A Bit of Me(Me) ~ I Like the Smell of Old People

by Gwen


Well hello there! A Bit of Me(Me) was the brainchild of There’s A Book. To sum it up for you, book bloggers spend far too much time talking about books and Danielle thought that it would be nice to a bit more personal. Seriously, what could be more personal than telling you that I like the smell of dead people?

Speaking of, that is the question for this week.

What is your favorite smell and why? Does it bring back memories?

I spent a lot of time with my grandparents when I was growing up. I was the only grandchild that lived in nearby and I don’t think that a month went by that I wasn’t at their house for at least one weekend.

Not to bag on my parents, but my grandparents rocked. They never fought, were still very much in love with each other, always had at least 4 flavors of Ice Cream and about a dozen different cereals, and it was all about me when I was there. What kid wouldn’t think that was heaven?

My grandfather was ancient. I don’t mean that in a “to a kid, every adult is ancient sort of way.” He started his family late in life and my mom was a late surprise baby, he was in his 80’s when I was a wee one. I loved to point out things in a room and ask him if he had one of those when he was a kid. It is still hard to imagine life without cars, radio, TV, computers, washers, refrigerators, etc. He had none of that when he was my age then.

Anywho, The point in all of this was supposed to be smell. My grandparents had an old house in Glendale, CA that was built about the same time that he had been born, 1904 or so) Everything was taken care of, but never upgraded or anything.


Their bathroom was beautifully done in this mosaic and hexagon tile and the tub was huge. I loved taking baths in that deep tub with my rubber duckies. What I remember most though was the smell of the water.

Have you ever smelled the water that comes out of an really old faucet? It has this slightly metallic/rusty smell that slowly makes it way around the room. That smell, while strange as a child, has grown up to be so much in my adult life.

The smell of rusty water works as a major stress relieving aromatherapy for me today. I catch a whiff and am being suddenly transformed to another time, where the hardest thing that I had to figure out was whether or not I wanted Mr. Bubbles and what I would name my rubber duckies to play with in that strange, yet now very distinct smelling water.

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The smell of rusty water is my favorite smell. It reminds me of a time when I was safe, carefree, peaceful, and most of all, loved. I say that duck looks like a Max. What would you name him?


10 Comments to “A Bit of Me(Me) ~ I Like the Smell of Old People”

  1. What a beautiful post! I actually do know what the smell of rusty water smells like, because I lived in a few parts of Ohio for a time where the pipes were continually busting an dispersing rust into everything the water touched. Although, it was a tad bit aggravating at the time, I can still see what you mean about that smell, very soothing.

    Great choice! And as always…loved the title! 🙂

  2. OMG, you just brought up all kinds of memories for me, too! My grandmother lived in an old farmhouse with an upstairs that had all this equipment (ancient cameras that belonged to my grandfather); her house had never been upgraded, either, and I know what you mean about the smell of the water. I hadn't thought about that in years.

    I, too, was totally catered to at my grandmother's house. Even later, when she moved to a newer house, she still had a lot of those things.

    Thanks for sharing….and while those times weren't what I wrote about today, I'm glad you helped me remember them.

    Here's mine:


  3. That duck is a girl, and her name is Farrah.

    I know that smell, it's what a time machine must smell like. It transports.

  4. I know that smell and I can't think why. My grandparents don't have pipes that are that old. Hmmm. Now I'm puzzled.

    What they do have is the best-tasting water in the world. We actually shared a well with them, but it had to travel a long way before it got to our house. At their house, it's straight out of the ground and so cold it will “bust your teeth” as we say around here, and it tastes divine.

  5. All smells at my grandma's house are soothing. I totally agree.

  6. I think the duckie is a Nigel, but I'm British so I have funny ideas about names.
    Your post was so evocative!

  7. I like the name Nigel, sound intelligent!

  8. I love well water, but ours isn't that cold. (probably a good thing, don't want it to “bust my teeth”)

  9. Farrah sounds a bit high maintenance. I don't want to be carting around a blow dryer and hairspray for my rubber duckie.

  10. It was weird and sort of aggravating at the time, but as the years have gone by I realized how the smell still touched me. When I was 5, it smelled like dirty water to me, now it smells like heaven:)

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