bring back memories of people, of events, of time long gone. If I concentrate, I can conjure them, seemingly IN my nose.

Now it’s your turn, Doogs.

What are some of YOUR scent memories?

And … go.



Filed under Doogs Weekend

25 responses to “Doogs Weekend #5: The Power of Scent

  1. Love’s Baby Soft and I am in a time machine to 1977 and standing behind Colleen Nelson in the lunch line. Lilacs remind me of summers in Nebraska. The smell of cat litter reminds me of how much I hate cat litter. Chlorine in pools reminds me of how much I felt sick being around pools as a kid. Finally, that indescribable baby head smell, reminds me of how much I loved becoming a dad .

  2. Jasmine reminds me of Santa Barbara and Hawaii.

    Stetson, of my grandpa.

    This old fashioned perfumed body powder in a red and black cylindrical tube (can’t remember the name) reminds me of my grandma.

    Chlorine reminds me of the high school swimming pool.

    I could go on forever, great post!

  3. Look at you all fancy and putting words in an actual dictionary! Okay DOOGS…..

    Um, Tropicana Suntan Lotion….California Summer.

    Bounce Dryer sheets….mom doing laundry

    Draakar Noir Cologne- Every guy I dated from 86 to 94……………yummy

  4. HA HA at Marcy, Draakar was the cologne for guys I dated too! That and Polo.
    Here’s mine:

    My daughter’s nighttime body wash, that Johnsons’s Purple stuff from when she was a baby. Delicious. Her breath when she woke up in the morning, from birth until those darn braces just went in. Sweet and young.

    My husbands smell at the end of the day when the Nautica cologne almost wears off but is still faintly there.

    Any laundry from my Mom’s house, it smells amazing.

    The smell of my Dad. (Working male, smells kinda like the woods or something-I used to like to wear his shirts).

    Chanel No. 5. My mom wore it and I do too.
    I am so smell based I could go on for days. I’ll spare you-I’m texture sensitive, smell sensitive, noise sensitive and OCD. It’s a wonder I’ve survived.
    Great post.

  5. The scents of summer would have to be Coppertone sunscreen, that original scent. The smell of the wet cypress trees at the lake. And the mosquito fogger truck at dusk, without which I might have twice the brain cells I have today.

    My first perfume, Lauren, for obvious reasons. My mother wearing gallons of Poison. The boyfriend who wore Gray Flannel, a scent any man could wear and seduce me, to a point.

  6. aliasmother

    Old Spice cologne = my grandfather and his bristly, unshaven cheek as he hugged me
    Fresh tomatoes = summer with my father, who used to pick them, slice them in half, salt them there, and eat them with me
    Pine trees = childhood camping, especially building little fairy houses in the woods with my sisters
    Stale beer = every college party, like, ever. When I went back for my 10 year reunion that smell threw me into a time warp. Totally freaky; like I never left.

  7. ooooh! baby head smell! I think my ovaries just exploded thinking of that smell.

    A vague bleachy water smell makes me think of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland.

    Coconut makes me think of my honeymoon at the real Caribbean.

    Fresh-mown grass makes me think of playing outside at kindergarten. There used to be mounds of it we’d jump into.

    Polo – my late father-in-law.

  8. I’m terrible with naming scents, but I’ll be walking down the street, or in a store, and a scent will hit me and memories start to flood my brain. It’s almost a deja vu kind of moment. It’s pretty amazing that smells can transport you like that.

  9. The smell of roasting turkey, combined with a lingering scent of someone-baked-a-pumpkin-pie-in-here-right-before-the-turkey-went-in? That’s every winter holiday at my house. So it reminds me of my Mom. Haven’t smelled it in more than 9 years, though, and cannot recreate it myself. Sigh.

    Another blended smell that I can’t reproduce but I sure remember: Neutrogena shampoo, mixing in a steamy bathroom with the scent of shaving cream and Polo Crest cologne. Yum. I’d pay someone to bottle that if they could get it right.

  10. Tatiana is some good stuff…

    Green apples remind me of my mom’s face cream and ‘rain’ oil reminds me of when my sister and I dressed up as renaissance whores and sold the oil

  11. Pantene shampoo – The first time I went to visit the Big Bean in Kansas, before he moved to Austin and our life together commenced, when he was still just a boy I dated and thought there *might* be something more.

    Oscar de la Renta perfume – My mother. I always see her beautiful hands whenever I smell it.

    Tropical Sun tanning oil – My grandparents’ lake house in Lebanon, Tennessee, when I was a kid and spent every summer there. The wood paneling, sandwiches and potato chips on the kitchenette counter, Grandpa outside on the dock getting the boat ready for a ride.

