Top 10 List of Smells from Childhood

Why do I get the feeling that my Top 1o List of Smells from Childhood is going to date me?  I love that smells can evoke memories, and here are a few of my own.

What smells remind you of your childhood?

Here we go:

10.Books:  The smell of new books always brings me back to those days of my childhood when I escaped into books, doing my favorite thing in the world.  Reading.

9.  Vicks® VapoRub® & Pepto Bismol:  My mom was a nurse and my grandma was a nurse.  When I was sick in either of their company, I got a dose of Pepto Bismol if my stomach hurt, or got Vicks® VapoRub® slathered on my chest and neck if I had congestion.

8.  Lunch boxes:  My lunch box always had this distinctive peanut butter and jelly on Wonderbread sort of smell.  Even when I didn’t pack a PB&J.

7.  Mimeographed worksheets (chances are you are too young to even know what these are):  I’m pretty sure that by the time I was in second grade, these worksheets were a thing of the past, but my earliest memories of school are of this ink.  I LOVED the smell of worksheets that had been mimeographed.  Even the look of the ink made me happy.

6.  Love’s Baby Soft Perfume:  I was surprised to learn that my first perfume is still on the market today.  Who knew?

5.  Stinky feet:  My brother could have won awards for his.  I’ll never forget being in the car with him when he loosed his feet from their confines.  Those feet had power.  Too bad the smell couldn’t be marketed.

4.  Flowers:  I’ve never particularly liked the smell of big bunches of flowers, and when I do smell them, particularly lily’s and carnations, they remind me of my childhood and all that was sad in it.

3.  Dentists office:  Jeff and I took John to Jeff’s childhood dentist’s office last week.  It smelled exactly how he remembered, and reminded me of how the dentist always smelled when I went to the dentist as a child, too.  What is that combination of smells anyway?

2.  Halloween pumpkins:  There aren’t many smells as seasonal and distinctive a carved pumpkin when it’s first lit making it a Jack-o-lantern, are there?  At least for Halloween?

1.  Silent but Deadly’s:  Did you call them that in your household as well?  I’ve tried to ban them from my house now that I’m kind of in charge, but they just keep slipping in, much to my chagrin.

Disclosure:  This post was written/sponsored in conjunction with my role as a Vick’s Blogger.  Want to share some of your memory evoking childhood smells with Vick’s?  Just visit the Vicks VapoRub Facebook Page;  they’d love to hear from you!

About Angie

Angie is a CRAFT dabbling, recipe making, WORD loving, sunshine hording, book DEVOURING, Mama to a lot! She's kind of in love with Instagram right now, so if you want her attention, go find here there. {smiling}


  1. One of the biggest deja vu smells for me is my kids’ schools. The public schools smell precisely the same and can snap my mind back to fourth grade the minute I enter. The mimeograph worksheets do it too (although I can’t recall the last time I’ve smelled one. I can “remember” the smell though and the thought that we were actually sniffing hard enough to get high). And libraries. This is more of a smell and feeling, but they transport me to another time and it’s fabulous. My girls always ask why I smile so much in the library. That’s why: old books and microfiche machines. Cocoa butter reminds me of elementary school, trying to get stubborn scars to fade, and sweet potatoes remind me of my favorite aunt’s house at Thanksgiving (no matter what time of year I make them).

  2. I do believe we are kindred spirits. 🙂

  3. Ruthie Dennis says

    I’m always reminded of my childhood by the smell of cut grass.

  4. Rachelle Brancato says

    Ugh. I remember the smell of his feet in the Astro Van. I also recall the smell of Vicks from our childhood!

  5. Mary Beth Elderton says

    I remember the smell of mimeograph from my childhood in the 60’s! Love’s Baby Soft was my first perfume, too. I had forgotten those smells. You say Love’s Baby Soft is still on the market? Maybe it should be Oldest Grand-Daughter’s first perfume, too.

  6. How on earth can you possibly ban farts?! LOL.
    I’m afraid we are on the other end of the spectrum, to quote Shrek:
    Better out than in!

    Yeah, I’m raising ‘those’ kids…

  7. I love the smell of biscuits baking, it always reminds me of my grandma! She was very traditional in that every Sunday she made the big family dinner, complimented by her made from scratch biscuits. Put a little molasses on them, and call me good to go!

  8. Oh, I still love the smell of a book! Growing up in the South, honeysuckle was a huge one. I smell that and instantly remember playing barefoot in the fields!

  9. oh goodness…I love the smell of books. Its so awesome. 🙂 That and vicks. I’ve always loved the smell of vicks even though my mom rarely used it on us

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  11. Love your childhood smells…….mine are Banana Boat Sunblock, Brut Cologne, anything that smells like a French Whore House, Playdough (from when I stuck it up my nose) and lastly change (money the smell is still the same).