People Describe Which Smells Make Them Instantly Happy
Angelica Echeverry/Unsplash

There's a certain smell that makes me smile involuntarily—and then smile bigger because I know the reason I'm smiling is because I'm a lovesick fool and honestly—it's kinda nice.

His beard oil, mixed with sea air, sunscreen, and sand. Bake with a few hours of sun, add a splash of coconut.

It's incredibly specific, I know—but it's the smell of summer afternoons, date nights sharing pizza at 2 am on the beach, it's the smell of falling in love. It's the smell of years together, sunscreen on the kids, coconut conditioner on five heads of curls.

It's the smell of us and I grin like a fool every time I smell it.

Reddit user migue30 asked:

"What smell, when you smell it, instantly makes you happy?"

I'm not the only one out here smiling like the cat who caught the canary. Lots of us have happy smells.

We Love Carbs

"Bread that just come out of the oven"

- Appropriate-Elk3686

"I worked a couple summers in construction."

"One Saturday morning I was at a concrete pour on a site that was just down the street from an Aunt Millie’s bakery that was going full tilt. So the whole job site smelled like fresh bread."

"It was wonderful and also torturous."

- agsieg

"This smell reminds me of my grandfather."

"We used to have a restaurant and he made fresh bread all day every day. I would walk into the back room and just get this overwhelming sense of calm and warmth whenever there was bread on the table, or about to come out of the oven."

"I miss my grandfather."

- Adam_Ohh


Lost Love

"Woodsmoke is a big one for me. A LOT of my childhood was spent around campfires with family."

- SirSilverscreen

"I used to unconditionally love the smell of a campfire."

"But I live in Oregon and that smell was ruined for me in 2020. Living in Salem the sky was shades of yellow, brown, orange and red, and when you tried to breathe outside it burned."

- SgtVinBOI

"Yup. California here; smelling smoke just makes me sad now, but it used to make me smile so big."

- lonabirdie


Ladies Night

"Whenever me and my best friend are getting ready to go out, she always sprays this particular perfume on the both of us before we go. It’s always the same perfume, and we’ve used it ever since our first night out."

"So once in a while I’ll catch a whiff of this perfume in public, and I’ll immediately think of out nights out and all of the fun times we’ve had while wearing this perfume."

"She moved to a bigger city a couple months ago, so we don’t see each other as much anymore. That hasn’t affected anything though, thankfully ❤️"

- frankie-downhill


Job Satisfaction

"I've been a baker for going on 20 to 25 years (approx.), and the smells never get old."

"Fresh baked bread, cheese and garlic pullaparts, cinnamon buns. 1/4 of my job satisfaction is just the atmosphere."

- voidinherent

"Oh mate. Working in subway and being on an open and when you take out the cookies that are literally still burning hot and the smell just fills the room… that smell used to make my mornings, not gonna lie."

- L0WEffort


The Beans

"Coffee beans."

"Not coffee already made. It has to be coffee beans. When I walk down the aisle at the store, I stand there like a moron and take it all in."

- xex00

"My grocery store had a section where you can grind the beans yourself and they have novelty flavors like Carmel, hazelnut, pumpkin spice etc."

"I could spend hours sniffin'."

- bubalub-

"Oh gosh yes."

"My first job was at a cafe & I loved just breathing in all the bean smell as I got the shop ready. The beans (whole or ground) smell like 20x better than coffee when it's made."

- Firefly128

"There used to be a small family run coffee roasting business by my school."

"Every Wednesday they would roast their freshly imported coffee beans with their front door wide open, the whole street smelled of freshly roasted coffee."

"They retired a while ago and I regret not buying up the rest of their stock."

- WedgeTurn



"A girl's freshly shampooed hair."

- wisedond0n

"I get it. My husband getting out of the shower is a happy smell too."

"It's the clean, crispness of his soap carried by the burst of humidity that pours out when the door opens."

- Summerie

"Guys can do this too!"

"I bought a coconut scent conditioner and it made my hair smell so great a guy smelled it and wanted to buy the same conditioner."

- Vagabond21


A Love/Hate Thing


"I don’t think I actually like it, though. My wife loves it & our youngest said it helped him sleep & relax."

"The smell reminds me of them, and of him when he was a baby. Just happier times even if they were sh*tty times."

"I hate the smell of lavender, but it’s just so nostalgic I can’t help but like it."

- FondleMyPlumsPlease


Mechanic Smell

"Used engine oil, dad was a mechanic and when he came home I used to hug him and his overalls smelled like it."

"Since he’s passed away I smile every time I smell it."

- strong_tea_baggins

"Yep, that grease and gas smell of a garage does it for me too."

"Combine it with cheap bar soap, and instantly I see my grandpa in my mind."

- screamingcheese



"My Grandpa's coat."

"I got it after he died, and it still smells like him. I keep it safe and pull it out every once in a while."

"I put my head in it and I'm a little kid again. It's been really helpful these last few months."

- Jalambi

"I have no idea what it was but the smell of my late grandma's basement."

"It certainly wasn't mold, I've smelled plenty of that."

"Even years after she's passed, it still smells like it down there. I have no idea what it is but it's over of the most nostalgic things for me."

