It's been said that the sense most closely associated to memory is scent. I don't know if it's true for everyone, but it's certainly true for me.
In fact, one of the things I loved most about my partner was that he always smelled like the beach - a scent I have loved my whole life and always reminds me of being a kid collecting shells with my grandpa. My parents and grandmother worked a lot, so it was typically just he and I hanging out being the cool kids.
When he passed (penniless as he had always been - a refugee from Cuba who taught himself to read and write) he left me a big box of those shells. Opening the box, the first thing that hits you is that smell. Even a decade later, it's heavy in there.
I had no idea that when 5 year-old me handed my grandpa these that he was keeping them. All of them. They were important to him; cherished little treasures from his tiny partner in crime.
Those shells, and the scent of the beach, make me feel all kinds of warm and fuzzy. The memory still warms my tiny cold xennial heart.
Reddit user sunriseoverseas asked other users to talk about their favorite scents, and it looks like I'm not the only one out here chasing a childhood memory bloodhound style by following a scent.
The amount of adorable (and awkward, people love some really unusual scents lol) in here is kind of amazing.
That one smell that hits you randomly and your brain kicks into this "oh my that smell is the exact same as in fall 2004 when you where on your way to your friends yaddayadda" And you just stand there like......
Either that or coconut , calms me down.
My first Christmas Eve with my husband's family we spent the night and the guest room smelled EXACTLY like my grandma's house. We lost her in 2006 and then my cousin let the house go into foreclosure so I hadn't smelled that in over a decade. I cried happy tears.
I take it as a sign that I picked the right guy :)
Smell The Savings
Payless shoe store. I'd walk in, sniff and leave. Cashier probably thought I was weird. I don't give a F what you think cashier. Yeah, maybe I am fckin weird. So what?!
A Firey Christmas
That smell when you blow out a match or a birthday candle.
That's the smell of Christmas for me, specifically going to Christmas Eve service at church, then when it's ended and everyone is putting on their coat to go home because Christmas has officially begun and they wish each other happy Christmas, the church attendants begin blowing out the candles, and THAT smell for me is Christmas.
Fresh rain. inhales deeply
Humans are hyper sensitive to it as a way to find fresh water. That's probably why we like it so much
My dog's paws. My wife thinks it's disgusting but I just like the way they smell!
You are not alone, friend. It's a Bugles/corn chip smell that is actually closer to pandan, if you've ever smelled that.
A lot of people sniff the dog paw.
Fun fact: it's caused by bacteria and when dogs dig their paws into the ground, they are doing so to transmit their odor.
Ever since I was a kid I loved the smell of gasoline. Also if you've ever been to a motocross event, or like X Games etc with dirt bikes, the smell of motorbikes and dirt is borderline sexual.
Trying Not To Judge This OneGiphy
Urinal cake, because it reminds me of those primitive bathroom facilities that they have at campgrounds, which I associate with camping, which I enjoy.
Chlorine. Toward the end of my pregnancy I craved that scent so bad. I obviously didn't inhale it or anything but I remember sitting in the pool a few weeks before giving birth and the smell was so strong and sooo good. I told my husband about it and he thought I was weird AF.
Even now I love it.
Once a week on a Tuesday I work until 7pm so get a later bus and on the same bus was a girl who was travelling to the hospital for treatment for cancer. One evening we started talking and then for about 6 months we would sit next to each other and talk. We'd tell each other what music we were currently into or what book we were reading or what video game we were playing. She smelled of mangoes and strawberry. I ended up finding out where she got it and buying my daughter some for her birthday. (The body shop)
I haven't seen her on the bus now for 3 months. I hope she is okay but I don't think so as she had stage four lung cancer.
Every time I smell mangoes and Strawberries I think of Charlotte and her big smile when I introduced her to a new band or told her about a book.
Feels Because Of Felt
My grandma passed away the week I graduated high school, back in 2005. One of the things my dad gave me that belonged to her was a jewelry box...covered in seashells, but lined with felt. The first time I opened it, I immediately began to bawl. The felt lining had grabbed that perfect scent of grandma's house/perfume. I don't use the jewelry box at all. In fact, I keep it closed as often as possible. But a few times a year, especially when I'm missing her, I open the jewelry box just a crack, and stick my nose in there just to smell her again. And once a year, usually around the holidays, I take it to my parents' house so my dad can smell it and be flooded with memories of his mom.
15 years later, and it still smells like her.