Do Certain Smells Remind You of Places or Events in Your Life?

United States
March 18, 2007 4:34pm CST
Every time I smell this certain smell, it reminds me of my kindergarten. Since it's been 43 years since I was in kindergarten, I think that's pretty amazing. The really interesting thing is that I can't put my finger on what the smell is. I just know that ever so often I will smell it and it reminds me of kindergarten. Another smell that reminds me of my childhood is bread baking because we lived down the street from a bread factory and every morning we would wake up to the smell of fresh bread baking. And, every time I smell donuts baking, I remember the donut shop from my childhood. And, I'm not that big of a donut fan. Of course, I also remember the smell of the cafe down in New Orleans that makes Beignets. I can't remember the name of the cafe at the moment but it's in the French Quarter and it was always my favorite stop in New Orleans. So, what about you? Do smells remind you of things?
5 people like this
21 responses
@Stringbean (1273)
• United States
18 Mar 07
There is an ether smell that reminds me of a dentist's office. Ugh. I hated that smell when I was a kid. I still hate it today. They say that our brain stores everything we are ever exposed to so I guess it isn't surprising that those things are still in there. I just wonder why, when I try to remember someone's name, someone I know quite well, I often draw a blank. It must be stored in there, somewhere.
1 person likes this
18 Mar 07
when i smell playdoh its like im back at school i love that
• United States
19 Mar 07
definetly. rose scent reminds me of my grandmother-she wore a rose perfume,and always had them growing in her yard. that smell old trucks get-that oily stink? will actually get me sentimental.my father was a mechanic and it reminds me of him.and boy,do i feel silly getting teary eyed over that,but i do :)
1 person likes this
• Austria
18 Mar 07
well, this one is weird. Give me the smell of urine, stale air and the subway and it immediately takes me to Paris. yep Paris. Call me sick but I kinda like the smell, because my best vacations have been in Paris, riding the Metro around and eating crepe, being a newlywed. Ahhhh, good times. It's the one smell I can conjure up in my head without having to be there.
• United States
18 Mar 07
I caught a whiff of that mysterious smell today and it made me think of Paris as well!! Apparently, some hobo has set up camp in the woods near the park down the street from my house. Made me want an oeuf, jambon, et fromage crepe, lol!
• Austria
18 Mar 07
I was in the Subway in Vienna and there was that same smell and still I thought of Paris. Like it's supposed to be unique to that one city. I guess Paris was my first Subway ride, you always remember the first time.lol
• United States
19 Mar 07
Well, I'll have to remember this when I go to Paris and Vienna.
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
19 Mar 07
For me, the smell of freshly mown grass always reminds me of my dad and his love of keeping the yard in perfect condition when I was a kid. He was always mowing, trimming, etc. Also, the smell of wood burning in a fire place always reminds me of the home my dad had built in memory of my mom, because he made sure a wood burning stove was put in so that we would always be comfortable.
• United States
20 Mar 07
It's funny, but when you mentioned wood burning it reminded me of a few places. One was Sequoia National Park in the cabin we stayed in. One was the Ahwanee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. One was the hotel at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. And, it also reminds me of the various places we stayed in at Christmas time when we went skiing - Red River and Ruidoso, New Mexico and also Vail and Keystone, Colorado. And, you know how the telephone poles smell? Well, they remind me of Skull Island at Six Flags Over Texas. Every time I smell those, I think of that. And, mildew reminds me of the Spelunker's Cave at Six Flags as well as the old bomb shelters we used to go into for drills back in school in the 60's when everyone was so afraid of a nuclear war. This was just a few years after the Bay of Pigs incident and we had drills just like fire drills.
@BarBaraPrz (24585)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
5 Apr 07
Oh, I remember those air raid drills... Except we didn't have caves to go to. We were supposed to close the windows, pull the drapes and pile up the desks near the inside wall and hunker down in the hall, making sure we closed the classroom doors. Duck and cover! Yeah, right. did they really think we had time to do all that when "the enemy" was dropping atomic bombs?
@seamonkey (1981)
• Ireland
9 Apr 07
Yes! Watermelon and bbq hamburgers remind me of summer and water fights and running around barefoot. Cooling cake reminds me of my mom, and coffee and things burning remind me of my husband!
@myklaire (437)
• Philippines
19 Mar 07
I used to work in Taiwan, republic of China, for three years. Everytime I'd go to China town or even eating out in a Chinese restaurant, I could smell this certain Chinese smell and it would bring me back to the memories I have in Taiwan.
@kattghoti (106)
• United States
19 Mar 07
I just told my mom yesterday that her corned beef hash smelled like our cabin. Every so often I will smell something, but I am not always able to place the memory. It's like the links in my brain are no longer connected. The smell is there and the memory is there, but there is something in the way of putting the two together.
