Childhood Scent Memories: Highlights from Reader Entries to Perfume Polytechnic’s First Birthday Giveaway

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Photo credit: smelling the roses (Creative Commons license) – https://www.flickr.com/photos/95632040@N00/3356909594

Perfume Polytechnic turned one a couple of weeks ago. To celebrate the blog’s first birthday I held a giveaway and entrants were asked to share one of their favourite childhood scent memories with me. I received some fabulous answers, and what struck me most was the emotional power of these memories. These scent memories were not only pleasant smells remembered on their own, but they were related back to treasured activities, relationships and special moments.

Scent is evocative. It helps us to recall memories, people, places and things. It connects us. I’ve published a selection of some of the lovely scent memories that my readers sent in below. I hope you enjoy reading them too.

Crystal Marie (USA)

“Narrowing down my favorite childhood scent memory is sort of difficult as there are several. My favorite has to be of the totality of semi-swampy forest and fields behind my childhood home. The sweet fragrance of walking on crushed cottonwood leaves, as mimosa flowers, willow and dogwood perfume the air, especially in early morning or early evening. It’s a lovely combination, which is I suppose my inspiration for botanical fragrance work. I love the smell of places in nature best.”

Roslyn (Australia)

“Both my mother and grandmother were superb cooks, so some of my strongest childhood scent memories are of food cooking, from aromatic chicken soup with home-made noodles to pavlova and honey cake, delectable savoury and sweet dishes of all kinds. And I also strongly remember the scent of 4711, which seemed to be everywhere back then!”

Goh Sha (USA)

“My favorite perfume memory is going through my mom’s drawer and smelling Dior’s Poison which took my breath away. It was so contrary to the idea of perfume I had at the time.”

Sue Holleron (UK)

“I live in a very old City called Chester. My favourite childhood fragrance was the scent of clean hay and straw when I helped my Dad with the animals as he was a Keeper at Chester Zoo. I loved the feeling that the animals had comfortable beds to sleep on!!”

Al (Australia)

“One of my earliest smell memories is of a cumquat tree in my parents’ garden – it sat in a large pot by the door, so I passed it often, and associate its zingy scent with summer warmth, bare feet and a bee-sting I received nearby. At some point I couldn’t resist having a taste of the cute little fruits, so I also associate that unpleasant experience with the much nicer smell. But I am still fond of the smell of a cumquat tree.”

Charlotte Scheuer (USA)

“My favorite memory as a child was walking to kindergarten and going past a greenhouse. I loved the smell of earth, geraniums and the various flowers therein. I was a wee little girl growing up in Ohio and I think my ‘career’ as a perfumista began right there! I think I have been trying to replace that scent in my heart since then. At that age also, my grandmother had huge peony bushes in her backyard and I remember them as well. These fond memories bring me comfort and joy!”

Gaby (Australia)

“I’m from Australia and a childhood scent memory is the ink from those old-school stencilling machines we had back in primary school. I can waft the slightly sour acrid chemical smell right now if I close my eyes. It takes me back to year 2 – we had a cool teacher who loved The Beatles and I remember she made us draw pictures of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds – little did we know what it really meant! As well as stencilling ink, her classroom smelt of decaffeinated coffee and the jelly beans she used to hand out when we did good deeds.”

Naz (USA)

“My favorite scent memory from childhood… I sometimes have trouble recalling them until the smell is actually present. One of them would be the smell of mustard flower in the night air, when I walked outside in a village in my native country, Bangladesh, and you couldn’t see anything, not even your hand in front of you… but you could smell the flowers, and that smell lent you a sense of peace, even though your vision was lost.”

Damir (Croatia)

“There are many different kinds of olfactory memories from my childhood (preschool age).

Memory #1 Roses in spray: My great-grandmother had a neighbor who worked in Germany. Every time she came home, she brought a bottle of home fragrance. A large pale green bottle like the old design of hair spray bottles under pressure. The smell was so similar to the roses that are rare today. An intensive smell that was almost identical to many roses we easily found in most of the yards then. It was sweeter probably because of high concentration but it smelled like real roses.

Memory #2 Peonies: My great-grandmother had many bushes of multicolored peonies. Once upon a time, in the 70’s, when the climate was healthy, spring showers happened often in the period of the peony’s blooming. The rain intensified the scent of the peonies that was spread and mixed with the scents of the other flowers.

