From the yeasty warmth of freshly baked bread to the clean, summery haze of lavender flowers, we all have favorite smells we find particularly comforting. What’s yours?
I have a herb garden, not because of the smells, but for cooking. Ok, it is nice to have the scent of rosemary, basil and thyme wafting through the air, but it is not such a big deal. The herbs grow every year generally. Some do not, such as the Rosemary, I cover it with a warm cloth in the Winter, even put it under plastic, and have an encouraging conversation.
“Come on Rosemary, I know your feet are cold, but only another month and the spring has arrived. Do not give up now, I need you for my roasted lamb.”
“Forget it Mrs. Angloswiss, my stalks are freezing and covered with snow. There are icicles hanging from my needles. I am not ready for this. I was kidnapped. I should be spreading my roots somewhere in Mediterranean regions. I was not meant for a Swiss life” and with that my rosemary gave up the ghost and breathed her last scent.
I replaced my rosemary and yes, bingo! She grew five years in my garden, thanks to mild winters and rewarded me with flowers. This was two years ago and her flowers were just a goodbye to Swiss conditions. Now I have two rosemary plants. I will probably have to give them mouth to mouth resuscitation if I want them to survive the next winter, or buy a new one in the supermarket.
Freshly mowed grass is also a scent I like, the problem being when one neighbour mows his lawn, so do the others: a mass mowing session. The complete area smells of freshly cut grass, it is overpowering. There is always an advantage in doing things in small measures.
Living in an agricultural area the air is abound with the scent of cow dung, gas fumes from the famer’s tractor and b-b-q smoke when the grilling season is upon us. I do not grill, but the neighbours do. I do not need to grill, I capture the inviting smell of sizzling meat in the atmosphere from the others. Sometimes when a neighbour does not have her grill under control, I am almost suffocated by smoke and the smell of burnt flesh. Oh to live in the country.
The big deal is in spring and autumn. In spring the famer wants to plant his crops and in autumn they are harvested and the ground must again be prepared for the next sewing session. It is nature’s way to recycle, nature wastes nothing. For this reason the famers have prepared a mixture of rotting organisms, liquefied to fit in the tank on the muck spreader. Some call it fertiliser. The muck in liquid form is sprayed on the surrounding countryside to be sure of a good harvest: tall strong plants and sturdy ears of wheat. Yes the cows also add their contribution to the mixture. Oh, for a country life. The farmer is very generous with his liquid fertiliser and the complete village shares in the wonderful aroma. Unfortunately it is a conspiracy and every rural village in the area does its best. It is a competition to see which village wins with the strongest smell.
Life is not only filled with such negative smells. I remember the day when I thought it would be a good idea to bake my own bread. It was not something new, I had done it before, and every good obedient Swiss housewife bakes her own Zopf for Sunday. Being only 50% Swiss I was not so good at this. However, home baked bread is a delight to the nose. It is even shared with the neighbours and they realise that Mrs. Angloswiss is a perfect housewife when the scent evolves from her kitchen window. As I was too lazy to do it all the time, I dropped a small hint, and son No. 2 presented me with a bread baking machine. I love machines, so I decided yes, I would do it even if it did not have a logitech mouse. I must say I did it for at least a couple of months. Just throw the flour and yeast in the machine with some liquid, switch it on and return when the bell rings. It was perfect, but….. yes, the bread was always the same shape and using electricity. Mrs. Angloswiss did her best. I still have the bread baking machine, it is in the cellar. One day I will use it again, of course.
I remember my first encounter with a certain plant. It was in a Swiss mountain restaurant where we were spending a holiday. I noticed a strange smell, almost irritating. I looked at Mr. Swiss and asked “can you smell it?”. “What” he answered. I continued “It smells like cat piss” (sorry but I could not find a better word). Mr. Swiss turned his head and said “it is that young lady who is smoking a joint on the next table”. My first encounter with the smell of “weed” but even that is a product of nature. I now recognise the smell and even had a few plants in the garden, but they were unfortunately mostly male plants, the weedy ones with no leaves. The female sort are very pretty and bushy.
My favourite smell? I have no time for smells, am busy writing my prize winning blog.
Daily Prompt: Nosey Delights – Oh for the refreshing pure country air