I Smell Like Grandma’s House

For as long as I can remember, I and everyone else in my immediate family have always been able to tell when an item has been inside my grandparent’s house. You see, my grandparent’s house has a distinct aroma. It is a combination of potpourri, mothballs and something else I can’t quite put my finger on, so I’ll just call it gorilla dust.

Whenever they brought a care package over to our house (magazines, homemade potato salad, lawn gnomes, etc.), the items would be soaked in “grandma house” residue. Years later, having been away from their normal environment for all that time, the items will still carry their trademark fragrance. I don’t pretend to understand the science behind it, but it’s nothing short of magical.

About a year ago, I found myself in need of a new residence. Around this time, my grandparents, who had been at the same location for my entire life, moved to a new place. Their old place was vacant and they desperately needed a tenant. Partly because I am a loving grandson and partly because I knew I’d get a great deal on rent, I agreed to move in.

When I moved in, the house’s smell was overwhelming. You could smell in on the walls. You could smell in on the floor. You could even smell it on the ceiling if you climbed on top of your couch and pressed your nose up against it as your brother walked in and laughed at you (hypothetically speaking).

It took a little time, but I was eventually able to air out the house. I opened all the windows. I filled the house with my two fragrances of choice, vanilla and cinnamon, in the hopes they could kill the old smell. Slowly, the smell began to go away. I had won.

I was mistaken.

You see, that smell had been living in the house for several decades. It had become a living entity. It was alive, it was powerful, and it was angry.

What I thought was the smell slowly going away was really me slowly becoming immune to the smell. I was getting used to it.

It was… attaching itself to me.

After almost a year, I have become one of those care package items my grandparents would occasionally bring my parents. I have the smell on me. It’s on my skin. It’s on my clothes. It’s in my hair.

I can’t escape it.

At church yesterday, my mom leaned over to me and whispered, “your jacket smells like grandma’s house.” I couldn’t smell it, but I knew she was right. After church, I made certain to stand at least five yards away from anyone to which I was speaking.

I went to my parent’s house immediately afterward so that I could wash my jacket. I had to wash it and let it air dry somewhere other than “the house.” Otherwise, the smell would get right back on the jacket.

My jacket can never enter my house again. From now on, before entering, I will have to take off my jacket and leave it in my car. That’s the only recourse. However, by now I am certain the inside of my car smells like grandma’s house, too.

What can I do? I would try to destroy the house by setting it on fire, but I’m sure that would only make it more angry.

I need ideas, people. And I need them fast. I’m afraid I don’t have much more time.

About Kevin

Who am I? I am a cipher, wrapped in an enigma, smothered in secret sauce. Also, my name is Kevin and I own this here website.

9 thoughts on “I Smell Like Grandma’s House

  1. 1. Care packages from grandmas are great
    2. Have hope! When my grandparents moved out, my family moved into my grandparents’ house. It, too, had a similar living entity smell. However, after 20 years of living it has been peacfully dispersed.

    ryc: *shivers* That is exactly what I was thinking.

  2. Kev — One word: Fabreze. You might need a swimming pool-sized amount of it, but it’d work. Also, if you have grandma’s furniture still lying around, get rid of it immediately. Burn it if you have to.

  3. Mmmmmmm…grandma’s house. I practically lived at my grandma’s house when I was growing up. I know that smell all too well. Last week, when my grandpa died, I stayed with her for a few days. I missed the scent so much, that I took the little pillow that I used to sleep on, and I have it in my own bed now. Someday, after your own grandparents are gone, you too will miss that signature scent. Still not convinced? Get an ionic air purifier, scrape the acoustic popcorn off the ceilings, recarpet, repaint and change all of the air filters.
    Grandma’s scent is best when it dwells at GRNDMA’S HOUSE ONLY.

  4. I laughed out loud, Kevin, ’cause we all know someone in our families who has a “smelly” house. Too bad most don’t smell like fresh baked apple pie or brownies. Most do smell like moth balls or some other scent of unknown origin. You’ll have to get Saige to tell her “war-story” of something she baked that actually tasted like the smell. (Your food’s not starting to taste funny, is it?) My suggestion for ridding the smell – bags of special rocks that remove smells from the air. It worked for ridding our rental of stale cigarette smoke (horrible), so I think it would work on Granda Smell too.

  5. Buy strong cologne… like Curve or something similar and wear it every day. Shampoo your carpets with a scented shampoo and change your curtains.

    Yeah and get rid of grandma’s furniture.

    If that doesn’t work – put some ben-gay on little pieces of plastic wrap and place them in every room. Not saying it will smell GOOD, mind you… but chances are that it will take over the grandparent smell and at least you will know that.. YOU WIN!!! bwahahaha

  6. Holy shit, sounds like your grandma’s house smells just like my grandparents’ did. Although I would add the smell of fried food into the mix.

    Take off each heat register, stretch a fabric softener sheet across the opening, and put the register cover back on. Also smear a healthy dab of Vicks Vapor Rub on your upper lip, right under your nose. Or is it rub Vicks on your heat registers and put fabric softener under your nose? I can never remember.

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