Memory #3: Forest. My favorite memory. It is amazing to watch how the seasons of the year change and bring various odors in the same place. It depends on so many factors: tree species, the level of humidity, the amount of rotten and dry fallen leaves, lakes and streams, the amount of snow and sunlight are some of them. I’m happy that I spend a lot of time in the same forest nowadays, too. It is a very important place for me.”

The Perfume Magpie (Spain)

“Your question on a favourite scent from childhood made me think a lot… There are so many and it’s rather difficult to pick one or two. If I were to choose the smells with emotional attachments, I would say incense and osmanthus. Incense was a part of my daily life and I did enjoy the act of offering incense every morning. The smell and the sight of osmanthus in autumn was pure magic. Every autumn, I was waiting and waiting for the gorgeous orange coloured blossoms to open. Pity, I haven’t found any osmanthus trees here in Spain.”

Sun Mi (USA)

“My favorite scent memory is a bizarre one, but it’s the smell of Powerbait. I actually wrote one of my college essays on it back in the day. My dad and I would go fishing often, and I loved it. After a day of fishing our hands would reek of the potent, neon fish bait, layered with the slimy smell of fish and lake water. It wasn’t, perhaps, the most pleasant of smells – but it was the smell of fun with my dad.”

Darkros3 (Italy)

“Perhaps my most vivid childhood memory is related to summer holidays at the sea and to the various scents I recall from those days spent at the beach: the salty smell of the sea, obviously, but also that of suntan lotions, pastries sold in the bars on the promenade and plastic bags in which my mother used to put all my things (swimsuits, toys, etc.). I used to miss this fabulous mix of smells when I came home, and I’ve always loved exotic/beach scents since then – especially after getting seriously addicted to fragrances.”

Sally (Australia)

“A “scent memory” I hold dear is of the musty yet fresh scent of the ice-skating rink. The anticipation of a seven year old being able to do something exciting, a little dangerous and somehow otherworldly with its endless white was added to with the crisp smell of the ice plus the leather from my beloved little ice skates. I remember how the scent would intensify when on the ice, when a blade would cut into the ice and of course, when I fell. When I get a whiff of a smell like this, I am transported back to this time.”


I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these wonderful scent memories and conjuring up the images that they convey and suggest. Do you have any treasured scent memories from childhood that you would like to share? If so, please leave a comment in the box below!

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WINNERS: Perfume Polytechnic First Birthday Celebrations & Giveaway!

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Entries to this competition closed an hour ago, and I decided to get right on it and draw the winners! Congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone for entering. I had many lovely entries and you shared some wonderful childhood scent memories with me. I’ll publish a selection of those memories soon. Winners were chosen randomly today on random.org.

*********************************************

Winner of Prize no. 1 is…

Darkros3

***Please contact me using the contact form by the 30th September with your full name and mailing address, or respond to the email I’ve sent you.***

 

DARKROS 3, YOU HAVE WON

giveaway1

Prize no. 1

A copy of the book Season To Taste by Molly Birnbaum, a fascinating book by a woman who lost her sense of smell and wrote about her journey trying to find it again.

PLUS: A 4ml decant of 4160Tuesdays’ discontinued and hard to find fragrance What Katie Did at Weekends. This is an older version of the now reworked What Katie Did on Friday Nights, recently renamed Fruits of the Tree of Knowledge. Bottle of fragrance is included in the photo for illustrative purposes; you will receive a 4ml decant only, as pictured next to the bottle.

PLUS: A 1ml sample of Evocative Perfumes’ newest release Nirvana, a fabulous oud fragrance which I will review in the next day or two, and which you should absolutely want to try! This sample has very generously been provided by Mark Evans, perfumer at Evocative Perfumes. Bless him.

PLUS: Samples of products from Australian skin care brand Jurlique, and a sachet sample of Marrakech Intense fragrance, the 2014, revamped version of Marrakech from Aesop, another iconic Australian skin care label.

Includes free shipping anywhere in the world. Perfume Polytechnic cannot accept responsibility for customs duties or fees accrued in your country, or for lost or damaged items.

*********************************************

Winner of Prize no. 2 is…

Gaby

***Please contact me using the contact form by the 30th September with your name and mailing address, or respond to the email I’ve sent you.***

 

GABY, YOU HAVE WON

giveaway2

Prize no. 2

A 1.8ml sample of 4160Tuesdays discontinued and hard to find fragrance What Katie Did at Weekends. This is an older version of the now reworked What Katie Did on Friday Nights, recently renamed Fruits of the Tree of Knowledge. Bottle of fragrance is included in the photo for illustrative purposes, you will receive a 1.8ml sample only, as pictured next to the bottle.