@earthsong (589)
• United States
19 Mar 07
They say the sense of smell is more closely related to memories than any other sense. The smell of paste, you know, that thick white stuff you used to have to make a paper tray for in grade school? Its one of my most favorite smells, it always brings back good memories of art class in grade school. Also, as gross as this sounds, mothballs... the smell brings back memories of my gramma's junk closet and all the great things she stashed in there that I would get to go through.
• Philippines
19 Mar 07
I feel the same way as you my friend. There are smells that reminds me of certain places, person or events. Whenever I smell them it makes me think that where and when did I smell this one? Some of the memories keeps coming back but others I just totally forget.
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
19 Mar 07
I love New Orleans! Cafe Du Monde makes beignets, is that what you are talking about? I do have that happen to me too. When I smell pine needles I remember my childhood in Tennessee. When I smell fried chicken I remember my mother cooking in the kitchen. Funny, a little korean woman cooking southern fare, it makes me laugh to this day. But she is the best cook! She learned from my Nana. Sometimes when I smell biscuits baking I remember this old couple that used to watch me and my brother. She used to make cat head biscuits for us and put butter and syrup on our plates to dip the biscuits in. That is a great memory.
• United States
19 Mar 07
I am a very emotional sniffer as well! Smells always remind me of things and can send me back to a specific memory! Other smells just give me a vague feeling, like sadness or wistfulness, that I don't really understand. For instance, the smell of paste of course reminds me of Kindergarten, preschool, and an art class I took as a 3-year-old. The smell of grass reminds me of my dad and when we used to live in Wheeling. (We lived in many different houses when I was a child, but for some reason the grass smell always reminds me specifically of Wheeling!)
@kastor003 (364)
• India
19 Mar 07
yes even i have had such incidents in my life. Well actually smell and taste do remind us of some past events. well i don't know about the biological reason, but it is true. I have seen many people talking about this
@jsae29 (1122)
• Philippines
19 Mar 07
yes, i had the funny feeling too. The smell of a certain chocolate drink reminds me of my grandma and my kindergarten class. And last year I applied for a job, the smell of the office reminds me of my trip at Saudi Arabia.
• India
19 Mar 07
Each time i eat English Marie biscuits, the smell reminds me of kindergarten which i attended almost 25 yrs back. Those biscuits were served along with milk at the snack time. Also when i chew this specific gum, it reminds me of my childhood home which had a kiosk opposite to it across the road which sold those gums. I think our senses- sight, smell & hearing get strongly associated with a prominent or repetitive event in the past.
@rpebad (89)
• Uganda
19 Mar 07
Certainly there are smells that remind me of the past like the angel perfume reminding me of my ex.just like someone i know.smell of rice reminding me of my lunch pack for school 14 years ago.
• United States
19 Mar 07
Yes. Also certain sites recall things, and certain sounds. That sounds funny. But I recall the sounds of my old neighborhood and compare it often to how quiet this one is. As far as smells. Lets see. One smell I love is baking Christmas cookies. It brings me back to baking them as a kid. Um pine trees I am reminded of camping in Yosemite I loved a lot growing up! Others too. I'm too tired to be thinking too much... sorry *L* ;) time for bed! :p
@raptorbyt (105)
• India
19 Mar 07
the smell of adidas special edition deodorant gives me a feeling of drinking coffee.this is cuz i usually take a shot of it before drinkin coffee.so my body's conditioned to the response//
@biskwet (70)
• Philippines
19 Mar 07
yeah... some smells reminds me of my childhood.. it's a different feeling seems like you're present in that place at that moment when you smell it... and the feeling of how fast the time was...
@obang1483 (250)
• Philippines
19 Mar 07
When I smell cologne with bubble scent, I always remember my gradeschool life... I really enjoy this, It's really fun when you just smell something that reminds you when you are on those years so innocent, so sweet. Well, actually, I enjoyed it so much I bought a cologne that I always purchase when I was young (oh yeah!! I still am young!!, but those times that I'm playing having a good time with no problems) I have to add this: this is an embarassing moment of my life. I onced sniffed like a dog on my friend's house because I have this strange scent coming in my nose.. not strange at all, I remembered it was my x-boyfriend's perfume....without any notices from my friends that he is there, I sniffed all the way to the bathroom with my eyes closed, and there he was standing in front of me looking confused. It sounded like it is from a movie right?!, but it really happened and after that night I know my x- boyfriend cleared his mind why he broke up with me... I gave him the answer... I am a sniffing weirdo... hahahahahaha
18 Mar 07
It happens with me too, and I thought I was the only one it happenned to!good to know there are others too.I smell certain smells and remember the most memorable events in my life.I find that I never remember the negative events in my life now,all I remember is the positive things that happenned.I cannot recall exactly what the smell is which reminds me of certain events in my childhood but I am isntantly transported the moment the smell comes.The most recent smell that I ermember distintively is the smell of a room freshener,called country berries by glades I think,which was the one my husband put at home before he came to the airport to pick me up the first time after we were married.Even now when I remember that smell,it takes me back to the days of my newly married life.