Whenever I Smell Gasoline, I Think Of Childhood
They say smell creates the most powerful memories. I'm not sure who "they" are, but I trust them - because they're right. Ever smelled something that just ROCKETED you back to when you were a kid? For me, a big one is gasoline. I'm not sure why, but I have a very clear memory of sitting in the back of a truck on a weekend that my Mom and her friends went garage saling. They had stopped to get gas and the smell was just permanently lodged in my memory as belonging to That Moment. I have no idea why.
But you know, as I sat and thought about it (I know, I have a weird way of thinking), I realized there are others. Maybe some of these will apply to you, too.
1. Fresh-cut grass.
You know when your Dad would finish up mowing the lawn, and he would have you pull the little weeds out of the cracks of the sidewalk because "your hands are smaller"?
2. Pencil shavings.
That moment when you had to raise your hand, go to the front of the room, and actually sharpen a pencil. Bonus times were when you got to be the one that emptied the shavings into the garbage.
3. Baby powder.
Well, babies in general, right? There's something about "new baby" smell.
4. Vicks vapor rub and other cold and cough medicines.
I hated this stuff as a kid. My Mom would put it on my feet and then put my socks on. I hated how it stuck to my chest and I really didn't like the texture. Even today I kind of avoid using it.
I cannot think of anything in this world that smells like Play-Doh. There probably is something, and I just can't remember it.
6. Cotton candy.
Oh man, begging all afternoon for a little of that sweet stuff, and your parents saying no because "what if you go on a ride and throw up". Or, because they didn't want you "all hopped up on sugar".
7. Suntan lotion.
You know, that kind of almost coconutty smell. Now they call it sunblock but back in the day it was suntan lotion. Although my Mom never bothered with it, she'd literally layer herself in Baby Oil and lay out in the sun next to the baby pool at Liberty Park.
8. An old lady's perfume that reminds you of your grandma.
I don't remember what kind she used, but Grandma Vanwinkle always had a very distinct perfume smell. I think she was one of the those ladies that bought Avon from the other lady at church.
I was talking about it with Husbando and he said that one smell that takes him back is the smell of a bonfire. I get it, he was an Eagle Scout and did a lot of stuff at camps, he loves camping, etc. But for me, the smell of a bonfire is partly pleasant, but also partly disturbing. Most of the time I'm able to get to a pleasant place when I'm near a bonfire, but then there's that one out of ten time when I'm taken back to the Mark Twain apartment fire. I swear, I went there the next day.... and it smelled like someone had a bonfire. I didn't smell burned plastic, nothing like that. It just smelled like someone had just had a bonfire.
Anyway! What smells instantly transport you back to your childhood?