PLUS: A 1ml sample of Evocative Perfumes’ newest release Nirvana, a fabulous oud fragrance which I will review in the next day or two. This sample has very generously been provided by Mark Evans, perfumer at Evocative Perfumes. Thank you Mark.

PLUS: A 1.8ml sample of Armani Privé’s Bois d’Encens. Bottle of fragrance is included in the photo for illustrative purposes, you will receive a 1.8ml sample only, as pictured next to the bottle.

PLUS: Samples of products from iconic Australian skin care brand Jurlique

Includes free shipping anywhere in Australia. Perfume Polytechnic cannot accept responsibility for lost or damaged items.


T&Cs

Prizes will be redrawn if winners do not respond within 7 days.

WORLDWIDE BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY: Fragrances by Evocative Perfumes, 4160Tuesdays, Iconic Australian Samples & a Great Book

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A reminder about our wonderful birthday giveaway, which ends this coming Wednesday at 5pm, AEST (that’s Melbourne/Sydney time).

All followers/subscribers to Perfume Polytechnic are welcome to enter!

These prizes reflect some of the themes, topics and perfumers that have been explored here at Perfume Polytechnic. Included are indie perfumes by Sarah McCartney of 4160Tuesdays and Mark Evans of Evocative Perfumes, both of whom have been interviewed here. Australian products and samples are included so that I can share a little bit of my home country with those of you overseas. And the book Season To Taste is about the science of smell, taste and olfaction, areas that have been covered in some depth here.

Scroll down for more info…

Prizes

There are two prizes: Prize no. 1 is open to anyone in the world (including Australia), including shipping and handling costs. Prize no. 2 will ship within Australia only, as a way of saying thanks to my Australian audience, and because Australians often miss out on giveaways and prizes.

Prize no. 1 – open to anyone in the world

YOU WILL WIN

giveaway1

Prize no. 1

A copy of the book Season To Taste by Molly Birnbaum, a fascinating book by a woman who lost her sense of smell and wrote about her journey trying to find it again:

“When a head injury obliterated twenty-two-year-old Molly Birnbaum’s sense of smell, it destroyed her dream of becoming a chef. Determined to reawaken her nose, she bravely sets off on a quest to rediscover the scented world. On the way, she seeks out everyone from former poet laureate Robert Pinsky to neuroscientist Oliver Sacks. A moving personal story packed with surprising facts about the senses, Season to Taste brims with the scents of Molly’s world—cinnamon, cedarwood, fresh bagels, and lavender—lost and finally found. In Season to Taste, Molly describes an ineffable, but indispensable, layer of life.” (Text quoted from the back cover)

PLUS: A 4ml decant of 4160Tuesdays’ discontinued and hard to find fragrance What Katie Did at Weekends. This is an older version of the now reworked What Katie Did on Friday Nights, recently renamed Fruits of the Tree of Knowledge. Bottle of fragrance is included in the photo for illustrative purposes; you will receive a 4ml decant only, as pictured next to the bottle.

PLUS: A 1ml sample of Evocative Perfumes’ newest release Nirvana, a fabulous oud fragrance which I will review in the next day or two, and which you should absolutely want to try! This sample has very generously been provided by Mark Evans, perfumer at Evocative Perfumes. Bless him.

PLUS: Samples of products from Australian skin care brand Jurlique, and a sachet sample of Marrakech Intense fragrance, the 2014, revamped version of Marrakech from Aesop, another iconic Australian skin care label.

Includes free shipping anywhere in the world. Perfume Polytechnic cannot accept responsibility for customs duties or fees accrued in your country, or for lost or damaged items.

Prize no. 2 – open to anyone in Australia

YOU WILL WIN

giveaway2

Prize no. 2

A 1.8ml sample of 4160Tuesdays discontinued and hard to find fragrance What Katie Did at Weekends. This is an older version of the now reworked What Katie Did on Friday Nights, recently renamed Fruits of the Tree of Knowledge. Bottle of fragrance is included in the photo for illustrative purposes, you will receive a 1.8ml sample only, as pictured next to the bottle.

PLUS: A 1ml sample of Evocative Perfumes’ newest release Nirvana, a fabulous oud fragrance which I will review in the next day or two. This sample has very generously been provided by Mark Evans, perfumer at Evocative Perfumes. Thank you Mark.

PLUS: A 1.8ml sample of Armani Privé’s Bois d’Encens. Bottle of fragrance is included in the photo for illustrative purposes, you will receive a 1.8ml sample only, as pictured next to the bottle.

