So about the dishwashing liquid…

I think I’ve piqued the curiosity of few of you about the dishwashing liquid. 🙂 It’s nothing earth shattering, but did you know that it’s smell could possible be strongly attached to a memory?

I was out of dishwashing liquid so I do what everyone in small town America does and go to the retail giant that starts with a “W”. And of course they are out of Joy dishwashing liquid. I’ve always used Joy. My mother has always used Joy and her mother used Joy. But alas since I really didn’t want to make a trip to another store I started perusing my options of which other brand to buy. For over 5 minutes I sniffed and sniffed trying to find one I liked best. (Yes, I know. It is just dishwashing liquid.) So I settled on Palmolive.

For three or four days I was using the Palmolive washing my pots and pans and the smell just kept pulling at something in the back of my mind. I just couldn’t quite put my finger on what, though.

And then it Dawned (pun intended) on me what it might be triggering. You see almost everyone I know owns a dishwasher. I grew up with a dishwasher and even though there were things we had to hand wash my mom always used Joy. So it’s not like I’ve washed a ton of dishes in my life really. So why would the smell of a dishwashing liquid keep reminding me of something? There was one place we always visited where I had to help wash all the dishes by hand–my great-grandparents home in Florida. We would go visit them for a week every summer growing up and washing the dishes after every meal was just a part of the visit since they did not have a dishwasher.

So I called my mother and asked her which dishwashing liquid Granny Cribbs (my great grandmother) used. To which she replied, “Palmolive.” The scent of the Palmolive triggered the memory of washing dishes at her house every summer. Now they didn’t have citrus scented back in the 80’s and she always bought the green bottle, but the scent was still so close it brought those memories back to me. And even though it wasn’t a Joy to help wash those dishes as a child, I’m glad it did bring the memories and Joy of those days back to mind.

Isn’t it amazing the memories attached to certain scents and foods? So what scents are attached to memories for you? Write them down. Scrap them. You can bet I’m going to scrap this one.

Share article

Copyright © 2023 Amy Nabors.