This is the jar I remember from the '70s - with the metallic lid. Gawd I love the internet for looking up old things from my childhood.

This is the jar I remember from the ’70s – with the metallic lid. Gawd I love the internet for looking up old things from my childhood.

I’m pretty bad at guessing smells. For a foodie, that can be tough. At a restaurant, Junkii can pick out ingredients in a dish that I don’t even consider just because I can’t match smell to memory. As soon as he says it, I recognize the smell, but I’m not so good at doing that on my own.

Yes, scent is easily the weakest of my senses – especially since I paid doctors thousands of dollars to shoot lasers into my eyes to fix my (previously) atrocious eyesight! Still, given the amount of time I spend in the old-feet/man-sweat grossness of the gym locker room, I suppose a blunted sense of smell is not ALL bad.

There are two smells, however, that I have incredibly strong connections to – smells from my youth that, to this day, from the moment I inhale them, I’m transported back to my parents’ bedroom.

As a child, I recall crawling into bed with my mom in the mornings as Dad rose early to get ready for work. And there, on her nightstand, stood a container of Vicks VapoRub and a jar of Noxzema skin cream.

Those two products always had such potent smells, perfect for a kid exploring the world (and waiting for his mom to get up to make breakfast). I never passed up a chance to crack open those jars and take a whiff.

And I'm pretty sure the old Noxzema bottle looked something like this.

And I’m pretty sure the old Noxzema bottle looked something like this.

Vicks is an easy one. That strong minty smell is so recognizable. But then, it’s a product I use to this day to help keep my nose from drying out through the winter months (yes, I know you’re not supposed to put it in your nose, but daaayyyum…that sh!t smell good!) So I suppose it’s not that impressive that I can still recognize it.

I have absolutely no use for Noxzema these days. So it’s rare that I’ve had the opportunity in my adult life to smell it. Even so, on those rare occasions, it’s still so immediately identifiable.

I used to buy Noxzema shaving cream because the smell was reminiscent of the skin cream. I kept it up for the scent, even though the quality of the shaving cream was pretty dismal.

But to me Noxzema doesn’t smell like anything else I’ve ever smelled.

Of course, maybe it’s just my poor scent/memory matching abilities. I should get Junkii to try. Maybe he could help solve the mystery. For now, I’ll just enjoy it for what it is…a blast from the past.

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