I thought maybe I would describe the scent of the apartment building where my grandparents lived but I have blogged enough about them and will give them a day off but just saying, the place smelled like soup. My siblings and cousins would completely agree with me . Chances are, if your grams lived in an apartment, that place also has a homey soup aroma..am I right??
The second scent that conjures memories is the petrol/wet cement smell of a city 🌆 in the morning. I have lived in suburbs since leaving Los Angeles and this memory brings me back to my traveling teenage years. I was in a Summer program touring the UK, this program had us spend a few weeks in London. Whatever we had to do, we had to always do it first thing in the morning. Walking or waiting for a ride, the distinct scent of the street involved a gasoline wet cement notes. I forgot about that smell until a few years later, I was in another Summer semester course of studies in sunny Spain. After enjoying an enormous potato omelette and bowl of hot chocolate, I hit the street to walk to class and here again, that city street scent.
When I returned to Europe again, I had just finished high school and was spending another Summer there. This time it wasn’t a school program but an extended camping trip that spanned across most major counties of Western Europe at the time. Eight or so weeks of rolling out of a tent very early to pack up and move on to see the sights. In Europe, some campgrounds are actually adjacent to cities. There are campgrounds in Barcelona on the beach and in Paris, in the forest in the park they call the Bois de Boulogne, there is (or was) a campground. We were always camping in a city or just on the outskirts and the scent of the street was near.
Many years later, I accompanied my boyfriend now husband, Scott, to see the San Francisco family pawn shop where he worked. We were there so early that I was able to find the scent and blurted out to Scott “ it smells like Europe!” This brought a smile to his face and a nod “In the morning?” He knew exactly what I meant.
I’ve been back to Europe many times and spent loads of time in San Francisco riding in with Scott. Arriving right before the city opens, clatter and clangs of deliveries and the scent of gasoline and wet cement hanging on.