Fragrant memories

Whilst mulling over which onions to buy in the local supermarket, someone walked passed me and their smell or should I say aroma transported me immediate back to my childhood.

The person in question was an elderly gentleman who obviously had been smoking cigars, as they have a very distinctive and slightly sweet aroma, but it wasn’t just the cigars, I swear he was wearing the exact same aftershave as Grandpa had done all those years ago.

Grandpa - Cecil Mitchell, as I remember him.

Grandpa – Cecil Mitchell, as I remember him.

In one instance, in one inhalation of air I was momentarily in the presence of someone who had died thirty five years ago, and with it came all the memories of my childhood in the early 70’s. My grandparents had a three storey house in Woodville Gardens, Ealing, where they lived on the first and second floors and some of their 4 children lived in the flat on the ground floor.

I remember being taken to watch cricket at the club over the road on summer Sunday’s whilst waiting for Sunday lunch which was usually Nana’s fabulous curry with assorted dishes of pickles, desiccated coconut, and the like. After lunch Grandpa would sit in his favourite arm chair in their elegant but creatively styled lounge (Nana was an artist) and he would smoke a cigar before falling asleep, at which point the rest of the family would disappear into the the kitchen or the garden.

Sanderson 'Arundel' fabric 1960s

Sanderson ‘Arundel’ fabric 1960s

My sister and I still have the huge floor to ceiling curtains from their lounge – made from bright, bold and colourful 1960s Sanderson ‘Arundel’ fabric, reminiscent of a vibrant decade.


What sights, sounds and smells transport you back to your childhood?


  1. Hello Suzanne, I remember a certain prim, older (60-ish), slim lady used to get on the bus a few tops after the stop I got on, with a very distinctive perfume. I think she was going to work, I imagine she was a receptionist or something in which being fragrant was appropriate. I can’t remember the smell anymore but when I get a whiff of something similar, I am transported back to 7.30am on the bus to school, and this lady whose name I never knew, who was a part of my life somehow. Not much perfume in my family!

    Great to see that photo, of all your mum’s family – uncles with moustaches! Aunt with a flower!

    Liked by 2 people

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