My Three Memorable Smells by
(25 Stories)

Loading Share Buttons...

/ Stories

     There are three fragrances I remember from my youth, one from home, one from family trips and the one that started in my college days
     Ever since I was young, I remember Thanksgiving morning with the aroma of the turkey roasting.  It’s aroma filled the house and wetted my appetite for a delicious dinner that would soon appear.  Of course, I stayed out of the kitchen since it was not my place to be Thanksgiving.  I was out at play, or in the den watching some football games.  After all, I always thought that Thanksgiving day football was invented to keep the amateur cooks out of the kitchen.
     I also remember our trips to Wyoming where my father’s parents lived.  Frequently, it involved a side trip to Yellowstone Park.  The mud pots, with their sulfur smell could not be missed.  Ugh!
     The final smells were in college.  As a chemistry major, smells were everywhere in the labs, especially then since lab safety was not a big concern by colleges.  Some were nice, but most were smelly or dangerous.  The most dangerous were those we could not smell like carbon monoxide.  These olfactory skills served me well in my career as a chemist.
Profile photo of Joe Lowry Joe Lowry
I was a child that moved so often, (8 elementary/middle schools) and finally went to to high school in Arroyo Grande California. I ended up at San Jose State University graduating in Chemistry, minor in Biology. Got married, and had two sons. Unfortunately, my wife passed 35 years later. I worked initially in the pharmaceutical industry. After being down-sized, I ended up in the aerospace field, working on satellites. I still live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Characterizations: been there, funny, well written


  1. Mister Ed says:

    Nice memories, Joe. I remember the sulfur smells less from Yellowstone and more from the Casper Refinery whenever we stayed with the grandparents.

  2. It’s interesting that most of our fragrance memories are from way back. For instance, I can’t think of a recent scent that stirs my senses, but you mentioning chem lab immediately brought back a smell I’d rather forget from when we had to dissect a frog in science class. As a chemist, that may not bother you, but UGH! Anyway, I’m still glad you shared this story, Joe!

  3. Suzy says:

    I can definitely relate to the Thanksgiving turkey smell – yum! I had to laugh at “of course I stayed out of the kitchen.” Since I never took chemistry, I’m not familiar with chem lab smells, but you must not have minded them since you chose it as your major. And your last sentence about olfactory skills serving you well as a chemist makes a great point! Thanks for posting.

  4. Wonderful Joe, in just a few paragraphs you’ve let me sense the arc of your life.
    Hope to read more of your stories on Retrospect!

  5. Betsy Pfau says:

    Those are vivid memories for you Joe. Thanks for sharing them with the rest of our community.

  6. Dave Ventre says:

    A fun reminder of how important scents are to us, how they dredge up old memories, and how there are as many scent cues as there are people alive, and more!

Leave a Reply