Photo courtesy of Hispanicize

Do you ever pass something that immediately transports you to your childhood and makes you feel nostalgic? Maybe a random commercial uses something that was popular decades ago to catch your attention? 

Yup, it’s happened to us too.

Nostalgia marketing is a thing. It caters to your sentimental values. It’s a “strategy of tapping into positive, familiar concepts from previous decades” to build trust for new ideas and reinvigorate modern campaigns. 

Basically, it’s hitting that memory lane that we so dearly keep close to our hearts.

You’ve seen it in remakes and reboots in pop culture. For example, take Netflix’s “Rebelde” reboot that sprinkles in memories from the 2004 original television novela. 

Almost two decades later, it seems like we hear about “Rebelde” constantly, whether in social media trends or popular songs. But there’s more that makes us Latinos nostalgic for our past. I’m talking about specific scents or objects that have been embedded in our DNA since our childhood.

Here are ten things we immediately have emotional value for, and make any Latino nostalgic.


The smell kicks in, and you immediately think of a clean household. It’s crazy that years after our parents would wake us up to clean, we can still smell it even if we haven’t been around the cleaning supply in decades.

Who knew that a smell could make us this nostalgic?

Vicks VapoRub

Vapor Rub is a staple in Latino households. You see it, and you remember the days that your abuela rubbed it on your back when you were sick.


Sábila is the go-to for home remedies. This natural medicine was the cure for many things. Besides, there is no Latin house without an aloe vera bush in the corner. 

A Cookie Tin That’s Actually A Sewing Kit

Why is this so universal? A cookie tin, specifically the  “Royal Dansk” royal blue one, always ends up full of sewing supplies. Now, as adults, we are the ones transforming cookie tins into sewing boxes. After all, being nostalgic gets worse with age.

The Last Supper Painting

Being that Latinos are traditionally so intertwined in religion, this painting, or one of Our Lady of Guadalupe, was somehow always present in the household. Although it is not an image in our homes today, we cannot stop in front of one if it crosses our path.

The Jergens All-Purpose Face Cream (yes, the one with three faces)

Every Latino mom knows about this crema. How is it so popular? 

Flaming Hot Cheetos

Somehow, hot Cheetos are synonymous with Latino culture. We’ve seen brands jump on the trend for years now.

Colorful Embroidered Bags

This specific item brings me a lot of nostalgia for our home country’s love for colors. Latinos love color, and it’s a trend that’s timeless.

Alcancías Of Random Animated Characters

Piggy banks of all kinds will make a Latino nostalgic for the one they owned as a child. Mine was designed after The Powerpuff Girls.

La cazuela

Someone was always cooking growing up, right?