Friday, 17 October 2014

Scents Of Wonder


Year 1 are studying ‘Ourselves’ at school, and this week we were considering our sense of smell. We had little plastic pots with perforated lids, and the children sniffed and debated what was inside. They all got onion, garlic, orange, and chocolate. Some got coconut, and shampoo. Nobody got cloves, cinnamon, herbs or Vick’s Vapour Rub – however a few said the cinnamon “Smelt like biscuits/cookies” .

vicksOne enterprising 5 year old wrote “cold” on his sheet for the Vick’s. “It smells like what I smell like when I get a cold” he said. It is good to realise these modern Mums still recognise the power of Vapour Rub!!

Perfumes are so evocative – we talked about things that smell, and most of the suggestions were food related…then they were more creative – flowers, grass, and ‘the sea’ were mentioned. “Dog Poo” suggested someone. A mark for thinking of a non-food item- but that is not one we will draw a picture of on the worksheet, thankyou!

What fragrances do I enjoy? Lots of them…

  • fresh coffee
  • newly baked bread
  • roses
  • woodshavings
  • beeswax candles
  • leather upholstery in posh cars
  • creosote
  • Savlon liquid*

But I don’t like the odours of

  • blue cheese
  • cigarette smoke
  • rancid milk
  • musty books
  • boiled eggs
  • strong beer
  • mothballs
  • TCP

*Savlon liquid always reminds me of the Maternity Hospital where I had Liz – in those days they kept you in for a week! I was just so happy she’d been born safe and well. Perfumes can bring back memories, good and bad, as Proust recalled.

Which odours bring back memories for you?

Are there smells you love?

Or ones you hate?



  1. I also love the smell of creosote. I like Orange Blossom in the spring and Jasmine in the summer, the freshness of the air after it's rained, fresh cut grass, and cakes baking.

  2. I love the smell of a garden bonfire drifting across the street.
    How surprising that children don't know the smell of Vick, it's one I would recognise anywhere!

  3. I remember taking a bag of mum's clothes to the charity shop. When I opened the bag I was overcome by the smell of mum's perfume - it was as though she was right next to me. It was lovely, but upsetting as she was no longer with us. Somewhat strange but nice xxx

  4. Freshly cut grass is one of my favourites.

  5. The smell of sage always reminds me of Dad, stored apples and lavender remind me of Grandma.
    Jane x

  6. I love the smell of fresh cut grass, pine trees in the summer when it's warm, oranges, carnations.

  7. I love the smell of clothes dried on the line. Coffee, cinnamon buns, Palmolive soap (green) and babies!

  8. I live by Vick's when the boys are coughing with colds. It has thus to be on my favourites list! I am convinced it has kept us out of A&E on many near-asthma occasions!


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