Monday, September 26, 2005

A Scent Map

For your consideration, today a scent map of my tiny house. From front to back:

My bedroom smells of l'Occitane Pepper Rose. It is one of the best incenses I have ever found. It's a dense dusky rose with smoky peppery undertones that stop it from being cloying. The scent lasts very well and if I burn it in the morning, it tones down through the day into a slightly musky pleasantly dusty after-image. To my immense disappointment, l'Occitane have discontinued it. I have about twenty five cones left.

My study smells very strongly of cardboard from the big piles of boxes that almost completely fill it up. They are the boxes that contain all the stuff I have removed from The Treehouse. Cardboard is an amazing smell. You've probably never thought about it, but if you were to close your eyes and I put some under your nose, you could recognize it instantly. Isn't it incredible that something so bland as cardboard should have its own unique and powerfully nostalgic smell?

My loungeroom has a complex scent that is a combination of a hint of dust, of carboard from the study and cinnamon from a jar of Atomic Fireballs next to the tv. It is a comforting and restful smell. The Atomic Fireballs were given to me as a present by Mike Axxin and Bruce Lacey, the dialogue editors I worked with on The Ring. That was a few years back. It was a couple of pounds of candy. I don't eat much candy, so it's lucky it doesn't go off in a hurry. I figure with that much sugar and the level of scorch in the cinnamon in those things, they may last for millennia. The scent of them is still so strong that if I take the lid off the jar, I can smell them for hours.

My dining room and kitchen smell, at the moment, of basil and garlic since I am just about to make some bruschetta for dinner. A little while ago the dominant aroma was curry spices from last night's chicken curry. I didn't grind my own spices, although I sometimes do since, as well as the other advantages of doing so, the smell is just incredible.

My bathroom smells of lavender hand soap and faintly of wet towels. Nothing is very dry, because it is raining outside.

My tiny backyard smells of rain on wet stone, and of murraya, faintly at the moment because the first few flowers are just starting, but as the summer draws on, it will become overpowering almost to the point of intoxicating. It is a smell that has an almost corporeal weight. The combination of wet stone and the murraya is astonishing. I reckon that if I could bottle it, I would be a millionaire.

As we age, the first sense most of us lose is that of smell. I'm trying to take as much notice of mine as I can while I've still got it.

For the sense of smell, almost more than any other, has the power to recall memories and it is a pity that you use it so little ~ Rachel Carson


Blogger Jen said...

I think I'm strange. Or perhaps I'm made out for drug abuse.

I like the smell of ozone from trains, the smell of petrol at petrol stations, the smell of gas in taxis, the smell of drug like cocoa of dark chocolate in the making.

September 26, 2005 7:22 PM  
Blogger r.fuel said...


September 27, 2005 1:21 AM  
Blogger Radioactive Jam said...

I didn't realize sense of smell is the likely first-lost. Extra noticing makes good sense, no pun intended.

And happy birthday. Hope The Cow arranges a fine day for you.

September 27, 2005 8:04 AM  
Blogger Joe Fuel said...

Wow. My nose is pretty sensitive, but I don't think I've ever been so amused by any smell. I'm glad someone is enjoying their senses to the utmost.

Happy Birthday.

September 27, 2005 8:54 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Happy Birthday!

Note - when you go to blow out the candles on Radioactive Jam's cake, don't be deterred by the missing piece.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

But, on the bright side, I'm still alive. So let's say I was the poison check.

September 27, 2005 11:03 AM  
Anonymous Cissy Strutt said...

May the warm-handed toilet monkey of love shower you with attractive smells on your birthday, may all your gifts be Innovative & your Birthday feast Organic, or at least carbon-based. Perhaps a new declaration of loyalty & friendship could be "I would eat a toad for you any day".

September 27, 2005 1:44 PM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes all. And thanks for the cake RJ, it was virtually delicious (and thanks for being the taster Jen, you are a brave girl).

September 27, 2005 5:31 PM  
Blogger weirdpixie said...

happy Solar Return, Peter-- you are really something! i totally enjoyed this post and am going to do a smell-a-thon in my own home tonite, having been inspired thusly.

September 28, 2005 10:16 AM  

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