When we were kids growing up our senses were bombarded. The forgotten sense I often feel is smell. Forgotten in the 'sense' that it's so hard to talk about now. Pictures tell a thousand stories but don't convey a single niff.
So, here's my homage to that forgotten sense: a short list of some of the childhood smells I can remember with a particular 'nose' on toys and the like.
1. The inside of a ping pong ball - often the punishment of choice for irate English teachers - "Woods, write a thousand word essay on the inside of a table tennis ball" - the actual smell they gave off when they'd split open was amazing! A sort of strong chemical whiff with a hint of Dentist's gas!
2. Playdough - I loved this stuff and touch is probably the big sense here, but the smell was great too. Like the dough itself, its whiff is hard to describe: a sweet powdery odour like a fruity perfume: smarties and tizer and sherbet.
3. Old comics - this is one smell I regularly revisit when I read my old comics: a tangy scent; slightly acid; like spider pee.
4. Modelling stuff - I can almost recall a smell but not quite - it came from my modelling days, when I loved to build and paint Samurai warriors especially. It could have been the glue, could have been the paint. It may even have been the models themselves when I opened the box. Smells are so slippery. I would have to smell it again to remember!
5. Izal Pine Disinfectant - OK it's not a toy, but seeing as I smelled this particular scent at least three times a day every day for my entire childhood I can't really miss it out. Izal is with me forever. I am stained by it. I am Izal.
How to describe it? Think of all the old reactor water from World's Nuclear power stations; mix this with the sweat of a thousand hefty lumberjacks; finally add the needles of every Pine tree there ever was and you may come close. Izal was Christmas in a rubber suit. You needed a Geiger counter counter, not loo roll!
As I expected, I've run out of smells. They are so hard to recall. Thinking about smells is almost a paradox. We have to remember them through our nose!
What were/are your favourite childhood scents readers?