TV Cream

Pot pourri

The smell of TV Cream

JY's mobile commode offends Terence's delicate sensibilitiesWe did the sounds a short while ago, and the politicians just before that.

But what about those particular whiffs or combinations of odours that will forever represent a nasal snort of Creamage?

Any sort of once-ubiquitous food or drink that is now discontinued would, naturally, qualify for inclusion. As such, to avoid ending up with a just a long list of consumerables, it’s probably best to try and identify more non-specific inhalations.

For starters:

A permanent marker pen in a badly-aeriated classroom

Wet anoraks being left to dry slowly on a half-painted radiator

The fabric of a seat on an overheated pre-Inter-City passenger train

A premature mid-morning waft of that day’s school dinners

The uber-cleanliness reeking inside the entrance of Wilkinson’s

A bander machine going at full pelt

Tobacco inside a cinema

A grubby plastic SMP card

Potent fruit-scented rubbers on the top of pencils

Any more?



  1. Mags

    July 13, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    The smell of vacumming and dissapating polish from an elderly relative’s house.

    The fust of a rarely used church/town hall

    The sharp smell of TCP on a graze

    A local discotheque at 5.00pm, all stale smoke and booze with a tinge of bleach

    Bonfires (usually with the smell of badly burnt sausages)

  2. Mags

    July 13, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Dad creosting the shed, then the fence, then the gate then the shed again.

  3. Ste

    July 14, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Was I the only child to search the shelves of the local library to find to the oldest, most yellowing book with the sole intention of sniffing it?

  4. Mags

    July 14, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Nope, old decaying books smell lovely

  5. Austin Maxi

    July 14, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    The smell of exhaust fumes from cars using leaded petrol.

    Also, those swiss-roll shaped rubbers had a smell of their own, not sampled since about 1982.

  6. Bob

    July 14, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    yes exhaust fumes from leaded cars

    fresh cut grass on a sunday

    the smell of wood varnish and creosote when entering your dad/gandads shed

    the smell of old spice/brut when entering the bathroom after your dad has used it after a bath

    PVA glue

    the mild but distinct aroma of balsa wood being cut when making things in school during craft time

    poster paints again during art time at school

    smell of roast beef in the kitchen wafting out up the pathway, when visiting your nans on a sunday

    pencil sharpenings when emptying your pencil sharpener or opening your pencil case at school


    farleys rusks

  7. UriGagarin

    July 15, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Playdoh, its unmistakable vaguely salt and pastry smell
    The fish-head odour of Copydex
    Airfix Glue
    The various smelling pencils,paper, rubbers all with a Pierrot theme.
    Salad Cream

  8. Martin M

    July 15, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    The sickly smell of cheap stew you’d only smell on a Sunday afternoon when venturing through a more ‘low-end’ part of town
    A spring/summer shower
    Walking past a pub doorway when you were young
    The bakelite smell of the back of a 1970’s telly
    The ‘stale biscuit’ smell of the school scruff

  9. Jason Carter

    July 16, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    The cool, crisp smell of Germolene.
    The chemically smell of handouts run up on the school’s offset litho printer.
    That odd page in every school textbook that, curiously, smelled of sick.
    Scratch ‘n’ Sniff grass from that (BBC?) experiment in smellovision.
    That warm whiff of vinyl interior and knackered leather seats when a car door opens.

  10. David Pascoe

    July 18, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    I never smelled books but was a sucker for the smell of various comics. The short lived Indiana Jones Marvel comic was the undisputed champion of lovely print smells.

  11. Foz

    August 26, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    The sharp, clinical smell of the old, carcinagenic nit ointment which actually killed the nits overnight unlike the new stuff. Those unlucky kids who got them would get called ‘fleabag’, but would get the last laugh as they were sent home from school for the rest of the day. Anyway, nits only liked clean hair, so there.

  12. stephen richards

    January 27, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    the smell of a plaster put on leg ect.

    dettol in a kidney bowl

  13. Ste

    January 28, 2010 at 12:45 am

    The smell of your very first condom…. as you stretched it over your head and tried to inflate it with your nostrils.

