Nostalgic Smells of Childhood: Lilac


If only you could scratch-and-sniff this photo. Our white lilac bush in our yard has been blooming, and it’s bowling me over with its scent, taking me straight to the backyard where I grew up, in Madison, NJ. Except our lilac bush was actually lilac and bloomed in May, right around Mother’s Day. Tucked away in old photo albums in my parents’ living room closet are years and years of Mother’s Day photos in front of that tree. I vividly remember one photo from my preteen years with my older brother wearing a white suit, my mother, of course, in a striking dress with fanciful hat and strappy high heels, and me in some kind of flowery getup with a square lacy collar and puffed sleeves (“Life isn’t worth living without puffed sleeves!” ~ Anne of Green Gables).

Now I can’t even smell a lilac without being transported to standing in that cushy grass inside my childhood self.

What are some smells of your childhood that take you back to the best memories? If you have children, what are some of the scents you think they’ll remember?