We tend to underestimate our sense of smell and the pleasure it can give us. The power of smell to evoke wonderful memories and transport us to a happy place is unique. Without our sense of smell, every meal would taste the same. Fragrances are part of what defines the places we love best. A smell with good associations gives us a good feeling, sometimes without us even knowing why. Just thinking about my favorite fragrances takes me back. No wonder people swear by aromatherapy…
Freshly cut grass
This is a fragrance that most of us love for its wonderful freshness. This clean and sunny smell is a winner – and you can have it all year round with vetiver essential oil, made from a grass native to India.
Bread hot from the oven
This is a rustic, homey aroma that few people can resist. Newly-baked bread has a smell so appetizing that hard to believe that it’s just flour and yeast.
This isn’t to everyone’s taste, but to those of us who love our pets, it smells of love, loyalty and devotion. Or another... what pet lover can resist puppy breath?
The leaves of some geranium species (actually they’re pelargoniums) yield a complex fragrance that is part rose, part citrus, part pepper. Not too sweet, not too earthy, geranium oil combines the best of many fragrances.
Freshly washed cotton
It helps if it’s dried outside in the sunshine, in which case cotton sheets and linen have the cleanest, freshest smell you could wish for. There’s nothing to beat climbing into bed and breathing the smell in as you drift off…
Chanel No. 5
This best-selling perfume has timeless appeal. Sophisticated without being pungent, it’s soft, feminine and classic. No-one really knows the recipe but its notes are said to include rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang and neroli.
Again, it’s not for everyone, but for fans it’s pure heaven. The strange thing about garlic is that it smells so good while frying in the pan but so awful on the breath…
A good red wine
I’m far from being a wine connoisseur and I can’t detect the notes that the wine boffins claim to discern from a careful sniffing. I just know that there’s a richness and depth and an infusion of sunshine in the bouquet of a glass of good red wine.
I don’t like fragrances that are too sweet and sickly, so carnations do it for me. It’s that slightly, spicy, peppery smell that sets them apart from most other floral fragrances.
The world after rain
Unless you’re in the middle of the city (in which case the smell is of dirty streets) then there’s a cleanliness and purity in the air after a good rainstorm.