  14. Glam_Racket

    January 28, 2010 at 11:17 am

    The inside of a red phone box.

    Dad’s jumper/coat after a night at the local.

    Shreddies in warm milk.

    Bonfire night smell.

  15. Kitten in a Brandy Glass

    January 28, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Vesta curry from a tin.

    And Marvin glue!

  16. johnnyboy

    January 28, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    The burnt smell from the back of a cathode ray TV, especially when the Radio Rentals engineer was called out to fix said broken applaince.

  17. johnnyboy

    January 28, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    ..and pipe smoke (haven’t seen anyone smoke a pipe in years – does anyone still do it?), especially ‘Tam o’ Shanter’ tobacco that someone I knew smoked while I worked at Glasgow Airport, and no, not next to the Jet A-1 fuel!

    Flour, margarine, eggs and water being beaten to death at my mum’s kitchen in a Kenwood Chef.

    The inside of an opened cassette tape case: had an almost organic woody pong (must’ve beenthe ferrous oxide off the tape itself).

  18. Adrian

    January 28, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    One of the pupils at my school smoked a pipe, although I don’t know of anyone else who did!

  19. Austin Maxi

    January 28, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    I was thinking about this again the other day, and another smell which came to mind – and this may be difficult to describe, but I’ll give it a go – is that sort-of stale candied smell you used to get wafting around in small supermarkets, often in town centres. I don’t know exactly what was making that smell, or what other smells may have fused together to create it, but you don’t often get it any more.

    On a slightly less oblique note – Brut 33 (“Splash it all over!”)

  20. Richardpd

    October 31, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    Over-ripe bananas, my Gran’s lounge always seemed to smell of this.

    A mixture of fresh coffee & chlorine in shopping centres with a water feature.

    Engine oil & coal burning at industrial heritage museums.

    Paint drying after my parents had done some decorating.

    Two stroke oil from my friend’s motorbike, only Brut could get the smell off!

    Old man’s pubs with the mixed smell of mild beer, pipe smoke, peanuts & tweed jackets that haven’t been laundered for years.

    Biscuit tins seemed to hold the smell in for years afterwards.

    Slazenger deodorant, my brother got a set one Christmas & used to use it a lot.

    Brown sauce, some relatives seemed to have this on most meals & the kitchen always smelt of it.

    Library books that a previous borrower had smoked 200 high tar cigarettes while reading it.

    Damp garages, & most things left in them.

    Chemical toilet fluid.

    Newly printed books.

    Colour change pens from the 1980s.

    That boiling potato like smell of hops near a brewery.

    Anything from McDonalds seems to smell of the same cooking oil.

    The plywood interior of a caravan.

    Nit shampoo, that shares a smell with Joop aftershave!

    That soapy smell of small supermarkets.

    That burning hair smell from a hot hairdryer.

    Ammonia from hair products that told me my Mum had had her hair cut.

    That unpleasant smell on a hot day of a bin that needs emptying.

    The chemical smell of new cars & carpets.

    That odd mix of oil & spices in the house of someone into cooking various cuisines.

    Damp in the air when it’s about to rain on a summers day at the end of a dry spell.

    Your sister’s bedroom after she discovers the delights of the Body Shop.

    Perfume worn by an old girlfriend, when it’s worn by someone else & confuses you.

    Ironing artificial fibres with too hot an iron.

  21. Droogie

    October 31, 2021 at 1:55 pm

    I remember as a kid that the smell of seaside amusement arcades would give me such a thrilling rush. A strange metallic smell (possibly from all the coins in the machines ) mixed with the faint whiff of disinfectant on the floor from where some kid chucked his guts up from too much candy floss and hot dogs .

    • Richardpd

      October 31, 2021 at 9:59 pm

      I remember arcades on holiday always seemed to have a fug of cigarette smoke back when they allowed smoking & even stock small ashtrays to the sides of the games cabinets.

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