Recently, we’ve been chatting about the smells that we link with our childhood: nutmeg in rice pudding, lavender in Granny’s cupboard, the incomparable waft of vanilla on baking day. I remembered walking past our local bakery and being stopped in my tracks by the rich aromas of ginger, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon with a top note of cloves that drifted from the doorway. I was instantly transported back to my childhood, when I spent time in my gran’s kitchen, watching her bake gingerbread. I could hear her voice, see her red-checked curtains at the window and, above all, feel my mouth watering as I waited for the loaf to cool. What is it about smells that they have the power to unlock such powerful, deep-seated memories?