My brother and I were chatting about the smell of freshly cut grass combined with lemons. It’s a scent we both remember from our childhoods, growing up in Southern California in a house built in a former lemon orchard. Lemons would drop before we could use them all, and eventually be mowed along with the grass, sending up the amazingly pungent scent of lemons and freshly cut grass.*
Smells are such a strong memory trigger. Other scents I remember from my childhood…
-butterscotch in the brush in the hills at the end of our street
-hose water on hot cement
-chicken manure used on the strawberry fields
-grandpa’s morton building: farming equipment, dirt, machines
-cinnamon and cloves mom would boil on the stove, making the house smell good during the holidays
-tangerine juice on skin, left on for hours while we played
-smoke and fire during the Santa Ana winds
-Pine Sol and Windex
-Play doh (and later homemade mint scented play-doh)
-paste (the stuff in the middle of the table, with tongue depresser sticks: didn’t that stuff smell like peppermint?)
-night blooming jasmine
-pungent lantana blooms
That was a nice escape. What smells do you remember?
*When mowing over a lemon, stand clear of the side shooter because you could get pelted with a partially ground up lemon. It hurts.