- DirePanda072


Mom In A Bottle

"I both love and hate the smell of Vanderbilt perfume."

"My mom wore it exclusively. I took her bottle when she passed away suddenly a couple years ago."

"When I was a teenager and first working, I asked her what she wanted for Christmas because I could finally get her something with my OWN money. She told me Vanderbilt perfume."

"So I did, but I was sure I had no idea what it smelled like. So when I got it home, I opened the box and took the cap off the bottle to sniff. I realized immediately that it smelled like 'Mom in a bottle.' "

"I had no idea she wore perfume. I thought that was just how she smelled."

- No_repeating_ever


Bath & Body Works

"Japanese cherry bloom from Bath and Body Works."

"My grandma sprayed that sh*t EVERYWHERE in her home and it reminds me of her practically raising me as a child and all the fun summers me and like 20 other cousins spent with her."

- we-buy-ugly-people

cherry blossom love GIF Giphy

Trash Bags?

"Bare with me... scented trash bags."

"Like, flower scented and stuff. Your probably thinking 'that's a nice smell but why exactly that?' "

"It all has to do with my favorite game of all time. Red dead redemption 2."

"I may be crazy but I SWEAR I had that smell the whole time from chapter 1-4. It's now almost a representation of that sh*t that was about to go down."

"Lots of death and sh*t happens and I don't know if the trash bag in that room was scented or what, but I remember that smell. Now the scented trash bag smell and the excitement of the game are associated."

- Difficult_Clerk_4074

GIF by Giphy

Old People Smell

"You know that old people smell?"

"Whenever I smell that smell, I get hit with an instant wave of nostalgia. I would think back to when I used to go to my nana’s house and do fun things with her."

"Sadly though, she passed away 3 years ago so smelling that smell is like revisiting her and that’s why I love old people smell."


Old Woman Vintage GIF by Archives of Ontario | Archives publiques de l'Ontario Giphy

Name That Tune

"There's a memory from 1968..."

"My dad owned several restaurants, including 3 drive-ins."

"I was taking a morning class at the high school where I was a rising senior, and an afternoon course at the local Junior College. This was to qualify for an advanced course I wanted in the next fall. I had like 30 minutes to make the transition, which was 10 miles apart."

"I arranged with the manager of Shawnee Drive-In #2 (there were 3) that every day at 12:05 he would have my lunch (2 hot dogs with mustard and onions, a chocolate shake and french fries) waiting on the counter, and my favorite song playing on the jukebox."

"I would pop in, wolf down my lunch by the time the song ended, and run out the door, hop in my 67 GTO and haul ass to the JC."

"To this day, If I hear that song on the radio, I can still smell those hot dogs. And if I make hot dogs with mustard and onions (by our old recipe), I can hear that song in my head."

"But I cannot NAME that song to save my life without that smell to reference."

- TnBluesman

Hot Dog GIF by Shaking Food GIFs Giphy


"Driving with the windows open along the pacific coast highway in Santa Cruz, CA always fills me with joy."

"The smell of the ocean & the trees is unbeatable!"

- soiledmyjeans

Ocean Driving GIF by Bermemes Giphy

Happy Stink?

"I was in the middle of a two-week business trip, doing something incredibly stressful that I had been dreading for months."

"I was homesick for my husband and dogs and overall it was just a tough two weeks."

"I was staying in a downtown area and everyday I’d walk to the location. Downtowns are full of smells, mostly bad, and this one was no exception."

"As I was walking back to the hotel one day, I got a whiff of something that smelled bad but made me noticeably happier - my brain 100% associated this smell with happiness. It was such a weird feeling, but I finally placed the smell."

"It was wet dog 😂"

- yas_okay

shake it off border collie GIF Giphy

Safe On The "Stoep"

"The smell of coffee mixed with cigarettes."

"When I was a kid, me and my sisters used to go visit my aunt and her husband on their farm for about a week during the first terms school holidays."

"Being farm people, there was no sleeping in ,so while we would sit in the kitchen and eat, my uncle would sit in the 'stoep' (patio) and drink strong coffee while having a smoke."

"That smell would drift somehow into the kitchen. As an adult, it just makes me feel warm and safe when I get whiffs of that smell every now and them."

- PheeaA

Home House GIF by Raw Fury Giphy

A Florists Favorite

"To me, the smell of fresh cut Pine."

"It smells like Christmas to me. I'm a Florist and when you work in a shop, you will spend part of Nov. and the whole of Dec. working with it."

"It was literally the only thing I could smell in my Shop. It's on your clothes and shoes, all over your hands. You take it home with you every night. You eat it, breathe it."

"I love all the different varieties I got to work with and how the all felt different in my hands. Juniper, White Pine and Princess Pines are my favorites."

"The work is hard, but it's rewarding and that smell takes me right back to it."

- Ihavefluffycats

christmas tree GIF by Rachael Ray Show Giphy

A United Family

"The smell of pizza."

"When I was a child my family was more united. I can still remember that we went every week to eat pizza together, I was about 4 or 5 years old."

"But just smelling the pizza brings back memories of better times..."

- MikeAngel65

I Love You Reaction GIF Giphy

So... turns out we're all a bunch of sentimental saps.

Honestly, it's cute.

Group hug, everybody.

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