24 Nov 2009

Winter Nips, Olbas and Memories

At this time of year, I reach for the Olbas more frequently. It use to be a seasonal thing, but my addiction has deepened, or my sinuses have become more stuffed over the decades, so now it's an all year round habit. The Olbas addiction started in early childhood, when the Grandma Lil use to shove an olbas inhaler up my nostrils before heading out to school on a cold morning. It was only in later years, did I realise that the olbas inhaler was passed between the sisters and I, never wiped in-between (gross). That olbas inhaler had to be ancient, I never saw a new one, ever.When the ye olde ancient olbas inhaler wasn't about, a few drops of pure olbas oil was put on a hanky and stuffed in my pocket. They say that your olfactory (sniff sniff) senses link up directly to your memory, so sniffing a wee bit of olbas whooshes me back to days of duffel coats and hugs off Grandma Lil.

Another childhood memory that goes in hand in hand with the olbas, is a handful of Winter Nips, before you get excited, the nips I am talking about, are the sweets you see in the picture above..Not the scenario doodled below....

I loved  those sweets, they are small black herbal flavour boiled sweets, which don't actually sound that nice, but I assure they are! They warm up your mouth and as a kid, I was convinced that they magically warmed up your whole body. So when I saw a bag of them in the supermarket, I had to buy some! Nom nom nom nom!

So do you have favourite childhood sweet? What childhood smell tickles your olfactory senses?


  1. The smell of cheese on toast make me think of Grandma & lamp hotpot always reminds me of the other! Very rarely smell it these days but if I happen to be feeling nostalgic, I'll open a bottle of Brut aftershave in a chemist shop & I go right back to being 16 years old & my first boyfriend!

  2. Winter nips are they a licorice type candy? My favorite childhood candy are neeco wafers.

  3. Hehe this is a fun post. So unique and original

  4. The cologne "old spice" reminds me of my Dad, therefore of my childhood. Chinese food those the same. As for candy, there are a lot of them, Mexican candies, of course, usually have some kind of chile ;-)

  5. My Grandmother used to force me to drink Chamomile Tea whenever I was sick and I hated it! Whenever she made me drink it, I threw it right up. Now, I can't stand the smell of it even.

  6. So what does the Olbas smell like? Is it menthol like our Vicks Vaporub and inhalers over here?

    The candy that I most associate with my childhood would be gumdrops - not because I ate them a lot but bcause my grandfather always kept gumdrops in the candy dish on top of the hutch in the dining room. The only time I ever ate gumdrops was at Gramp's and so whenever I see them, I am reminded of him.

  7. We had the Vick's Vaporub as well, but for some odd reason, my mother thought that eating it might be additionally beneficial. Even with sugar on top, it was awful. Sometimes I'm surprised any of us survived childhood remedies!

    At Christmas, we had barley toys (candy) - sweetened barley water cast into animal shapes - yum.

  8. @CrhisJ, did your stomach feel mentolly? jajajaja sorry, I've never heard of someone eating Vick's Vaporub!

  9. My favourite childhood sweet are aniseed balls. I used to buy them when we were on holiday in Cornwall, but I also loved cola bottles and liquorice.

    And you can't beat the smell of my Mum's house. Or my Mum. Unfortunatly that can't be bottled :(

  10. Strangely enough a spoon full of vinegar. You didn't dare complain of a sore throat. I guess if you screamed, a visit to a doctor became necessary. To this day I actually like pure vinegar in small doses.

    On the good side, the smell of apple pie cooking. My aunt did something that made them wonderful and after all these years, nothing has ever lived up to those wonderful pies.

  11. My favorite childhood sweet: coconut almond bars which I still eat. The smell, unfortunately: cigar and cigarette smoke. I don't like it but it generates a flood of memories as everyone in my family (parents & two older brothers)were heavy smokers. The air in our home seemed to be permanently inundated with it.

  12. I was fond of good'n'plenty and squirrel nut zippers. Both damned fine treats.

    As for smells, nothing said home the smell of pie, pipe tobacco and fear.

  13. I've never heard of winter nips, but I loved your drawing! I totally laughed out loud!

  14. @Karen, Oh great smell choices, similar from me too, got to love grannies and their comfort food :)

    I can just picture you sniffing that bottle of Brut, in your local Boots :)

    @lifeishighway, Winter nips are more herbally than liquorice, like a solid bit of cough mixture :)

    I have never heard of neeco wafers, what are they like?

    @roentarre, aww thanks :) Any favourite smells?

    @Deray, My dad was partial to Old Spice for a time, but now he is a Hugo Boss man lol, expensive tastes :)

    Oh send some of those candies! They sound interesting.

    @tough cookie mommy, Urghh I hate chamomile tea too! I have just never acquired the taste for it, yuck. My mum use to make me gargle salt when I had a sore throat, she thought orange juice would make it taste better, instead I just puked everywhere :)

    @Linda, Olbas is a strong eucalyptus and menthol concoction, but really works wonders :)

    Gumdrops are also called American Hard Gums over here , My grandad loved them also and I only had them at his house too, spooky! I am not really fan of them though, I didn't like the texture.

    @Chris J, I am in shock that you ate vapour rub! I was naughty in school and use to get people in trouble by putting some in my eyes and then telling the teacher they had upset me :)

    I love barley sweets, yum!

    @Deray, I am jajajajajaing :)

    @fromthesamesky, I hate aniseed balls, I use to suck the red layer off and then spit them at my sisters head (I was horrid). I adore cola bottle and red liquorice, yum.

    I know what you mean about the mum smell, elusive but oh so potent :) (hugs)

    @Jamie, I do worry how some children made it out of childhood! Gargling salt water was horrid enough.

    Apple pie cooking is a divine smell.

    @NP, I love coconut almond bars :) I also love the smell of cigar smoke, as my grandad smoked like a trooper. He was called Grandad Puff Puff, because he loved steam trains and constantly smoked, that smell whisks me straight back.

    @Donald Mills, Hey Donald I haven't heard of either of those? I will have to google them :)

    @Tisha, I will have to send you some :)