As a kid my parents took me to the Russian Orthodox Church in Strathfield, especially at Easter and Christmas. Pine incense wafted in the church as the priest walked by.

Sunday lunches were spent at my Grandma’s. The house would be filled with the smell of Russian cooking. Particularly Russian dumplings called pelmeni. My grandma passed away 30 years ago. My father spent 60 years searching to find his brother back in Russia. He passed away in 2001. 2 years ago I found all his relatives using google and facebook.

I went to Russia and stayed with my first cousin and her family. Their whole place smelled exactly the same as my Grandmother’s in Belmore. I was instantly transported to childhood smells of good cooking and her house. They took me to their local Cathedral and it had the same pine incense smell as that of the church in Strathfield. I wouldn’t have been there for 30 years or so.

1000’s of kilometres apart smells can be exactly the same, and evoke the same response.


meaty, broth, sour cream, dil, pine incense,


Margaret G