The Timeless Smell of Shad

If there was a top 5 of smells in my record book of smells (not that I have one), the smell of shad would rank up there in the top 5 smells of all time for sure. My all-time favorite is definitely the smell of the old wooden church pews on a sunny Sunday morning in the spring. I also like the smell of a brand-new leather baseball glove and the smell of a distant campfire on a cool October morning out on the lake. My cologne collection has turned into a collection of scented memories from times past for me. I’ve got a bottle of cologne that I still wear called “The Baron”, and every sniff takes me back to 1979 and sweating in a disco. That’s the good stuff right there. There are a lot of familiar scents out there but there is one smell that hits different for many of us, and it can bring back a different kind of memory, and that is the smell of shad. I’ve always said that if women wanted a perfume to really turn a guy on, figure out a way to bottle up the smell of shad, and the guys, especially bass boat owners will just suddenly appear. It could be while you’re walking past the benches of a local shopping mall or at a parent teacher conference, but it’s bound to turn a few heads. Seriously though, if there’s one favorite scent that can bring back memories of long past days on the shores of our local lakes when I was a kid, it would be shad. Every once in a while, out on our lake I pass by an area where I get the strong scent of bait or shad and when I smell this, I can close my eyes and remember camping at local lakes in our old cabover Cameo camper and fishing for catfish with our old Zebco’s stuck in rod holders at the water’s edge. There’s not a lot of smells that can drum up some old memories like that, but the smell of shad can do the trick. The back of our house faces the east and every morning the sun rises over the creek. When the wind is out of the east during the spring and summer, it blows right down the creek from the lake and it dead ends at our house. Along with that east wind is the periodic smell of shad and to this day that smell has never gotten old. It’s almost like I’m drawn to it.

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