Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Follow Your Nose


I was reading a book in the park, enjoying the obvious: reading a book in the park after months’ worth of freezing various appendages off just thinking about being outside. I’ve found a place next to some wooden benches and a picnic table that smells divine when baked by the sun – brought me right back to cottage vacations when I was a child.

The company my father worked for owned cottages in various areas of Denmark and every couple of years or so, we’d get the opportunity to rent one for two weeks. We preferred the one in Djursland – it was far away from our home near Copenhagen, beautiful and my father’s family came from that area. The “far away” aspect meant a long drive (during which I often got carsick), a ferry and another (shorter) drive. The cottage was traditional, small, one level, made of wood that had been treated with something that stained it a dark colour – I assume to weatherproof it. It lay back from the road a bit on a large, rarely mown lot surrounded by pine trees – a little like this. The smell was incredible. We’d run a hose out the kitchen window for showers, eat new potatoes with parsley and cold butter for dinner, strawberries for dessert and I’d sleep in a bunk bed. I have a vague memory of the road (dirt, not paved) leading down to the beach – more mind-blowing smells. The only smell better than sun-warmed wood is ocean and sand.

I get Proust and his madeleines on a cellular level.

I have no idea where I was going before I mentioned the cottage, but if I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

What smell blisses you out?




10 comments:

Michele said...

Flowers, wind off a lake, freshly washed children, baby lotion,
baked bread right out of the oven, bbq's, wood burning (except if it's my home), scented candles,
grass in the early morning/early evening, linen, pine trees, incense, stew/chili, horse smells,
I better stop and get back to work... I'm daydreaming....sigh!

Janne (aka L'il Sis) said...

The smell of the first real summer day (yesterday), the smell of a baby's head, chocolate cake baking in the oven, the ocean, roses.
Ahhh, I feel calmer just thinking about it.

dragonridermom said...

I spent 6 short summer weeks in Denmark as a teen and I can still remember the smell of the wind from the ocean, the feel of a slight sunburn, the taste of new potatoes and the strawberries for dessert. It also seemed like everywhere there was the wonderful contrast between the the grass, the rocks and the sea....30+ years later and it is still one of my most favorite memories. If I ever get Alzheimer's I hope that memory is one of the last to go.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for bringing up those wonderful memories. I do miss the smells of Danish summer.

Nancy said...

The smell of grass after it rains, that always stops me in my tracks and takes me someplace peaceful. Oddly enough and this will remove all doubt that I'm insane, the smell of horses, manure and all. I couldn't say why but it always makes me happy.

Etherknitter said...

Freshly spread mulch, new-mown grass, flower smells on a breeze, baking cookie smells, the smell of my husband.

Janine said...

The smell of the sea, that sort of ozone smell, and freshly picked tomatoes. As a child my parents grew tomatoes commercially and the smell of wet earth in a greenhouse and tomato plants always transports me back to my childhood

Cassie said...

Pine woods. The ocean smelled from far away, before you can see it. Roses in June.

Mardel said...

I love the smell of wet rich earth. It is a smell I often take for granted, and don't always notice on a daily basis, but when I have been away someplace where that smell is not present, I really notice it when I return. The smell of earth seems very strong then and it wraps itself around me, filled with promise. I wonder how people can live without this aroma of life.

vatergrrl said...

Ozone, the smell of Puget Sound, and most of all, sawdust. I will also occasionally get a whiff of what I assume is a perfume (maybe Toujours Moi), and have the oddest sense of glimpsing a past life, or the beautiful long-ago life of someone else.