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16 smells that will take you right back to childhood in the 1960s

What did the Sixties smell like? No, the answer is not "hippies." For those who grew up in the era, the decade was a bouquet of fresh grass, new plastic, Ipana toothpaste, orange sherbet and meatloaf. 

We also think the following scents will take anyone back to the 1960s. If you could manage to track them down today.

Alas, scratch-and-sniff computer technology does not exist. Close your eyes, open your nostrils and imagine these odors. Do they take you back? What smells scream "1960s" to you?


The singed wiring and hot oil of electric train sets

What kid didn't want Lionel Trains? Toys today just don't have the heft of those mini metal replicas. Also, the odor. You could smell the electricity coursing through the wires, not to mention the hot transformer. If you had a track running around your Christmas tree, add some fresh pine to the mix.


Sun-scorched vinyl seats inside your car

Leather seat? What are we, the Clampetts? Most of us had bad vinyl bench seating in our cars, and those synthetic fabrics would roast on a hot summer day.


The shaved cedar and graphite of sharpened pencil shavings

If we were making a list of the sounds of childhood, the nagging grind of a hand-crank pencil sharpener would have to top the list. But the woody smell of a freshly sharpened nub ranks high, too.


The pasty can of Play-Doh

This is an odor that spans generations, but you had to live in the 1960s to play with the Play-Doh Funny Pumper.


The soapy musk of Brylcreem

British Brylcreem (citrusy) and American Brylcreem (muskier) had different scents, for some reason. Odds are, your dad's head smelled like this.


Model kit glue

Building plastic scale models was a much bigger hobby for kids of the 1960s. Heck, there were stores devoted to the craft. Perhaps you put together a Star Trek Enterprise?


Rubbery Artgum erasers

After you made mistakes with all those freshly sharpened pencils, you could wipe them away with an Artgum, "the Dry Cleaner and Eraser."


Devil's food cooking in an Easy-Bake Oven

Nothing smells quite like a 100-watt lightbulb cooking cake mix.


The oily newsprint of Silly Putty

Silly Putty certainly has its own unique muddy, greasy odor, but you most likely used the gunk to lift images off a newspaper page, forever linking those two scents.


The maple oatiness of hot Maypo Cereal

As the name implied, Maypo smelled like maple syrup, which, combined with the warm cereal grains, made the perfect aroma for watching Saturday morning cartoons.


The burnt plastic of Creeple Peeple

The "Thingmaker" toy was most likely a fire hazard and not suitable for modern safety standards. You were essentially grilling plastics, and that has a sharp stench.


The notes of eucalyptus and camphor in Noxzema

Teenagers today have an array of weaponry to battle acne. Back in the day, Noxzema was our main chemical to erase zits.


The papery bubblegum of Candy Cigarettes

Dusty powdered sugar, bubblegum, flimsy paper — it had a smell, yeah, but it sure beats tar and ash.


The chemical whiff of LePage's Mucilage glue

Way, way back in the day, LePage's "fish glue" was manufactured from fish skin. That undoubtedly reeked. Later, the mucilage maker switched to chemical components, but it still had a sharp, memorable smell.


The scorched carbon and paper of cap guns

The red strip of paper ammo reminded us of a cross of fireworks and candy dots.


The inkiness of Ditto paper

Before copy machines, students and offices relied on Ditto paper to make multiple copies. The thin layer of transferring ink had a sweet smell that some found intoxicating.

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