Scents and sensibility

January 13, 2015 | My Jottings

Isn’t the power of smell amazing? Many of my memories are all tied up to the scents I remember, and I know you relate. One familiar whiff can instantly transport me back to a room I was standing in as a child, or to a recollection of a person I dearly loved. So today I have four questions about the scents in your life. 12944352131441309820perfume-bottle

1. What scents (perfumes or otherwise) do you remember from your childhood?  I remember the aroma of baking persimmon cookies from my mother’s kitchen, even though I hated persimmon cookies. I remember the Old Spice on my dad’s jawline. I remember what a new Nancy Drew book smelled like when I opened it. I recall what my mother’s home-fried corn tortillas smelled like as I walked in the front door and knew she was making her wonderful tacos. I remember a rarely touched bottle of White Shoulders perfume sitting on my mother’s dresser. She didn’t wear it, but I used to open it and think it smelled very sweet. I can still remember the way my father’s clean shirts would smell on Tuesdays as my mother sprinkled them with water, and the steam rose from the cotton fabric as she deftly pressed and smoothed the iron over each one. And the smell of chlorine from all the pools I swam in brings strong and pleasant memories.

2. What perfume or cologne did your mother wear?  My mom wore Estee Lauder’s Youth Dew, and occasionally Jean Naté.

3. What perfumes or colognes do you wear?  I like Estee Lauder’s Beautiful. I used to wear Jovan Musk Oil as a teen — it was all the rage in the 70s. I smelled Red Door on a woman at the mall recently (I asked and she told me) and I thought I would like to try it.

4. What do you do to make your house smell good?  I take out the garbage, have the dogs bathed and groomed, give a single spritz of Michael’s cologne to our sheets, simmer together water, vanilla, cloves and cinnamon on the stove, and write posts about smells to get other peoples’ ideas. My favorite candle is this one — this is what our house smells like most days.

Now it’s your turn. What are your scents and sensibilities?


  1. Sara B. says:

    I remember Dad’s cologne, Jovan Musk and how he always smelled good. I of course remember you wearing Beautiful, Moments and Splendor. I remember Youth Dew and how Grandma would powder Sharon, Carolyn and my bottoms when we got out of the bathtub.

    I remember how Myrtle’s fur smelled, dirty but pleasant. I remember the smell of puppy breath and “puppy” on Winnie and Edith and Mildred. I remember the smell of the Lester Park Library, I remember the smell of our musty basement. I remember liking the smell of gasoline (I KNOW IT”S TERRIBLE!!!) whenever I’d go to Food ‘N’ Fuel with Dad and how I’d take a big whiff. I remember how my Lester Park kindergarden class room smelled.

    I have a fragrance addiction/obsession. I have a lot of favorites. The first perfume I ever got was called, Tea Rose, I think I was ten and I asked for it for my birthday. I moved onto Malibu Musk, Xclamation, Jovan White Musk and Freesia from Bath & Body Works. Now a few of my favs are: Donna Karen Cashmere Mist, Lancome Aroma Tonic, Calvin Klein Obsession Night and Sheer Obsession, CoCo Chanel Mademoiselle, Dolce Gabbana Light Blue, Georgio Armani Sensi, Moschino Couture, The Body Shop Zestini, Lolita Lempecka, Japanese Cherry Blossom and Thymes Kimono Rose and Wild Ginger. I also like Dove Go Fresh in Lemongrass and Grapefruit! There’s a few for you!!!!

    To make the house I am currently living in smell good I clean with bleach, spray lysol disinfectant spray on door handles and light switches, febreeze fabrics, burn scented candles, cook or bake, spray inexpensive body mist in rooms, do a load of laundry with good smelling detergent, open the windows and air the place out. I also like these incense cones that are sold at Walmart. They are oil based and take about ten minutes to burn. I like linen spray, and I also will spritz a vacuum bag with a perfume that I don’t often wear before I vacuum and that leaves a nice scent. I put lemons down the garbage disposal. That smells GREAT! And I also really like Method, which is a brand of cleaning products sold at Target. They are non toxic, I think, and they come in fragrances such as Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Lavendar and Cucumber.

