Smelling Exercise : Perfume Around You

In Workout for the Nose : How to Improve Your Sense of Smell I outlined several exercises that will improve your sense of smell. They are guaranteed to give results if you devote at least some time to smelling consciously. But  as I’ve found in my own training, the best results come from doing these exercises with someone else. Not only do you get more motivated to follow through, but you also learn from the observations of others.

chestnuts

So, let’s devote this week to the most basic–and the most effective–smelling exercise. It involves noting the scents you encounter in your day-to-day life and writing them down at the end of each day this week. We can then comment on each other’s fragrant experiences, share our own, and learn to use our noses more often.

The thread will be on the front page of Bois de Jasmin for the whole week; the regular posts will resume on Monday,  May 19th. You can add notes on what you smelled anytime you wish and however often you want. Pay attention to everything you smell, the good and the bad. If you pass by a flower bush, take a deep inhale. Before you eat your food or drink your tea, note the scent. It may feel self-conscious and unnatural at first, but even after a couple of days, you will crave your fragrant stimulation.

In sharing your notes, you can start simply by listing what you smelled: tar on the road, freshly brewed coffee, wet grass. Or you can be more descriptive. The idea is not to be a wordsmith or impress each other by detecting the minute nuances, but just to smell. And to have fun doing it!

Of course, if you have any questions, please ask them in the comments section. I’ll be sharing my own scented notes each day too. Shall we stop and smell the roses (or in my cases, chestnut blossoms)?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, Kyiv’s famous chestnut trees are in bloom at last.

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189 Comments

  • Victoria: I’ll start with my scented encounters I wrote down the other day, just to show how I keep my diary. Yours can be shorter or longer; a list of smells or a list with more detailed descriptions; notes, questions, anything you wish.

    The goal is just to smell consciously and to recall scents, and nothing gets you there faster than keeping notes. You’ll see after a week how much more attuned to smells you’ll be. I don’t keep a scented diary every day, but I try to do it for at least one week a month to give my nose and brain a good workout.

    -green tea with toasted rice grains
    -oatmeal with scalded milk and honey–smells so warm and comforting, this needs to be its own perfume!
    -damp wood in the living room, there is a spot where dampness always collects
    -lilac and chestnut blossoms. I enjoyed taking apart the scent of chestnut blossoms. Kyiv has so many varieties, and they all smell slightly differently. The regular white colored blossoms have a sweet, starchy scent. It smells of milky, green jasmine and a dose of talcum powder.
    -pungent smell of cigarette smoke
    -the stair landing smells of onion peels, buckwheat and fried bacon.
    -sunflower seed sellers–toasted, sweet, slightly burnt smell, addictive
    -Cacharel Amor Amor on a girl waiting for a bus
    -something like Acqua di Gio on a bus driver, worn in massive quantities
    -church incense smells like smoked black pepper! May 12, 2014 at 7:22am Reply

    • Victoria: And when we come back tomorrow and later this week to add more scented notes, why don’t we add them under our original comments. May 12, 2014 at 8:53am Reply

    • Victoria: vanilla and nutmeg of my grandmother’s Easter breads

      spring morning freshness

      wet lilacs

      metallic smell of a moldy lemon that was hiding in the back of our fridge May 13, 2014 at 3:50am Reply

    • Victoria: Another day:

      instant coffee diluted with hot milk–sweet, toasty, almost burnt

      lilacs, lilacs, lilacs

      Wild roses that smell metallic and fruity

      Sour sweat covered up with citrusy cologne on someone on the bus

      Freshly baked bread near a bakery

      A big cloud of something cherry-vanilla in the street May 14, 2014 at 5:53pm Reply

    • Victoria: Today was easily the best smelling day I’ve had in a long while:

