Three smells that bring back memories

  1. Orange Blossom – Orange Blossom has become the most important Mama's Fotos 070flower scent for me. I lived in Florida from age ten to twenty-three and my backyard in Rockledge had two large orange trees and one grapefruit tree. Every year, the orange blossom would appear with its gorgeous white flowers and the unmistakeable sweet fragrance. I used to sit reading under the shade of the orange tree, listening to the hum of the cicadas in the hot Floridian sun, and the smell of the orange blossom will never leave my soul.

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In 2011, I began to write about William & Mary, and since they were the Prince and Princess of Orange, I made my fictional Mary wear a perfume of orange blossom and English roses. She is holding orange blossoms in her hand in the image to the right. So, there is yet another reason why I love orange blossoms. I even wear Penhaligon’s Orange Blossom perfume that was a one year wedding anniversary gift from my husband.

  1. Patchouli – this is one of my favourite smells because it reminds me of reading Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country, Book One of The Guenevere Trilogy, by Rosalind Miles, and I read that her Guenevere wore patchouli. As I had never heard of patchouli before, I went to a local ‘mystical’ shop and bought it on a whim. I loved the smell and rubbed it into the pages of the book. So even to this day, when I open the old, worn novel, the smell of patchouli lingers, and reminds me of the happy hours I spent in that fantasy world of King Arthur and his golden court.
  2. My Mama’s empanadas and sopaipillas. My mother was born and UK 2009 234raised in Puente Alto, Chile in the 1940s. In the 1950s, she would get up really early to help her entrepreneurial mother bake bread and empanadas early every morning to sell them on street corners. Our own family had some extremely difficult times when I was a small child, my parents went through a difficult divorce. One of the happiest memories from that time, that I can never forget, are my mom’s empanadas, which she made often with the same recipe my grandmother used. Minced beef, onions, garlic, hard boiled eggs, black olives, cooked and then placed into finely kneaded dough. I sometimes long for her homemade empanadas that I make my very inferior ones or buy a pasty from the supermarket only to get a little grossed out because there is potato in pasties here (and I’m not too keen on potatoes, long story).


When I recently went back to visit my mother in Central Florida, she made empanadas, and the heart-warming, soul-reviving aroma of her recipe filled me with happiness and nostalgia – a heady combination. I like cooking Chilean dishes, along with traditional English food since I live in the UK. If you’re interested in making empanadas, there’s a pretty good recipe for Chilean empanadas de pino here. My mother has a tradition of making Chilean sopaipillas every time it rained, but I simply can’t do that with the frequency of rain where I live now! haha! Check the recipe out here.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this third post of mine for Natalie Grueninger’s August’s Blog-A-Day Challenge.

Thanks for reading!

<3, Andrea, the Seventeenth Century Lady x

Hear ye! One thought — so far — on “Three smells that bring back memories”:

  1. lizet kruyff

    Hello Andrea, you know me from twitter @spinazieacademi. And I was wondering where the original painting from Queen Mary II is hanging. Not in the National Portrait Gallery, and although it’s said it was painted by William Wissing, I can find no proof of this. Can you help me out? I need the original for my book! Thank you very much, Lizet Kruyff, foodhistory and more


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