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Isn’t it fun when specific smells can take you back to a specific time in your life?  Whether it’s good or bad, it’s interesting how our brains work.  Before the pandemic when I’d frequent bars with friends or go to house parties, someone would always bring out the fireball or jaeger shots and both immediately took me back to very bad decisions in my mid-20s.  Then there are the times when I do laundry and the detergent smell always reminds me of my laundry room growing up.  Or, if my wife and I are making spaghetti we let the sauce and ground beef sit in the crockpot.  It smells exactly like my kitchen growing up whenever Mom would make her sauce.  A lot of smells take me back to childhood and here are the smells that are the most popular.

Freshly Cut Grass

I always rode with Dad on the lawnmower until I was about 9 years old, which is when I started cutting it myself.  Even after I cut my own grass it still brings me back to those summer afternoons when I was a kid.

Home-cooked Meals

I mentioned spaghetti and my Mom’s meat sauce earlier, but my favorite meal that takes me back to childhood whenever I smell it is the smell of sloppy joes.  It’s more of the smell of browning meat because that was Mom’s first step to making them.  So delicious!


I remember having the 64-pack of crayons with the sharpener in the back.  Until I switched to colored pencils in 5th grade, my backpack always smelled like crayons.  The fact that the box came with a built-in crayon sharpener blew my mind!  Cyan was my favorite color.


The smell of a rose always reminds me of Valentine’s Day when I’d purchase a rose in middle school to give to my Mom, as well as a seventh-grade crush, haha.  It also reminds me of walking into the grocery store as a kid and immediately smelling them because the floral department was in the front.



For me, sweets and spring go together.  As a kid, you get sweets for Valentine’s Day, a month later you get them for St. Patrick’s Day, and then Easter.  This time of year they always remind me of a cool early spring morning.


The only craft item that overtook the crayon was the smell was Play-Doh.  I’d take all of it out and just sink my nose into the container and just sniff.  I never ate it.  Only sniffed it and it definitely brings me back to the after-school care center I went to in first grade.

The Smell Of A School

I was fortunate to go to a brand new school for the 4th, 5th, and 8th grades.  It didn’t matter whether the school was 30 years old or brand new.  Every school has that same pencil shaving, copier, cafeteria smell.  Every. Single. School.  Do they make a pencil shavings-scented candle?