Scent of Memories

It’s the 1st day of November today which means that in Polish culture we celebrate All Saints’ Day. And even though Halloween celebrated on the night before is gaining on popularity year after year I don’t find it fitting here. It’s not ‘our’ holiday. 1st of November ought to be a happy day for it’s a day when we remember all saints and those who experience eternal happiness of Heaven. But in Poland it’s a day when the air smells of nostalgia, a little bit of sadness and of burning candle-lights.


As every year I’ll be going to visit a grave of my grandparents, put a wreath on it and light a candle. I wish I knew my paternal grandma & grandpa. I wish there was something that would remind me of the time we spent together… but I didn’t have that chance. Scent is one of the mediums that can instantly awaken memories. So I wonder what would be my scent of memories in their case. Maybe a perfume they wore if they wore any? Or the smell of food they prepared like nobody else? Who knows. Does any of you have the smells in their life that instantly lead you to remembering someone from your family who is no longer with you? What aromas bring back the memories to you?

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13 thoughts on “Scent of Memories

  1. Jillie says:

    A melancholy day … the scent of Johnson’s Baby Talcum Powder brings memories flooding back to me of my dear grand-mother. She never had any luxuries, including perfume, but would smother herself with this after her bath and I would cuddle up to her. Such comfort.

  2. rickyrebarco says:

    My wonderful aunt always wore Dana Tabu, and always the powder, so the smell of that fragrance brings my Aunt Ruby back to me. She was such a fun, young in spirit person. I loved hanging out with her when I was a girl. She would always take me shopping and buy me a special meal that I loved. And let me wear her perfume!!

  3. Sarah says:

    My grandmother always wore Youth Dew. I think of her when I dab a bit of the parfum on in the colder weather. Very comforting.
    My mother has also passed away but didn’t wear any one fragrance. What scent reminds me of her? The smell of celery, onions and parsley cooking in butter and olive oil! She was an incredible cook. I miss her. Happy Feast of All Saints, Lucas!

    • lucasai says:

      Smells of food are probably only way to have scented memories if our family and friends who passed away didn’t use perfume. But we ould maybe remember them through The scent of creams or options?

  4. hajusuuri says:

    i never met my paternal grandfather but I have wonderful memories of my paternal grandmother, albeit not scent-related. She was a little dynamo, getting the family together to celebrate the Christian holidays. She went all out with Easter, including setting up an elaborate Easter Egg Hunt for the grandkids every year for as long as I can remember until she passed. On All Saints’ Day, we used to visit their mausoleum, inside of which was a tomb in the shape of an open bible; they were interred above ground. On my mom’s side, I knew both grandparents, Neither wore perfume that I recall. My dad was an Old Spice guy in his younger years and I remember seeing the off-white opaque bottle in their bathroom countertop! I stop by the memorial garden several times a year, although not for All Saints Day.

  5. Undina says:

    Since in my native country people used to get married young, I knew not only all of my grandparents but also three out of eight of my grand-grandparents. While I remember perfumes that each of the parents and grandparents wore, I do no associate those perfumes (that still exist, I mean) with them but I remember that they wore them (and wear some of them myself).
    Do you have any special “greeting” for this day?

    • lucasai says:

      Would’ve been lovely to know even grand-grandparents.

      No, All Saints Day doesn’t have any special events really except of prayers at the cemetery.

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