Skip to toolbar

What are some smells that you can’t stand because of association?

Some people have certain songs that painfully remind them of past romances or other experiences.

I personally can’t stand the smell of Dawn dish soap. At this point, it makes me feel sick.

View Reddit by yo_soy_sojaView Source


city guide

The publication focuses on fashion, style, and culture for men, though articles on food, movies, fitness, sex, music, travel, sports, technology, and books are also featured


  1. Cheap tequila. Had an awful night where we made terrible margaritas with terrible tequila that resulted in me messing things up with a girl I really liked culminating in me spending most of the night with my face in the toilet. Now I have a Pavlovian response to the smell.

  2. Just stating the obvious here that smell is scientifically associated with memory.

    As an urban dweller freshly cut grass reminds me of growing up in the suburbs and it’s rare I come across this.

  3. I can’t stand the smell of hospital cleaner. Lost my mother, my first wife, my uncle, my father in law, and a friend I’d known for 20 years all in the same year. Spent a lot of time in hospitals. The smell of the clean makes me panic.

  4. The smell of the cleanser I used to clean up my double-incontinent invalid mom six or seven times a day for two years. Pretty much any smell that you associate with digging around your own mom’s vulva for poop chunks that got squished up in there, is going to have that effect.

  5. Aniseed, an old friend of mine once bought a bottle of Absinthe from France and managed to get it into the country, and holy shit did we get fucked up that night i passed out on the floor after falling out of bed, woke up the next morning in a puddle of puke and a intense anathema for the smell of aniseed.

    I feel physically sick whenever i smell Aniseed/Anise these days after that night.

  6. This’ll sound weird, but yorkies. It makes me think of my old pup and I instantly well up. Idk why, that’s really the only smell that gives me a strong emotional reaction like that.

  7. Cinnamon scented air fresheners, reminds me too much of my college days of pregaming in the parking lot before going into clubs.

    Bacardi because it was one of the cheapest liquors so there ungodly amounts of it at every party.

  8. I smoked an iQos for about a year. That year also had a couple of whirlwind romances and bittersweet memories that a more talented person could have turned into a tearjerking indie folk album.

    About 2 years later I’d mostly quit smoking but picked up an iQos again just for the fuck of it and it *instantly* brought so many powerful emotions and memories back I almost started crying. Emotionally wrecked me for the rest of the day, I ended up day-drinking whisky alone and trying very hard to restrain myself from drunk-texting the old flames.

  9. Chicken cutlet Parmesan.

    I got pregnant at 14 and two months into hiding my pregnancy, I came home and my mom was cooking that. One sniff and I threw up uncontrollably. (I aborted eventually, but that smell still makes me nauseous to this day)

  10. Can’t stand the smell of curry anymore. I was dating a chick who lived in a predominately Indian neighborhood and it always smelled like curry 24/7. She was pretty crazy to the point where if I smell it now I think she’ll pop out of the bushes and try to throw wine glasses at me.

  11. The smell of chocolate makes me nauseous.

    I worked in a chocolate store for a year in between 2 lingerie stores. The job was horribly boring except valentines and christmas when it was mayhem.

    Lots of people stole chocolate, the lingerie stores’ staff would ask for the left over chocolate strawberries, and everyday I smelled chocolate.

  12. Apricot anything. My dog’s shampoo was apricot scented, so whenever we washed him, the scene mingled with wet dog smell. Anytime I smell apricot in a culinary way, I gag in association with thinking it’s dirty dog fur. My dog passed away 6 years ago, but anytime I accidentally order a fancy craft beer that has apricot in it, I take a sip, gag, and give it too a friend.

  13. I dated this girl for a while right after my dad died. I was in a very vulnerable place, and looking back at it, she didn’t treat me very well. She’d tell me how excited she was to see me that night, she missed me, etc, but then she wouldn’t show up. She’d always make empty promises, but when she told me “I love you” after like a month, I fell for it and believed it. I mentioned the whole thing where I felt hurt whenever she’d say she’d come over, then she’d just never get back to me, and all she said was “sorry, I don’t mean anything by it”.. I thought it’d get better but it made no difference. She didn’t seem to care at all, and I was just a placeholder to fill a void (her fiancé ended their engagement, she says she cheated on him). All the things she said she wanted to do with me, travel, etc, I am fairly certain were things she was going to do with her ex before they broke up.

    I can’t count how many times I bought food for us thinking she’d come over, because she’d say she was going to, then she wouldn’t. I’d stay up late, just waiting. No text or anything. Then I’d just go to sleep feeling pathetic. I wish I hadn’t done that to myself. Whenever we’d make plans, I’d just assume they weren’t happening. Sometimes she would actually spend time with me, but it was unpredictable.

    At the time I was using a certain cologne. Whenever I’ve smelled that cologne as of recently, it brings me back to those times again.

  14. Badly cooked flounder and other bottom feeders smells like a terrible sinus infection I had as a teenager. I wasn’t fond of the smell to begin with but I find it extra vile now.

    The perfume my first serious girlfriend wore will always bring back good and bad memories but it’s been discontinued for at least a decade so I’ve not encountered it in a while.

  15. Sparkling Wine.

    The first time I got blackout drunk and just vomited the whole night was with sparkling wine. Just the smell of it makes me gag.

  16. Any food with alcohol/spirits in it, a more specific dish being Penne alla Vodka.
    Had a drinking sesh at a mates house a while back and his sister made some pasta with an alcohol, I can’t remember the name of, in it. Having not eaten dinner, I gladly at a portion of it. Ended up having a few too many through the night and upon reaching home at around 1 am, I threw up my entire stomach. I’m reminded of that STENCH, of the former contents of my stomach on the floor of my bathroom on that troublesome night, whenever I smell a dish that has alcohol in it.

  17. Jose Cuervo and Natural Light. Day after Saint paddy’s day 4 years ago. Bar was trying to get rid of the green dyed beer. Dollar a 10 ounce cup. Friend who loves tequila came in buying shots if Jose. Stir too much of both in on top of the fish and chips I had for dinner an hour before, and all I remember is being literally carried from the bar by 4 friends while someone was in the bathroom with a water hose. I don’t remember it, and I don’t want to. I’ll Ralph if someone even cracks a bottle of Jose around me.

  18. Fish. Let’s just say my first serious girlfriend (highschool) was in the middle of a depressive episode where she was at the point of foregoing bathing for a few days when we hung out once. I figure the majority of you can finish the rest, and if you can’t, you might be a little young/immature for Reddit.

  19. Aqua Velva, the stinkiest and oldmanedist of the stinky old man colognes. Was issued it in boot camp. Before a big-fucking-deal inspection the Drill Instructor came around the squad bay with two spray bottles, one with mouth wash, one with Aqua Velva. All the recruits were standing in a line and we were to open our mouth, spray of mouth was, close mouth and eyes, spray of Aqua Velva. The DI would change his rhythm, change the order, talk to us during to distract us. I still have a bottle, I never wear it, I just glare at it every once in a while.

  20. Back in 2008 they released chewing gum with water melon flavour for the first time in my country, before this I used to love water melon. However the fake flavour made me dry heave almost immediately when I tasted it, because of that I had to actively avoid people that enjoyed this flavour to avoid getting nauseatious.

    To this day I’ve never had any water melon flavoured candy, and I even stopped eating water melon all together, the flavours of this gum and real water melon is obviously different, but the scent is similar and I don’t feel well if someone split open a water melon in my vicinity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button