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WOLF: Popcorn, puppies, herb gardens and the ice cream truck

COLUMN: Readers share own favourite smells, sounds
Freshly popped popcorn is a familiar and popular smell. (File photo)

Now, I’m no Bill Nye the Science Guy, but I’ll have to call it a successful experiment.

For the last couple of weeks, I wanted to semi-boldly go where no columnist (me, anyway) had gone before.

First, I wanted you to be able to ‘hear’ a column. (What are some of the best sounds in the world?)

The following week, I wanted you to be able to ‘smell’ a column. (What do bacon, baseball gloves and hockey card gum have in common?)

There was a wide variety of responses from all over the province, which is always fun.

Here’s a small sampling of some of your favourites, starting with smells:

“The best and absolute most memorable scent, is a turkey roasting in the oven. The whole house smells like an epic feast is about to take place!”

— Melanie Whittaker

“As a gardener a real old-world rose scent so intense as the sun warms the petals it arrests you as you walk past;

The pungent smell of violets crushed while walking across the lawn;

My herb garden – rosemary, thyme, sage;

Newly turned earth while planting in spring;

The way a puppy smells;

As a farm girl from the middle of the last century, the smell of lanolin reminds me of lambs;

Dettol as the vet’s trunk reeked of it;

From the same era, every school concert smelled of wet wool from the winter coats;

The smell of snow in the air the day before it falls;

And to this day, winter and summer I hang my sheets on the line to capture the wind and the sun. Think it is my ultimate favourite.”

— Trish Findlay

“Freshly popped popcorn;

Fresh cut cedar as you’re stacking firewood in fall;

Your puppy’s fur when he comes home from the groomer;

A baby’s skin or hair;

— Laurie from Qualicum Beach

READ MORE: WOLF: Break out some of your all-time favourite recipes

And a few sounds:

“The sound you can make when you put your index finger into your puffed cheek and make a ‘pop’ sound;

Tinkling of outdoor chimes;

The sound of music from an approaching ice cream truck;

Most European and Newfoundland accents, especially my aunties calling me on the phone and asking what the time is. They would always forget that they are 4 1/2 hours ahead.”

— Judee Doyle

“The screaming sound of a fishing reel as a salmon takes the lure and runs it;

The sound of a whale blowing out its blowhole;

The sound of BF Goodrich Radial T/A tires squealing on the asphalt;

Sound of kids laughing in the playground;

Sound of eagles talking or calling to each other;

The sound of coins dropping from a winning roll on a old slot machine.”

— Rob Fraser

The crunch and crackle of autumn leaves underfoot;

The sound of hundreds of voices singing ‘O Canada’ in a stadium/arena;

The sound of a hunting hawk wheeling overhead.”

— Susan Pallister

“How about the sound of a golf ball dropping in the hole? Or the sound of a really well hit ball off the tee.”

The crunch of boots on the snow on a sunny, cold day.”

— Gail Leatherdale

The clatter of a linotype typesetting machine;

The rumble of a newspaper press running while you’re at your desk at an afternoon-publishing newspaper;

Probably my favourite is the sound of rain on the deck of your boat when you’re safely in your bed at anchor.”

— Bill Jones

Thanks as always for the feedback, and keep it coming. More fun ahead.

PQB News/Vancouver Island Free Daily editor Philip Wolf can be reached via email at, or by phone at 250-905-0019.