Thursday 15 March 2018

Pledge Furniture Polish - My Scent Memory

So National Fragrance Week is behind us for another year but there’s one aspect of it that continues for the full twelve months, and that is #ScentMemories. It’s a way for industry insiders, perfumers, writers and also fragrance fans to talk about the perfumed memories that have made a lasting impression on them. This isn’t always a fragrance, sometimes it’s a place or an experience, because different types of smells trigger different memories. My contribution this year concerned my mother’s obsession with cleaning and, in particular, her “joined at the hip” love affair with Pledge Furniture Polish. Let me explain.

As children we are sponges for new information and experiences, often not even realising that they will have such an impact on us in the future. We don’t understand boundaries or rules or accepted ways of behaviour, so everything is a new adventure. Along the way we are exposed to sights, sounds and smells that become lodged in our memories and, whether pleasant or unpleasant, they are with us for life. My mother is incredibly house-proud and, throughout my childhood, my home was spotless. There was always a cake in case of visitors and my mother’s nets gave you snow blindness!

When I was asked for my #ScentMemories this year by The Fragrance Foundation I was reminded just how much of an impact my mother’s cleaning had on me as a child. She blitzed from top to bottom every day and was never stingy with the Pledge Furniture Polish. Of course there are other furniture polishes on the market but I’m still very loyal to that childhood favourite. If a shop smells of Pledge then I’m guaranteed to loiter. There’s something about that beeswax and aerosol scent that I find so evocative, and which instantly transports me back to a time when I had no responsibilities.

“Scent memories can come in all shapes and sizes and aren’t always associated with perfume. One of the most evocative smells for me is Pledge Furniture Polish. My mother was, and still is, a fanatical polisher and woe betide you if house keys or a wallet were left on a newly cleaned sideboard. Growing up in Wales the housewives were immensely proud of their homes and the routine of daily cleaning and tidying was entrenched in me from a very young age. I lovingly blame my mother, with a wink, for my inability to work unless my desk is clear of all clutter and any dust is swept away. Allegiance to many products and perfumes have shifted over the years but, to me, Pledge Furniture Polish is irreplaceable.”

When it comes to memories we can be prodded into recalling by numerous things, not just scent, although fragrance does appear to have a particular effect upon many of us. Childhood is always something that is recalled through a haze so perhaps that it why the transitory nature of scent fits it so perfectly. To read more #ScentMemories you can visit and see if you share any of the fragrance favourites.


  1. I remember the scent of Pledge as a child. It meant the chores were done, we would get our allowance or we could go out and play. With all the retro merchandising going on, I really think they are missing an oppurtunity to make some money. I quit buying Pledge when they went lemon. I use a more expensive product, but while it seems to work the same, it does not fulfill the smell factor. Please revive these memories again!

    1. Hello Mary, I still buy the original Pledge which has a very similar scent. It might be worth looking around, and it might even make the chores a little more fun. Best, Stephan

  2. If memory serves, the original Pledge (brown can from the 80s) fragrance smelled like ginger. Does anybody remember this?