PLUS: Samples of products from iconic Australian skin care brand Jurlique

Includes free shipping anywhere in Australia. Perfume Polytechnic cannot accept responsibility for lost or damaged items.

How To Enter

Entry is open to all followers of Perfume Polytechnic.

To enter, in the comments box at the bottom of this post:

  1. Tell me how you follow Perfume Polytechnic (e.g. by email or WordPress). If you don’t already follow Perfume Polytechnic, you are welcome to do so to enter the competition. Instructions on how to follow the blog can be found here. Note: The profile name or email used that you use to leave the comment below must match the profile name or email that you used when you signed up to the blog. This is so I can confirm that you follow.
  2. Tell me which country you come from, so I can sort my entries to select the two prizes.
  3. Tell me about a favourite scent memory from your childhood. A selection of answers will be posted in a future post on Perfume Polytechnic. If you’re not OK with that, please let me know (you can still enter!)

Note: If you cannot see the comments box, click on the heading/title of this post, scroll to the very bottom of the page, and it will appear.

Closing Date & Time

Competition closes Wednesday the 23rd September at 5pm AEST. I will draw two winners using random.org on the 24th September, will announce the winners here and on Facebook, and will try to contact you privately through email, your Gravatar, or Facebook. Prizes will be redrawn if winners do not respond within 7 days.

Perfume Polytechnic First Birthday Celebrations & Giveaway!

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Perfume Polytechnic turns one today! Perfume Polytechnic is an Australian blog that explores perfume and olfaction, with a focus on research and sharing knowledge. I like to keep topics here intimate, small-scale and personal, meaning that the focus is on local and independent perfumers and their products, scent memories and personal olfactory experiences, such as smell walks. The creative side of life interests me too, and you can see that reflected here with posts about synaesthesia, olfactory art, fragrance ingredients and their method of extraction. I have delved deeply into the exciting new field of cooking with essential oils, literally exploring how perfume tastes. I’ve discussed gender, history, disease, sound, textiles, and animals, and how all of these things relate to smell. It’s been a really interesting year, and I feel myself itching to explore the world of olfaction deeper and further still.

A year ago today I launched Perfume Polytechnic with the following words:

“Welcome to Perfume Polytechnic. I am a perfume enthusiast, creative, ex-academic and auto-didact. I love to learn about the things that interest me in great depth. Eighteen months into my fascination with perfume, I feel the need to expand my knowledge, to delve more deeply into a range of areas in the field of scent and olfactory art. I am not an expert in this area; I know a little, but not a lot.

So, what do I want to learn? I want to find out more about the science and creation of scent and how it affects us both psychologically and biologically. I want to learn how to make perfume. I also want to increase my conscious appreciation of both everyday smells and fine fragrances (olfactory art), through activities such as scent walks, reading, writing, making and sampling…

I’ve launched Perfume Polytechnic to focus and channel my learning. I want to learn, but just as importantly, I want to share what I learn with you. I hope you find Perfume Polytechnic both interesting and educational and that you’ll come along for the journey…”

I do hope that you’ve enjoyed the journey so far. Perfume Polytechnic has many more posts and projects lined up for the future, including a deeper exploration into synaesthesia, olfactory art, more reviews of fabulous indie fragrances from around the world, and interviews with their makers.

Facts & Stats

  • Perfume Polytechnic has been viewed 14,396 times in the past year
  • 75 posts have been published on a wide range of topics
  • Perfume Polytechnic has an international following. As of today, readers from 115 countries have visited Perfume Polytechnic, with the highest numbers of views from (in the following order) the USA, Australia, the UK, Italy and Canada.
  • I have interviewed 10 independent perfumers from Australia, the UK, the US, Italy and Switzerland.
  • The most popular post on Perfume Polytechnic is Shalimar Showdown: The Originals and The Flankers Battle it Out with 803 views.

First Birthday Giveaway

To celebrate Perfume Polytechnic’s first birthday and to thank you all for visiting the blog over the past year, I’ve decided to give something back to you, my readers, supporters, muses and friends.

These prizes are not random: they reflect some of the themes, topics and perfumers that have been explored here at Perfume Polytechnic. Included are indie perfumes by Sarah McCartney of 4160Tuesdays and Mark Evans of Evocative Perfumes, both of whom have been interviewed here. Australian products and samples are included so that I can share a little bit of my home country with those of you overseas. And the book Season To Taste is about the science of smell, taste and olfaction, areas that have been covered in some depth here.

