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10 School Smells That Bring Back (Mostly) Sweet Childhood Memories

The instant I set foot in my daughter's school, WHAM! I was overwhelmed by the scent of Eau de School. It's a heady blend that brings back memories of cafeteria lunches, sweaty locker rooms, musty textbooks, and more. School scents can be powerful memory triggers, so don't be surprised if the smells in your child's school send you on a powerful nostalgia trip. Here are a few to keep an eye (or rather nose) out for this fall.


Image © Randy Faris/Corbis

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RiotP... RiotPixie

My school cafeteria never offered pigs in a blanket. But elementary school is the reason I hate sloppy joes. Ugh.

Kediset Kediset

I had a classmate upchuck in highschool... no idea what the janitor did with the mess since we all got moved to another location o-o best part was I had zero idea what had happened, confused as to why said classmate was being sent to the office all of a sudden o-o


pink eraser definitely a smell to remember... though I don't use those anymore since they don't perform as well as the white ones.


white glue... I remember one year when I purposely glued my hand numerous times..... and I wasn't even a kid when I did it o: so random.


after reading this it kind of makes me want to re-visit my childhood schools, though at least one I know had been revamped to fit more grades (when I went to that school, it only went up to grade six and then we had to transfer to another school that only had gr 6-8. Eventually they decided to close the later one and expand the former one)

Jaimy Bisbee

Not a smell, but the sound of those rubber dodgeballs. Reminds me of elementary school.

Madel... Madelaine

I liked the smell of books in the library

Madel... Madelaine

The smell of paste too...back when they had paste!

LaniBee LaniBee

I loved the library in elementary school. It was so peaceful and quiet! 

jessi... jessicasmom1

the musty smell of school period

slw123 slw123

The smell of the cafeteria hasn't changed.

ceciliam ceciliam

So far, nothing in my son's school has triggered any memories for me.

Siste... Sisteract

I did not go to aan elementary school with a cafeteria.

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