White raking leaves the other morning, I harkened back to the days of my youth.
I remember raking the leaves into the front yard into the ditch and then, heaven forbid!
We burned them.
(Cue the carbon foot print!)
My father would often sprinkle some kerosene on the leaves, especially if they were a bit damp.
Charcoal lighter was sometimes used.
We had a neighbor who tossed gasoline on his leaves one evening and had trouble getting a match lit.
By the time he did, the gas fumes had spread beneath his leaf pile and the resultant “mini-explosion” sent his leaves airborne.
That move required a fair amount of leaf “re-raking”.
But I brought up burning leaves because it’s one of those childhood aromas I like.
Similarly, I like the smell when you put a lit tea candle in a carved out Jack-o-lantern.
When the flame scorches the lid, that toasted pumpkin flesh aroma is quite distinctive and I always liked it.
We have started to do some camping again, but when our family was younger, we did a lot of tent camping.
I believe with all my heart that nothing tops a pair of camping aromas…the smell of coffee perking on the fire and the delightful scent of bacon frying on the camp stove.
I’ve always wondered why coffee doesn’t usually taste as good as it smells and bacon? Well, it’s bacon!
An old friend of mind posted some photos on-line of new puppies in the family and that’s another delightful aroma.
A warm puppy.
Puppies that have just started eating dog food also have what I call “puppy breath”.
It almost makes those razor-like puppy teeth worth the risk.
Now, we used to have an older Boxer that would sleep with her paws tucked beneath her.
When she would have up and stretch, it smelled liked Fritos.
Maybe that’s why I’m not crazy about Fritos.
There’s another smell I used to enjoy.
Remember, “back in the day” when the furnace would come on after that first cold day?
There was always a distinctive aroma in our house.
Folks have told me it was probably the smell of burnt dust but if that’s all it really was, I still enjoyed it.
After long, hot dry spells in the summer, I always savored that smell of the first rain drops spattering the ground because it was such a pleasant aroma.
Was it just dust turning to mud or dry concrete getting damp?
I don’t know but their was a special “sniff” in the air on those times.
I still love drying by a farm in the spring to catch the scent of fresh-plowed farmland.
With more no-till being used on farms today, it might be a challenge to catch a whiff of a fresh-plowed field, but I like it!
Now, a campfire can have a pleasant smell but only if it doesn’t get too smoky and choke you out.
Driving into a campground in the evening, it’s a common aroma to let you know, “you’re home”, at least for a few days.
I love it when my neighbors grill out and I can catch a whiff of the meat they’re grilling.
Even old, common place hamburger sends out a delightful smell to the neighborhood from the backyard grill.
When my wife and I are doing remodeling projects, certain woods have a delightful scent when they’re cut or sanded.
Common, everyday pine smells pretty good when the chop saw cuts it down to size.
Oak is another one that my sniffer reacts favorably to.
Back in the day when we used to cut firewood, it was fun knowing that one day, all that hard work would one day pay off with a toasty, warm fire.
But when the chain saw went through those logs, some of those aromas were an added benefit.
Lilacs and hyacinths blooming in the spring cast a smell that makes winter worth enduring.
Now, my wife will wince at this, but I love the smell of fresh landscape mulch and compost.
I do my own composting and when I mix or turn the materials, that mass of leaves, grass clippings, sawdust and shredded paper can give me a brief “fresh-plowed field” smell.
However, too much green grass can make it smell like the urinal in a dive bar so you have to mix it properly.
There’s also something special about a fresh-mowed lawn, especially that first time in the spring.
I guess since were haven’t smelled that since the previous fall, there’s an aroma that I savor.
But day in, day out, nothing beats the smell of fresh baked bread, cookies or cakes.
For a time, some folks suggested a load of fresh-baked bread in a warm oven if you were attempting to sell your home with an open house.
I guess the aroma made people feel welcome.
Ans since my quasi-retirement, I’ve started baking cookies and that smell is often as much fun as licking the beaters or sampling a warm cookie.
I just think the Air Wick and Glade people could stimulate a few new sales if they could perfect some of the “nose faves” I’ve just listed.
What say you?