There is one scent memory that is forever connected to Christmas for me and it’s the scent of mandarin peel. My family has a tradition of serving mandarins after Christmas dinner. The sweet, fruity, very juicy notes are forever connected to the wintery Russian Christmas. And every time we celebrate Christmas, it brings me right back to where I grew up.
I was a well behaved child, generally speaking, but at the age of two I had one day of behaving badly.
The coup de grâce on my trail of unexpectedly naughty acts (stepping into a bucket of soapy water in my socks and shoes, squirting orange squash over the breakfast table…) was to pick buds off our beautifully aromatic mock orange bush and shove them up my nose so I could carry the fragrance around with me. This still seems quite reasonable. I was hurled into the pram with my baby sister and pushed at a sprint to the doctor’s surgery.
Despite the indignity of having them picked out of my nose with tweezers, the fragrance of the mock orange remains one of my favourites.