  2. Carolyn says:

    I like the smell of anything fall-like. Apples, rainy weather, crackling fires, peppermint, pine trees, pumpkin. I like the smell of puppy-dog ears, which also resembles the smell of Elijah’s hair. I remember winter smells the best from my childhood– the smells of Christmas, the food from Thanksgiving, roast chicken at Grandma Bernie’s house. To make my own house smell nice I like to burn candles and oil. The scents I choose are usually the same as the ones mentioned above. Pine, pumpkin or such.

    When I was pregnant I had a mild, mild form of Pica, in which I craved the smell of chalk and gasoline and especially spray paint. Mmmmmmm…..spray paint. I still love it and I will go out to the garage just to breathe it in. Strangely, I also adore the smell of musty basements.

  3. Linda says:

    This was a wonderful memory jogger —
    A freshly painted room….cold outside air mixed with burning wood from chimneys, babies, puppy’s breath…turkey roasting in oven, my favorite fragrance–Burberry Brit…pine scented candles & diffusers…coffee on the morning, freshly folded laundry, cinnamon buns baking …new car smell ????

  4. Ember says:

    1. What scents (perfumes or otherwise) do you remember from your childhood?
    Mown grass, and tomatoes in the greenhouse.

    2. What perfume or cologne did your mother wear?
    I don’t think my mother had a signature perfume as such. My father travelled the world and used to bring her back duty-free perfumes, so she had a selection. I remember she liked Lentheric’s “Tweed”.

    3. What perfumes or colognes do you wear?
    I have the delight of my daughter Hebe making up body lotions for me infused with a variety of essential oils – among them almost always black spruce, rosemary and frankincense. Oh, they smell divine!

    4. What do you do to make your house smell good?
    Our house always smells of cooking, and the predominant vague aroma is of garlic (which fortunately I like! It also often smells of bleach – a whiff my children have grown up associating with home! If ever it smells a little stale, I open the windows.

  5. Sue Raimo says:

    A fun topic! I’ll only respond to the first question.
    -new crayons
    -fall leaves on the ground
    -the vinyl of a new doll
    -Baby Magic lotion
    -suntan lotion with a coconut fragrance
    -old books
    -new books
    -and my favorite is pumpkin pie spice. I keep some on hand in my cupboard and just a whiff serves to calm and comfort me without cost or side effects.

  6. Just Julie says:

    Linda, Ember and Sue — I loved reading your responses! Thank you. A lovely picture of some of what makes you all you…. xoxo

  7. Ginny says:

    With an over active nose like mine, I should be doing the work of a German Shepherd at the airport!! I am super sensitive and anything Febreeze gags me. No idea why. I can tell if people spray it or have it on their clothes. Bad smells will drive me crazy. Greasy hair, bad hygiene, peanut butter breath, babies that smell like Mac Donald’s and funky smelling bedrooms make me sad. Maybe that is why I like my window open all year… : )
    But! I will follow a man and politely ask his cologne scent if it is a good one. I like my Peter to smell yummy. I also love the smell of his armpits with his deodorant… Should I even go on??
    I wore L ‘Origan by Coty in high school and would love to have it again. but now I am hooked on Eternity and Sunflower. For those who are perfume sensitive, I apologize, but I LOVE it on my clothes!!! That GREAT wool dryer ball you gave me, Jewel, with Abundance essential oil on it, makes my clothes and basement smell delightful!! I love to diffuse Abundance and Purification in the house! I try to stay away from home sprays, but Butter Cream room spray is my exception! I like to spray it on the porch to greet my friends!
    But the best smell of all is the smell of my mommy’s neck. When I hug her I love to bury my face in her soft neck. I hope I never forget the tender smell of her skin. It is her 87th birthday the 18th, so thank You Lord for all the time I have had with her!!!

  8. Just Julie says:

    Ginny your comments were a blessing — funny, touching, and blog worthy. I’m going to keep pestering you to start a blog so more people can be encouraged and blessed. 🙂 I’d love to smell that Abundance essential oil. xoxo

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