Sunday, April 4, 2010

An East Coast Smellscape at Easter

A thirty-minute stroll around the neighborhood late on a balmy Easter afternoon. A rare day of quiet and color; flowering trees at their peak. The lightest of breezes sliding scented blocks of air across yards and streets.

I walk through a tasty plume—the chef up the block is cooking lamb on a charcoal grill in his backyard. I envy his guests: they laugh as they enjoy his wine and anticipate the main course.

The sidewalk follows a pruned wall of mountain andromeda; clusters of tiny white bells give off a sweet scent mixed with something lower and heavier that always puzzles me. Today I figure it for a mix of pyrazines—almost the character of roasted corn kernels.

Down a side street and I’m submerged in fabric softener fragrance venting from someone’s dryer.

A cottontail freezes on a shady lawn.

Around another corner and through a curtain of light sweetness from the pinkish white saucers on a magnolia, overlapping the fresh waxiness of yellow daffodils massed in a flower bed.

The promise of renewal fulfilled.

12 comments:

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

Dearest, how nice to read this! :-)
I traveled to the country side - smell of grass, cedar, wild flowers, dusty roads, asphalt, chocolate eggs, barbecue, beers and fun. And the smell of rain...lots of rain....
Irises are blooming like crazy in this house!!!

xxoo

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

Dearest, how nice to read this! :-)
I traveled to the country side - smell of grass, cedar, wild flowers, dusty roads, asphalt, chocolate eggs, barbecue, beers and fun. And the smell of rain...lots of rain....
Irises are blooming like crazy in this house!!!

xxoo

Ed C said...

Rochester is only just hinting at spring. I saw my first flowering tree of the year today - a white dogwood. I stuck my nose into a blossom and was surprised that it smelled a little like jasmine and a little like honeysuckle. I've never gotten close enough in previous years to notice. Is this usual with dogwoods or could this be a special variety?

Avery Gilbert said...

+Q Perfume Blog:

Hmmm . . . I think my aversion to white "chocolate" comes from eating Easter bunnies made of it as a kid.

Blech.

Avery Gilbert said...

Ed C:

My impression is that dogwood scent doesn't carry very far; you almost have to achieve floro-nasal contact.

Nukapai said...

I can't really enjoy white chocolate because I am surrounded by cocoa butter at work and the two are not that far apart. If I bite into a white chocolate bar I always get an initial hit of "eww, I've bitten into a massage bar" -moment.

P.S. I've just spent my Easter at the annual British science fiction convention and attended a great whisky-tasting session with author Iain M. Banks. I recommended your book to him. He seems to be fascinated by flavour. Don't know if you've ever read his works, but do give it a go! The latest book Transition has just been launched.

~x~ said...

quiet and color.
good album title.
ever thought about *writing*
(hilarious?)

truly lovely.

Avery Gilbert said...

Nukapai:

Science fiction and whiskey tasting. Sounds good, although I'll settle for a single malt and a good cigar out on the patio.

Vis a vis white chocolate, there's also strange note in bourbon (e.g., Jim Beam) which puts me off. I'll take a look at your man Banks to see what he says. Thanks for the tip.

Avery Gilbert said...

~x~:

Feel free to use it. Just send me a copy of your album.

~x~ said...

shamsiruhe.com
free record
different name

don't say i never gave you nothin

Avery Gilbert said...

~x~:

Hmm. I like.

~x~ said...

now i feel good.