30 Memorable Smells

Random Observation/Comment #755: I smell the past, present, and future. It always smells optimistic.

Why this List?

I don’t usually do “favorite” lists because it doesn’t require too much deep thinking, but I’m always game for a nostalgic memorable list connected to senses. (Plus, I just don’t want to exclusively think about the war and crypto).

As a person that has bad allergies and stuffy nose all the time, I do appreciate a good scent. These smells reminded me of some good times.

  1. Freshly ground and brewed coffee – I need it to wake up. I have a favorite moment from Bali when I had this incredible pour over of blue mountain coffee. Also had that poop-coffee, which I could have done without.
  2. Pouring in hops when making beer – I’ve done a few dad brewing days here in Colorado and those are always a good time.
  3. Single malt whisky – I especially love the deep peaty smells. Reminds me of when we went to Isle in Scotland (although that was a bit too peaty in-person).
  4. Deep red wines – There’s an excellent sophisticated smell that I think associates with drinking it right afterwards. My nose and palette was happy in Sonoma (a little less happy in the Hamptons)
  5. Mulled wine – Adding this separately because it reminds me of this time I had street mulled wine in Berlin. Mmm poured into a paper cup.
  6. Cedar – My initial thought was the burning of cedar for smoking brisket, but then I remembered those round cedar pieces on my suit hangers. I do miss my suits…
  7. Honey suckle – Reminds me of walking around my neighborhood growing up and eating/licking honey suckle from bushes.
  8. Bananas apple maple syrup and cinnamon for pancakes – Weekend pancake sessions FTW.
  9. Oven Bacon – Ain’t nothing wrong with this in the morning. Extra crispy, please.
  10. Ramen broth – This is just the best combination of rich broth. I made my own ramen broth, but I’ll recall any of the great ramen date nights I’ve had in NYC and Tokyo.
  11. Korean BBQ – The lingering smell on my clothes is also a treat. I haven’t had good Korean BBQ since KTown pre covid.
  12. NYC Bagel store – 2nd Ave Deli is pretty old school. Rosenbergs in Denver is close enough to tickle my itch.
  13. Chocolate chip Cookies – I don’t usually eat desserts, but I will chow down on a gooey freshly baked cookie. Give me the ones out of bags cut from a log.
  14. Cinnabon at the airport or LIRR – Airport usually doesn’t smell great, but walking close to a Cinnabon or Auntie Anne’s pretzel makes me happy. It’s the smell of an upcoming trip.
  15. Freshly peeled orange – I remember our trip to Disney when we were younger and eating Florida oranges for every meal. The rented car just smelled like a citrus bomb because we ate dozens.
  16. Movie popcorn – It’s the smell of anticipation of watching a good movie. I especially miss this because I haven’t had movie popcorn since COVID started.
  17. Italian Bakery – We found an awesome Italian Bakery in Arvada with old Italian well-dressed men drinking shots of cappuccino with a glass of water on the side at the bar. Smelled great.
  18. Basil – Herbs in general could be their own list of 30, but the fresh basil reminds me of a fresh pizza in Naples. Woodfire stoves and loud happy people.
  19. Fresh laundry – A bit chemically induced, but it’s so good. I will always throw warm laundry on the bed and jump into it like a kid.
  20. Old spice / Irish spring – This just reminds me of high school and college, which is cringy, but still a fond part of my life with freedom.
  21. Christmas tree – I’ve only had a real tree a few seasons right out of college. Buying it from a lot and carrying the tree home in NY or Brooklyn was lovely. I always connected the smell with decorating and celebrating with friends.
  22. New leather smell of a new car – I remember this smell when my parents got a new car every 6-8 years when I was younger. That Toyota Avalon leather seat smelled so good.
  23. Old or new library – It’s the smell of books. I can crack open a new book and smell the pages separating.
  24. Skiing in Switzerland – Specifically the fresh air while it was snowing and I was in my early 20s backpacking in Interlaken. Largest snowflakes I’ve ever seen.
  25. Fireplace when camping – The sub zero camping we used to do with Dave was epic. It came with so many other smells of the outdoors. The fireplace still gives me all the happy memories of skiing in Vermont with the second family.
  26. Hong Kong or Japan subway station – This is a weird one. I think it smells super clean and not at all chemically. No shortage of great travels in both places.
  27. Gasoline – I’m one of those weird people that can take whiffs while filling up.
  28. Pickles – My wife hates it, so I’ll just need to flick pickle juice on my sandwich in my private time.
  29. Minced Ginger and garlic – There was an incredible Thanksgiving I spent in Japan where I made boiled chicken and this Chinese dipping sauce with minced ginger and garlic with oyster sauce that gets seared with hot oil. It was an unforgettable trip.
  30. Top of baby’s head – I don’t go around smelling other baby’s heads, but I love hugging Evie and kissing her on her forehead while she fell asleep on my chest.

~See Lemons Smell Memories