However, some said that the smell of perfume reminded of their mums. The survey was reviewed by fragrance expert Professor Tim Jacob, of the School of Biosciences at Cardiff University.
"Smells can trigger memories deep inside the brain that go back to early childhood," the Daily Mail quoted him, as saying.
"You may have been a baby in a cot with mum washing clothes next to you - the strong and distinctive smell of washing powder will bring back those memories of feeling secure, safe and loved," he added.
As regarding to the whiff that reminded people of their fathers, tobacco dominated the list beating the conventional fragrance of Old Spice aftershave lotion.
Freshly baked bread emerged to be the favourite smell, with two-third of the respondents going for the aroma. Other top smells include fish and chips, fresh air and bracing sea breezes.
Respondents also said that some smells were so powerful that they wanted to 'eat' them. Fresh air was the smell most people wanted to eat followed by newly mown grass and sea breeze.
"Freshly baked bread is a common favourite because our bodies crave carbohydrates and the whiff of bread about to be served floods our brain with "feel good" chemicals." Professor Jacob said:
"There are suggestions that smell can influence mood, memory, emotions, mate choice, the immune system and hormones. "We certainly underestimate the importance of smell to our wellbeing - just ask an anosmic, someone who has lost some or all of their sense of smell.
"Some anosmics suffer from depression and their quality of life is severely affected. At the moment there is little that can be done to help them,' he added.