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Saturday, 16 August 2014


My house smells wonderful!

I hope it never smells anything but wonderful but today it is extra wonderful because it smells of the second batch of chutney which is bubbling away in the kitchen.  Yesterday I was given a huge bag of Victoria plums and now I've got plum jam and plum and apple chutney cooling. 

Aren't smells evocative!  One whiff of Wright's Coal Tar soap and I'm taken back over fifty years to my grandma's farmhouse kitchen.  Bread baking takes me back to childhood when my Mother usually baked her own.  I'm ashamed to say that back then a white sliced loaf was a rare treat and I couldn't understand why Mother didn't buy it all the time like my friends' mothers did.  Sweet peas bring memories of the garden when I was a child - I've never found any sweet peas as richly perfumed as those.  On the other hand cooking cabbage (or rather the stale after pong of cooking cabbage) brings to mind the school dining room.  Even today the smell of a freshly picked tomato or home made sausages sizzling in the pan makes me feel excited.

I'm not a great fan of air fresheners, of scented candles and the like.  Synthetic daffodil can't compare with the fresh clove smell of pinks from the garden. 

And I've never yet smelt an air freshener which takes me back to childhood.


  1. What a lovely post! And, I know exactly what you mean about smells. Freshly brewed coffee, made from properly ground coffee beans and the smell of freshly baked cakes does take me back to my childhood days, too. Every Sunday my maternal granny (our grandparents lived downstairs from us) would have prepared some continental fruit flans, a special German cake called Guglhupf and some of her home made doughnuts. The whole family would gather for afternoon, freshly brewed coffee was always on the go throughout the afternoon whilst everyone tucked into the cakes, had a chat, a laugh and talked about the old days. Sunday afternoons still are special to me now. I might not have the cakes but I always brew a fresh coffee during the afternoon and remember granny and those wonderful Sundays where granny would always break out into song, accompanied by her daughters (my mum and aunty) and grandpa`s guitar playing. Those were happy days.
    I don`t like air fresheners as they give my poor cat streaming eyes, triggering a kind of allergic reaction. I prefer to place a pot of hot water on the stove with some cloves and cinnamon added. Simmering this soon gives the whole house a kind of Christmas smell that I adore, all without harming poor old cat.

  2. I just might try the simmering spice pot. Reminds me of the eighties advice to people trying to sell their house - put a couple of coffee beans in the oven a few minutes before prospective buyers come!

  3. That`s exactly what this is. An environmentally friendly air freshener idea from the eighties!

  4. I'm a huge appreciator of traveling by smell. There are a few aromas that bring me back to childhood summers at my grandparents house, the smell of ash (and one that I cannot for the life of me identify) instantly transport me back to the mountaintops in Guatemala, and Irish breakfast tea returns me to Ireland and the Burren without fail every time. Air fresheners have nothing on real life!

  5. Pears soap does it for me, just like Grandma had in her bathroom.
    Like you I don't care for artificial scents at all, and I keep a big bowl of dried rose petals and lavender in my sitting room.

  6. Freshly brewed coffee and baked bread but I hate petulia (sp) oil as it gives me headache x