I’ll admit, it’s a strange title but…

You never notice the smell in your own house, do you? You can guess at it, but it’s never as obvious as you find in other houses.

When my parents were planning the move down to Devon, they were advised by the estate agent to bake banana bread to coincide with the arrival times of people viewing our house. I’ve heard since that fresh coffee, flowers and ordinary bread work in much the same way.

When I was a kid, other people’s houses smelt of cats or bleach, sometimes Shake ’n’ Vac, nail polish remover, that sort of thing.

These days, I imagine my house to smell of – dog. I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t. There are four of them. But, especially at this time of year, there’s another smell that fills the air. And I notice it, only because it’s not there all the time. It’s like a visitor, someone from years ago, who I almost remember.

It’s been chilly, and so the radiators have been more on than not.


When I was a kid, my mother used to clean the radiators with furniture polish. When the radiators came on, the hot air would rise, and push the smell of polish out across the room. She didn’t hold with the plug-in air fresheners. Liquid that close to an electrical outlet seemed a shade too risky to be worthwhile. So, furniture polish it was.


Years later, when life got busier and convenience took over, the furniture spray was thrown over in favour of tumble dryer sheets. A couple of spring-fresh tumble dryer sheets stuffed down the radiators make the world a better place. At least, they make the sitting room a better place. As the heat kicks in and the scent bursts forth, I feel content.

And there you have it, my friends – day twenty – tumble dryer sheets in winter.