Remember the aromas of your childhood

When I close my eyes, I can still smell the aroma of delicious Parker House Rolls baking on a busy Saturday afternoon.
At our house, white store-bought bread was standard. But occasionally, my mother would bake rolls for Sunday dinner.
I could hardly wait to be invited to eat one of those freshly-baked buttery rolls, slathered with lots of extra butter and strawberry jam!
Parker House Rolls are the trademark of a historic hotel in Boston. Built in 1856 and the oldest continuously-operated hotel in America, Parker House still serves its famous rolls with lots of butter and strawberry jam for breakfast.
But, whatever their history, the aroma of Parker House Rolls will always remind me of cozy Saturday afternoons in my mother’s kitchen.
Another aroma with warm memories is Evening in Paris perfume. I haven’t smelled it recently but the last time I got a whiff of the fragrance, I was transported to my first year of college.
Nestled in a lazy valley in Virginia, the college had a beautiful view of Massanutten Peak. My first time away from home, I majored in friends and fun—and my grades showed it.
But I had so much fun that it was worth the occasional ‘D.’
I grew up with Evening in Paris. Advertised as “The Most Famous Fragrance in the World,” it was introduced in the United States in 1929 and was an immediate hit.
It was sold in fine department stores, packaged in elegant crystal bottles with glass stoppers. But the same fragrance also was available in affordable cobalt blue bottles at Woolworth’s.
Sold for only 25 cents, so even a college girl in Virginia could afford a little Paris glamour.
Popular as it was, the fragrance disappeared from shelves by 1969 and anything with the Evening in Paris logo became a collector’s item.
Now the popular fragrance once again is available for the first time since 1969. If you, too, have fond memories of Evening in Paris, you can reawaken them at The Vermont Country Store, where a nostalgic blue bottle of the fragrance costs $49.
Still another favorite aroma brought back images from my childhood this weekend. We burned a “maple syrup” candle and the scent took me into the “sugar bush.”
Our farm had a maple woods and each spring as the sap began to run, we made maple syrup. I remember driving the horses while my father gathered the sap from the trees and poured it into a huge tub on the sleigh.
Meanwhile, my mother worked in the shanty cooking the sap into syrup.
When we came into the warm shanty for lunch, the sweet smell surrounded us. And for dessert, we each had a piece of bread topped by butter and warm syrup.
I always loved the maple woods. After sugaring, a riot of spring flowers appeared—trillium, violets, and adder’s tongue. And in the autumn, I shuffled through the brilliant yellow and orange leaves, smelling the fragrances of fall.
How about your early years. What aromas do you remember? Close your eyes right now and let your aroma memories transport you to another place and another time!
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at or visit

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