Just like music or a specific location, certain smells can bring a flood of memories to mind. I never told anyone but Eddie this, because I was afraid it was too weird (which Eddie assured me that it in fact is too weird), but my favorite smell from childhood is...cigarette smoke.
I was born in Lincoln, NE in 1983, where the middle class smoked. If you asked someone in a restaurant or bar to put out their cigarette, you'd probably get punched in the face. Everyone knew smoking was generally bad for you, but the reality of just how bad hadn't quite set in yet.
My family lived in my grandparent's house for a few years when I was little, where their home was the hub of all extended family gatherings. My dad smoked, both grandparents, and so did all the uncles. (I am proud to say that my dad and grandma haven't smoked for a good decade and a half or more, and most of the family has quit since as well). But, unarguably, the smell was always around.
To this day, I love that smell!!! Weird, I know. I don't love the way my hair smells later, or how my coat lingers of the stagnant smell. But I love the way that fresh puff fills my nostrils. Calm down, I don't smoke. But when I'm walking down the sidewalk and someone is outside taking a break, it just makes me remember so many things from my childhood.
I have a neighbor who lives in the downstairs apartment. She steps outside every now then to light up, and the smoke wafts up to the second floor, and through the cracks in our crummy living room window. "Ahhhh," I sigh to Eddie.
"She's outside again." I say as I become nostalgic.
What's your favorite childhood smell? Is it as weird as cigarette smoke?
*photo from here