Scents, Smells, Odors, Aromas


One spring day, a few years ago, I was driving with the windows down.  I smelled something that was familiar from the distant past, but not an aroma from nature. Nor was it one of the harsh, caustic stenches from my fifth grade chemistry set.  It took a week, but finally I had an “Aha” moment.  I had smelled gunpowder, specifically the odor that immediately followed the “Bang” of our cowboy cap pistols delivered by Santa Claus.  To make the pistol pop, we inserted thin paper strips, which came in rolls.  The red ribbons contained minute amounts of gunpowder. Then, we would point the pistol toward our enemy and pull the trigger.  Pop.  Bam.  Pow.  Bang.  Nobody liked to be killed, but we could put a lot of drama into being wounded.

A game we played at organized parties involved putting various substances with distinct aromas into small medicine bottles.  Each blindfolded player then sniffed and guessed what each bottle contained.  Some of the more interesting scents were…

Almond Extract




Lemon juice

Limburger cheese

Maple syrup

Mint toothpaste


Rubbing alcohol

Suntan lotion

Vicks Vapo-rub


Outdoors, every spring and summer, in our part of the world, we are blessed with the aroma of hyacinths, gardenias, roses, lavender and honeysuckle.

 My dad, who was a serious rose grower, said the first thing anyone ever did when near a rose was to smell it.  One of the tragedies (might be too strong a word, might not be) of life is that roses from florists are without aroma.  Bummer.

 The best fragrance?  None of the above.  I vote for a bakery!


Categories: Diet, Family, Health, Holiday, Humor, Lists/Top Ten, South Carolina, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Post navigation

4 thoughts on “Scents, Smells, Odors, Aromas

  1. JEarl

    I also remember the lingering smell of exploded caps from my “cap pistol”. Baby powder takes me back a few years, also. Thanks for the reminder to be more aware of the pleasant scents around me.

  2. Bill

    Ha-ha–you have trying to recall various scents–thanks

  3. Dean

    Try lighting a bit of sage for your next aroma party and see who guesses what. You may learn something new about old friends if you do…

  4. Orey Gracey

    I remember the A&P stores in the late twenties and thirties had sawdust on the floor and open meat and fish preparation for customers in the open. THERE were smells. Orey

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: