Scents evoke childhood memories and emotions

*This post was written in partnership with Pinesol

My mom was a stay at home mom who had dinner ready for us when we walked through the door. Housekeeping was her day job while we were in school. I loved when she would bake banana bread. The smell always brings back fond memories and when she baked a carrot cake, I would get so excited! I would lick the cream cheese icing right off of the cake! Anytime I smell carrot cake now, I remember myself placing my finger (when she wasn’t looking) on the icing and licking the sweet, creamy goodness off my finger.

Some days when I came home to the smell of pinesol, my anxiousness would rise. I knew that my mom must have spent her day doing a deep clean, which meant she was going to raise her voice and guilt-trip us about how hard she worked to clean up our mess.


In other words,  I kind of have a love/hate relationship with the scent.

In one way, it reminds me of the care-free days when I came home and everything was done for me.

However, it also reminds me of the guilt I would feel after having to hear how my sisters and I didn’t help my mom around the house with the cleaning.

It’s so interesting how these childhood experiences can be triggered by a simple scent as adults.

I must say, I’m not the mom with dinner ready for the kids as soon as they come home from school, but I do my best to keep the main floor of our home tidy.

In all honesty,  I’m guilty of guilt tripping my girls from time- to -time after I spend a day cleaning.

Ugh. I hate admitting that. 

I don’t want them to feel guilty because I chose to spend the day cleaning up after them.

I want the fresh scent of a clean home to evoke positive emotions later in their life.


Like how happy a clean, nice smelling home-made their mother.

Man, if it wasn’t for this collaboration with Pinesol I don’t think I would have realized that I can be the I-just-cleaned-the-house-so-now-im-going-to-guilt-trip-my-kids mom. I hated that when I was a kid!

I will definitely be more mindful of this in the future.

In fact, maybe I’ll mop the floors with Pinesol’s new mandarin fresh scent and then dance around the kitchen with the mop and take long sniffs of the fresh scent ( in front of the kids) and in my most animated, happy voice, sing about how much I love the scent (without adding anything to the fact that I had to do the mopping.)

Perhaps seeing me in this blissful state will motivate them to grab the mop too!

Or they might simply think I went crazy. LOL

All in all, if scents evoke emotional memories, I hope the ones they associate with me always make my girls laugh, and smile.

Fun Fact: 

  “A number of behavioral studies have demonstrated that smells trigger more vivid emotional memories and are better at inducing that feeling of “being brought back in time than images” states an article in Psychology Today.

What smells evoke positive emotions for you? 

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