This series of seven daily blog posts explores the links between everyday places/things and the scent memories connected to them.
I was a very idealistic kid. I read a lot of books, had an active imagination and often I would find myself disappointed that my internal pictures could not live up to reality. I remember having a collection of illustrated stories, in Enid Blyton style (although I can’t recall if it was actually her) about children learning lessons in morality through misguided actions.
The story I remember most was about a little girl who found a penny in the street. Instead of giving it to her mother she went to the sweet shop and bought some delicious, brightly coloured sweeties, ate every single one and had a tummy ache all night long.
The illustration in the book depicted those tempting tooth rotters as Dolly Mixtures, a mix of tiny pastel coloured sugar paste and jelly sweets aimed at very young children. You can still (and I do) buy them now. Up until I read the story I hadn’t really had Dolly Mixtures, but suddenly I was overwhelmed with the need to sample these saccharin delights that had been so irresistible to the main character. So I took my pocket money to the corner shop and purchased a paper bag of them from the big glass jar behind the counter. I can remember quite clearly the sound of the metal scoop clanging inside the glass, and the sticky, sugary, slightly fruity aroma wafting from inside the bag as I carried them home.
I sat on the swing in the garden and ate them, enraptured by their colours and perfect miniature cuteness. They were possibly the best sweets ever at that moment in time and absolutely lived up to the dream. I remembered the moral of the tale and saved half the bag for the next day though, of course.
They don’t smell the same anymore (or maybe that idealistic child still lingers within) but I still buy them, just for a little trip down memory lane.