How Long Until We Have Smell-O-Vision?

Published on March 30th, 2009 in: Issues, Smell-O-Rama |

By Noreen Sobczyk

Certain sensory things trigger memories instantly. At one time or another each of us has probably heard a song play and been immediately transported through time to some place or person from their past without any conscious effort. Well, scents can do the same thing. Maybe it’s that pot roast and gravy that smells just like the one your Grandma made that gets you feeling all warm and nostalgic? Or mulled cider that reminds you of Halloween? Or maybe it’s something that smells like the Love’s Baby Soft worn by the bitchy popular girl who tortured you at the sleep over? Or the smell of a boys junior high locker room’s socks n’jocks and you think about being laughed at for not being able to climb the rope in gym class? Everyone must have some smell that is unique to themselves and their own past memories, but we must share some in our collective memory banks. Take a look at the list below and see if anything rings a bell.

mr sketch

Mr. Sketch

Ah Mr. Sketch, the “smelly” markers. Each thick marker had its own scent. Yellow was lemon, black was licorice, and so on. Most schools didn’t allow Mr. Sketch. Maybe that’s because more than one kid ate the tip off at least one of these flavored, er, scented sketchers. Maybe that led to the next smell—sawdust mixed with grade-school-kid vomit. What school didn’t have that one kid that upchucked after lunch leading to a pile of that pink-sawdust-tinged concoction being spread out by a disgruntled janitor?

scratch n sniff

Round Scratch ‘n’ Sniff stickers

Maybe you traded these at school? They had a little picture of the scent and came in basic fruit scents like apple and banana. There were also treat-scented stickers like root beer or popcorn. And there was the pizza that never really smelled like pizza, but some bizarre approximation that was slightly off-putting, yet nevertheless, scratch away we did. But then, there was a sneaker, a roller skate, a clown, and a witch. Who decided what those smelled like? Roller skates smelled like leather, and witch smelled like. . . well, no one really knew what it was, but it was bad. “Here this smells bad—smell it.” And we did, didn’t we? And the clown smelled like cherry. I wonder about the person that came up with that combination.


I smell bacon

But of all the smells to smell, I challenge you to find a sweeter more heartwarming, comforting, and nigh-on-irresistible smell as bacon. Dogs can’t resist bacon. I think that’s why they crap on the carpet when people go out: they are pissed about not being fed enough bacon. Even vegans covet the bacon. Come on, admit it. Okay it isn’t politically correct, but many have admitted their one missed part of the life of a carnivore is bacon. That sizzling smell can lure even the sleepiest person from their slumber and into the land of greasy pork products. And mix that with fresh-from-the-toaster Eggo waffles with syrup and it’s as though childhood never ended.

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