There are two prizes today: Prize no. 1 is open to anyone in the world, including shipping and handling costs. Prize no. 2 will ship within Australia only, as a way of saying thanks to my Australian audience, and because Australians often miss out on giveaways and prizes.

Prize no. 1 – open to anyone in the world

YOU WILL WIN

giveaway1

Prize no. 1

A copy of the book Season To Taste by Molly Birnbaum, a fascinating book by a woman who lost her sense of smell and wrote about her journey trying to find it again:

“When a head injury obliterated twenty-two-year-old Molly Birnbaum’s sense of smell, it destroyed her dream of becoming a chef. Determined to reawaken her nose, she bravely sets off on a quest to rediscover the scented world. On the way, she seeks out everyone from former poet laureate Robert Pinsky to neuroscientist Oliver Sacks. A moving personal story packed with surprising facts about the senses, Season to Taste brims with the scents of Molly’s world—cinnamon, cedarwood, fresh bagels, and lavender—lost and finally found. In Season to Taste, Molly describes an ineffable, but indispensable, layer of life.” (Text quoted from the back cover)

PLUS: A 4ml decant of 4160Tuesdays’ discontinued and hard to find fragrance What Katie Did at Weekends. This is an older version of the now reworked What Katie Did on Friday Nights, recently renamed Fruits of the Tree of Knowledge. Bottle of fragrance is included in the photo for illustrative purposes; you will receive a 4ml decant only, as pictured next to the bottle.

PLUS: A 1ml sample of Evocative Perfumes’ newest release Nirvana, a fabulous oud fragrance which I will review in the next day or two, and which you should absolutely want to try! This sample has very generously been provided by Mark Evans, perfumer at Evocative Perfumes. Bless him.

PLUS: Samples of products from Australian skin care brand Jurlique, and a sachet sample of Marrakech Intense fragrance, the 2014, revamped version of Marrakech from Aesop, another iconic Australian skin care label.

Includes free shipping anywhere in the world. Perfume Polytechnic cannot accept responsibility for customs duties or fees accrued in your country, or for lost or damaged items.

Prize no. 2 – open to anyone in Australia

YOU WILL WIN

giveaway2

Prize no. 2

A 1.8ml sample of 4160Tuesdays discontinued and hard to find fragrance What Katie Did at Weekends. This is an older version of the now reworked What Katie Did on Friday Nights, recently renamed Fruits of the Tree of Knowledge. Bottle of fragrance is included in the photo for illustrative purposes, you will receive a 1.8ml sample only, as pictured next to the bottle.

PLUS: A 1ml sample of Evocative Perfumes’ newest release Nirvana, a fabulous oud fragrance which I will review in the next day or two. This sample has very generously been provided by Mark Evans, perfumer at Evocative Perfumes. Thank you Mark.

PLUS: A 1.8ml sample of Armani Privé’s Bois d’Encens. Bottle of fragrance is included in the photo for illustrative purposes, you will receive a 1.8ml sample only, as pictured next to the bottle.

PLUS: Samples of products from iconic Australian skin care brand Jurlique

Includes free shipping anywhere in Australia. Perfume Polytechnic cannot accept responsibility for lost or damaged items.

How To Enter

Entry is open to all followers of Perfume Polytechnic.

To enter, in the comments box at the bottom of this post:

  1. Tell me how you follow Perfume Polytechnic (e.g. by email or WordPress). If you don’t already follow Perfume Polytechnic, you are welcome to do so to enter the competition. Instructions on how to follow the blog can be found here. Note: The profile name or email used that you use to leave the comment below must match the profile name or email that you used when you signed up to the blog. This is so I can confirm that you follow.
  2. Tell me which country you come from, so I can sort my entries to select the two prizes.
  3. Tell me about a favourite scent memory from your childhood. A selection of answers will be posted in a future post on Perfume Polytechnic. If you’re not OK with that, please let me know (you can still enter!)

Note: If you cannot see the comments box, click on the heading/title of this post, scroll to the very bottom of the page, and it will appear.

Bonus Entry

For a bonus entry, visit my Facebook Page and follow the instructions on how to enter there.

Closing Date & Time

Competition closes Wednesday the 23rd September at 5pm AEST. I will draw two winners using random.org on the 24th September, will announce the winners here and on Facebook, and will try to contact you privately through email, your Gravatar, or Facebook. Prizes will be redrawn if winners do not respond within 7 days.