A scent can transport you overseas or back in time.
And if you grew up in Cork, or you’ve lived here for any stretch, you’ll know there are certain smells that are unique to this city.
From the sweet, malty aroma from the Beamish Brewery to the sugary notes from the Tic Tac factory (neighbours say it alternates between strawberry and candy floss notes), when we asked Yay Cork readers to share their favourite Leeside smells, we were inundated with olfactory suggestions.
If we were hosting an exhibition of smells (what a cool idea, right?) these are the first fragrances we would be including:
1. The Beamish Brewery
The sweet, malty smell of the hops is a quintessential Cork scent.
2. Lennox’s Chipper (wafting down Bandon Road)
Hot, salty and doused in tangy vinegar, on a clear day you can smell Lennox’s chips from Barrack Street on one side and the Lough on the other. Staying on this side of town, the delicious aromas wafting from the Chinese restaurant at The Lough were a popular pick too.
— John Buttimer (@johnbuttimer) December 22, 2015
3. The Gingerbread House
“Cork folk of a certain vintage will remember this one: “The smell of the Donut Man outside the Gingerbread House on Paul Street.”
4. Shandon Sweets
“The smell of brusk coming from Shandon Sweets, I was brought up next door and it brings back so many memories.” – Olivia Trought
5. City streets
“Walking around Carey’s Lane/French Church Street – coffee, food and the hairdresser’s smell from Jerry’s (RIP). – @Sineador94
6. Proper pints
“The smell of a fresh, creamy Beamish.” is a favourite of @grandyhayes. Meanwhile, @Bondgill adores the specific fragrance inside The Mutton Lane Inn.
7. Coal fires
“The smell of coal fires in the city when it rained. Strange, but I loved it!” – @katie.o.sull
8. The Crawford Art Gallery
No matter where you wander, you can always return to the Crawford Art Gallery on Emmet Place and breathe in the special, woody, leathery scent of hundreds of years of history. For the best blast, take the sweeping staircase to the first floor.
9. Spiced beef
“The smell of spiced beef in the English Market at Christmas.” – Maud Scannell
Spiced beef is a #Cork tradition that goes back centuries when the merchant ships would cure the meat for longevity. I associate it with Christmas time, the dish is firm favourite on our festive dinner plates. @EnglishMarket #Christmas pic.twitter.com/77EK7iJpgx
— Margo McGann (@McGannMargo) December 12, 2020
10. Shoe leather
“The smell of leather and glue in the Shoestrings Shoe repair shop – the nicest cobbler, and the best!” – @t3rinaobrien
11. Barrack Street in the summer
“Nothing will ever bate heading in town with the lads walking down Barrack Street on a balmy Saturday evening back in the day and the combination of smells from all the pubs in the street (many now gone) and Beamish & Crawford brewery. It was always there in the air.” – Eoin Pól O’Callaghan