We may not even be able to recapture the smells of our childhoods, based in particular locations and characterized by long-gone things. Many scents that are already vanishing include mothballs, burning piles of leaves in autumn, typewriter ribbons, early formulas of sunscreen and the lingering smell of cigarettes. And unlike, for instance, color or music, smell isn’t broken as easily into universally accepted components.
— Read more in What Does History Smell Like? at The New York Times.