For me special aromas associated with my childhood bring back fond memories. Here are my 10 best aromas.
I grew up in a happy family environment and with this happy childhood I associate aromas bringing back fond memories. There are too many of them but the 10 best aromas are:
1. Pot-roast in the oven: My mother was an excellent cook and in an era when nobody was actually concerned about high levels of cholesterol she spoiled us on Sundays with her best pot-roast. Early in the morning she would prepare all ingredients, put it in the oven at low temperature and boy, when we returned from church the house was filled with the aroma of slow-baking pot-roast. Rest assured, the taste of that pot-roast was just as good as the smell thereof.
2. Fresh-cut grass: My father taught us from a very young age to attend to our garden ourselves and in that time all houses had big yards with big gardens. Every Saturday was garden day and I had to mow the lawn and the smell of fresh-cut grass was heavenly. It still reminds me of our bondage with earth.
3. Jeyes Fluid: My father believed that once a week all drains had to be disinfected, the court yard had to be washed and the dog kennels had to be cleaned. For this purpose he only believed in Jeyes Fluid. The smell lingered on for days and the smell always reminded me of cleanliness. Fifty years later, I still follow the same routine as my father and I still use Jeyes Fluid.
4. Wicks bubble-gum: My childhood was during the late fifties, early sixties when money was scarce and we had to rely on one penny a week as pocket money. For that one penny, we could buy 4 pieces of wicks bubble-gum. The secret of this brand of bubble-gum was that the flavor lasted for days and the aroma of the bubble-gum was heavenly. I remember sitting in church when suddenly the smell would reach you from somewhere in church and you knew someone of your own age was secretly chewing the bubble-gum – unfortunately, the smell could not keep it a secret.
5. Dettol: My mother only believed in Dettol as an antiseptic ointment. And believe me; she used bottles and bottles of it. We were outdoor children, not a day went by that bruises, and nicks had to be treated with Dettol. Dettol is even today part of my medicine chest and a spoonful in a hot bath is like aromatherapy for my!
6. Roasted peanuts: Once a year one of the big circus companies would visit our little town and you did not miss it for a thing on earth. With money a bit scarce, the only thing my father could afford for snacks during the show was a packet of freshly roasted peanuts in their shells. For that odd ninety minutes the show was on I indulged myself in the aroma and taste of roasted peanuts.
7. Candy floss: During church and school bazaars there was always a machine making candy floss. In spite of all the aromas of food and other edibles competing for your attention, candy floss was always the winner and whilst it was melting in your mouth the aroma itself engulfed you.
8. Vicks vapour rub: This was one of the musts for my mother’s medicine chest and she believed in it. We as children loved it for its beautiful aroma and warmness it created.
9. Wintergreen muscle ointment: My father was a very active man and after a hard day’s work in the garden or his chicken coop or his garage he took a hot bath and afterwards he rubbed in wintergreen. I loved to sit in his arms in the evenings listening to the radio programs and just took in that heavenly smell of wintergreen. I always associated it with a macho-man because my father only used it after a man’s work!
10. The smell of a puppy: My father lived near the earth and he tried to bring us as family nearer to earth and therefore a dog was always a must in our house. Whenever we received a new puppy, I loved to cuddle it for the smell only a puppy could have.
All these 10 best childhood aromas of mine are still part of my life. Yes, believe it or not, even the occasional candy floss and roasted peanuts I buy when there is a church bazaar or when we visit the specialized candy shops in the malls.