In the voice of a certain amorous skunk of those days, I used to call Ann by this term of endearment (which was not appreciated for either its sarcasm or the accent.) What inspired this name was a smell. And memories of smells can be misplaced, but they never die.
At the time, the wife was using a medicated shampoo, that, shall we say, did not leave her hair with a Breck Girl bounce and the fragrance of a country morning–unless that country morning was after an overnight frost in peach country or near a 1950’s road construction site.
I think most of these smelly roadside “torches” (many produced by Toledo Torch Company) burned kerosene. As a small child, they fascinated me.
However, I did not do as one metafilter commenter wrote about: he and a friend snuck marshmallows out of his house and roasted them over one of the smoky cartoon-bomb-looking things. Sticky-sweet with overtones of petroleum. Ralph.
It took me a bit to find out what these things were called (more images here), but “smudgepots” seems to have been a common name, adopted from the orchard use of similar devices.
If you’ve misplaced this particular fragrance, buy some T-gel (which I just started using last week, and hence the uncovered recollection) and enjoy the olfactory memories.