top of page
  • Writer's pictureWendy Percival

Making scents of the past

Sorry about the pun but I couldn't resist it!

As some of you may know, I'm currently in the middle of writing a novella which will be a "prequel" to the first Esme Quentin mystery, Blood-Tied (and which will be FREE to my newsletter subscribers so if you'd like to sign up in readiness, please do so HERE).

In the story, Esme recalls a certain smell from childhood and it set me thinking about those particular scents which conjure up memories of times past.

Can't you just smell that donkey in the picture below of me at Blackpool in 1963!

Hubby and I started compiling a list... Here's ten of them. Perhaps there are some you share with us?

1) Paraffin heater - takes me back to winter ballet lessons when I was about 4. The hut they were held in was always freezing cold.

2) Dettol ointment - it was creamy yellow coloured and came in a small jar with a black lid. I could sniff it all day...

3) New bandages - a very familiar one to Hubby as he was particularly accident prone as a child!

4) Wintergreen - my gran swore by it for rubbing on stiff muscles and joints. It really ponged!

5) Celery - always takes me back to Sundays in the winter at my gran's house when we'd smell the celery as Gran cut it into sticks ready for us to have for tea.

6) Greenhouse tomatoes - reminds me of my granddad's greenhouse and one of the reasons I love growing them now.

7) Wet wool - woolly gloves have a smell all of their own when they've been made soggy from making snowballs!

8) Mown grass - that perennial favourite smell of summer. What can beat it? Along with the purr-purr of a the push mower. Oops! I've digressed into sounds...

9) Straw - reminds me of when we used to play in the dens my cousins built within the bales of straw on their farm. A Health & Safety officer's worst nightmare these days, of course, but such a lot of fun!

10) Wet gaberdine raincoats - one of Hubby's cherished memories: the stink of everyone's dripping wet macs draped over the school radiators to dry out on a rainy day.

So, what are your memory scents of the past?


To find out more go to the books page in the menu above or click on the image.

bottom of page