Top 12 smells of my childhood

In the order I wrote them down:


School paste, thick as Crisco®.

Fruit Stripe gum.

Lavender hand soap in my grandmother’s bathroom at the back of our house in Pakistan.

Ketchup packets squeezing onto meat pies in the ANU cafeteria where my mum was a grad student.

The dust, when I opened the case of my grandmother’s gramophone.

My dog Pogo’s puppies’ milk breath.

Cold cement in the bomb shelter and constructions sites where we played.

The vinyl back seat of the station wagon.

Burning charcoal in the servants’ tandoors.

Zoo elephants.

Fish sticks.