If i remember my neurology, the smell centers of the brain are near those of emotional experience- and of course, animals are drawn to mates because of the smell, and are also angered by the smell of a rival, and i guess we need to remember, with great disgust, anything that made us sick, from the days of scavenging the wilds for roots and berries.
For me practically any smell from my childhood is powerfully evocative, in the good and in the bad.
The wet oak leaves that had soaked all winter under the snow, melting, refreezing, melting again, and the smell they let off in spring was like tea. I probably drink so much tea for its resemblance to the oak leaves, which probably fermented, like black tea has done.
the smell of crayola crayons, just opened, they bring me to a reverie of memories, coloring and drawing in my room, almost constantly
the smell of turpentine brings me back to art school, as if it were 40 years ago.
But as memories tied to food smells - not many there, probably because i keep eating those foods more or less. But black pepper has a smell that gave me an appetite, even if as a kid it was too hot for me. Still i remember my parents shaking on tons of it on the food, and the smell was so good, and i longed to eat it, but i didn;t like the feel on my tongue. It still spikes my appetite.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"