What Scents Do You Associate With Clean?

towels drying line clotheslineIt's funny how the brain works when it comes to scents. When we take in a smell, little do we know, our brains are creating a memory, sometimes a memory so strong it will never leave us, depending on the experience at hand or the number of times we are exposed to a specific scent. These scent memories can last a whole lifetime.

The scents that each of us associate with cleanliness vary, of course. It might depend on what products our parents used to clean or do laundry when we were young. Maybe the smell of lavender, baby powder, or lemon beckon us back to our early days.


My husband finds the smell of bleach comforting because it reminds him of his mom, who used bleach a lot. There's even a family story about her bleaching his clothes in a big pot of boiling water on the stove. I, on the other hand, once got a little crazy cleaning with bleach in an apartment I had and may have, well, sniffed a little too much bleach. My association with the stuff isn't pleasant. It may or may not bring on bouts of hallucinations. LOL!

Lemony dusting spray, however, I love it. It reminds me of my childhood Saturdays when I would clean alongside my mom. Dusting was my big job. I loved moving all the knick knacks, creating a shiny clean surface, and then putting everything back. And don't get me started on fresh-smelling fabric softener sheets. Mmmm. I associate that smell with clean, warm laundry stacked in a pile on my bed. And also with happiness. Some smells can actually invoke happiness.

What is the scent of clean to you?


Image via joeannenah/Flickr

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