    Feeling very nostalgic now.

  12. another co-worker

    Old Spice deoderant reminds me of Andy. Sometimes when he’s off on a shoot I sleep with one of his t-shirts that he wore the day before.

    The smell of motor oil reminds me of my grandpa. He was a machinist and no matter how much he showered, he smelled like it.

    Chanel No. 5 and the smell of freshly manicured nails reminds me of my mother. The picture of class.

    The smell of puppies reminds me of when I got Cleo and she and I were inseperable.

    Now she kinda smells like steak. Hmmm.

  13. Oh, this is a good question. I have a really sensitive nose and strongly associate memory with scent.

    Chlorine, I love the smell of chlorine on a hot day. Summers, childhood, the memory of a time without pressure and worry and stress. Floating in the pool in the backyard.

    Obsession perfume is high school. The good and the bad.

    Old Spice and whiskey, and my Grandpa is right there with me. Sometimes I think I smell it when no one is around.

    Vaseline lotion reminds me of my mom’s hands. Love and comfort.

    Cow poo. Manure. Now this is a weird one. I grew up in a town surrounded by dairy farmers. All those years I lived in Northern California, everytime I would drive into that cow smell, I would know I was home.

  14. Okay, lessee here…

    Frying onions in the morning- my grandma making whatever godforsaken thing she used to try and feed us that was most def not breakfasty (liver and onions, anyone? didn’t think so.)

    Bayberry and fallen pine needles– the smell of my summers in Cape Cod as a kid

    Sandalwood and jasmine flowers– the smell emanating from all young Indian women after bathing and their visit to the temple

    Broiling fish– the smell of the lovely salmon steaks my mother would massacre until they turned almost brown. The house retained the smell for the next 24 hours.

    Jean Nate cologne– my aunt Jean. Why did *anyone* wear that stuff when there’s so many lovely scents to choose from?

    Great thread, Mommypie!!!

  15. For some reason, all my powerful smell-memory associations are from high school and college.
    And I KNOW I’ve written about this before, BUT scents that bring me instantly back to high school are L’Oreal lipstick, Sebastian hair spray and Lauren perfume.

    The smell of dead cow skin brings me straight back to college (the university was down wind of “tannery row”).

  16. Something made of metal, warmed by the sun, reminds me of my mother, who kept her fabric scraps in an very old metal milk can that had a lovely, dusty metal smell. Chocolate makes me think of my sister, the baker. And the perfume Poison, as well as the men’s cologne Tuscany (which I caught a whiff of on some man in a coffee shop recently) both remind me of my old British boyfriend.

  17. The cinnamon pinecones outside the grocery store always remind me of Christmas, but to remind me of my family’s house at Christmas it’s a particular blend of cinnamon, pine and other flavors.

    Elizabeth Arden Red Door reminds me of my grandma…like another co-worker’s mom she was a picture of elegance.

    Campfire smoke reminds me of one particular boyfriend. Long story.

    Sunscreen ALWAYS of summers at the beach in New Jersey.

  18. Avon Sweet Honesty: my sister in high school
    Beautiful: My wedding day
    Funny you mention Bonnie Bell – that fat, peppermint lip gloss was also the one my sister always wore
    Snickerdoodles in the oven: my mom
    Cinnamon and spiced apple: the holidays. That’s the smell that makes me happiest.

  19. P.S. I love this thread. So great to read everyone else’s responses.

  20. @ San Diego Momma

    Sebastian hair spray! Oh yes, that reminds me of high school.

  21. My grandmother’s hairspray that nearly asphyxiated me, and her face powder. That is a scent from a different era that I’ve never smelled since.

    On the subject of hamsters take a quick peek at this one:

  22. The smell of bread is one of the most comforting on earth. I remember making bread when I was a kid, but I think my love of the scent started even before that.
    I can’t think of any right now, but I know I encounter scent memories a lot!

  23. I just have to say how much I LOVE all your memories. And I LOVE learning more about everyone …

    Nicely done, Doogs!

  24. Irrigation water standing a full day in the hot sun, a bit swampy, is the smell of summer. My ex-favorite Matrix shampoo recalls three months of morning sickness. Roof tar is what first grade smells like; warm manly B.O. mixed with cheap beer brings back Nick Asshat in a big fat hurry, and reeeeeeally bad B.O. sends me to mid-’70s Big John’s Ranch Market, which coincidentally smelled like meat two days past the sell-by date.

    I have several pleasant scent associations, too; I just can’t think of any. What a great idea, Miss Pie!

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