Favourite smells - not what you might expect.

A friend visited this week with her 2 month old baby and as I cuddled that tiny bundle of human I breathed in that baby smell which took me right back to when I had children I could cradle.

It's a mix of washing powder, baby powder, skin, milk and sheer baby-ness which no perfumer could ever recreate. It's both sweet and sour and each baby smells sort of different but the same.

six day old baby

I briefly felt the loss of my fertile years until my friend was trying to juggle feeding and cake eating, then chatted while trying to calm a fussing infant then had to change a gruesome nappy. Yep - not missing that!

On the marvellous Post40Bloggers website there is a fab list of writing prompts which are great for, well prompting writers.

"Favourite smells" was one of the listed ideas and after my baby sniffing experience today it inspired me to jot down my top five faves.

1. Baby smell. Obviously I'm not talking about the way they smell when they've evacuated toxic waste - that is most definitely NOT one of the nicest odours in the world.

2. Propane. Yes. I love the smell of propane, especially when caught in the air early in the morning drifting from a hot air balloon envelope. I met my husband hot air ballooning and the smell of propane always reminds me of happy days on launch fields with some wonderful, funny, eccentric balloonists.

3. Baking bread/cake. Yes it's predictable, right up there with fresh mown grass and brewing coffee but there's a reason estate agents use these fragrant smells to sell houses.

4. Chloe perfume. Not the modern, expensive version. I love the original which was first bought for me by a boyfriend's mum one Christmas in the mid 1980's. I still love it, and wear it almost every day even though it gets harder to track down.

5. Smelly socks. Now I doubt this is on many people's lists of favourite smells but although I actually hate the stink of sweaty socks, I love what that smell represents. The stronger the smell, the more likely it is that one or more of my biggest sons is home. Eye-wateringly  pungent? Maybe all three of my eldest children (who have all left home now) are back. Happy mum!

So what's your favourite smell?