      Roses–honeyed, sweet, citrusy, creamy

      Coffee–toasty, burnt, caramel like

      Croissant–buttery, nutty, milky

      Bread and olive oil–creamy and peppery, hazelnut like and green

      Jasmine–indolic and apricot like

      A whiff of Chanel Allure May 15, 2014 at 6:38pm Reply

      • Victoria: My Friday scents:
        –thyme and rosemary in the air
        –coffee
        –butter and orange juice–creamy and zesty
        –cigarette smoke mixed with perfume and roses
        –strong fougere perfume on a man in line
        –public bathroom at the airport–ammonia and sulphur, pretty awful
        –a cloud of mixed perfumes at the duty-free shop
        –strawberries
        –warm cat
        –smell of rice cooking on the stair landing May 17, 2014 at 7:07am Reply

    • Victoria: Saturday:
      freshly baked baguettes and the general pastry shop aroma–butter, yeast, hazelnuts and cream

      gritty, metallic, green, sour, sweet, pungent, woody, smoky–scent of the city in the morning

      faint cigarette smoke

      strawberries and yogurt–creamy, sweet, acidic, green apple-like, orange blossom-like

      sweat and stale cigarette smoke on a guy sitting next to me

      a mix of perfumes from my testing session–all together they smell of clove, vanilla, starchy-metallic aldehydes, woods, amber, musk. Not unpleasant

      baked wood — the usual smell of my apartment once it gets warm in the sun

      Eau de Narcisse Bleu on my husband–wonderful May 18, 2014 at 4:45am Reply

    • Victoria: Sunday:
      –soft aldehydic-floral blast from the dryer vent

      –boiled potatoes with dill

      –green tea leaves after they’ve been sitting for a while smell nutty, a little bit musty and sweet. I didn’t notice it before, but today I sniffed them before making a fresh pot of tea and was surprised by this change. When freshly brewed, this tea smells of spinach and seaweed.

      –a tuna can that exploded. Not the best scented experienced. Fishy is an understatement.

      –moldy lemon and wilted lettuce leaves, as I clean out the fridge.

      –strawberries with honey and yogurt–good enough to be its own perfume

      –bitter chocolate, very animalic, but also fruity May 18, 2014 at 2:45pm Reply

  • James1051: R. Fortunei in bloom. Fragrant rhododendron. Not sure how to describe it. Has any perfumer ever taken a stab at it? May 12, 2014 at 7:23am Reply

    • Theresa: The only fragrant rhododendron I am aware of – a huge white thing – smells like root beer to me. May 12, 2014 at 2:48pm Reply

  • Hannah: Sometimes I wish my sense of smell was worse. I’m really sensitive to food smells.
    Yesterday a plate of cheese and cold meats was set in front of me and it was terrible.
    I recently got a sample of Dark Angels facial cleanser from Lush and I love smelling it.
    My favorite thing about ironing is that ironing smell. May 12, 2014 at 7:50am Reply

    • rosarita: I love that ironing smell! May 12, 2014 at 7:52am Reply

      • Zazie: ladies, you are almost giving me motivation to iron…almost!!
        ( I usually go around with wrinkled tshirts…I live under the illusion that people will believe my garments got their wrinkles after I’ve put them on! Shameful, I know.) May 12, 2014 at 8:53am Reply

        • Victoria: Same here! I never iron, that’s my husband’s job, but I’m now tempted to give it a try just to experience the ironing smell. :) May 12, 2014 at 8:56am Reply

          • Hannah: It’s part of my job (as in my employment) to iron t-shirts bedazzled with rhinestones and it’s terrible. Once you get used to it and you’re ironing clothes that lay flat (unfortunately I’m ironing clothes for a 6 year old, so lots of embellishments, ruffles, rouching, buttons, etc), it’s kind of relaxing. But first I had to suffer through dirty water from the iron spilling onto clothes, burning holes, burning myself, ironing wrinkles into the clothes, etc.
            I hang all of my clothes, and they’re not usually wrinkled. After I leave I hope to never iron again.
            I’ve heard the Narciso Rodriguez perfume in the metallic bottle smells like ironing but I forget what it’s like. May 12, 2014 at 12:46pm Reply

            • rosarita: You are so right, that fiddly kind of ironing is torture! My husband likes to wear long sleeved button down shirts with pockets, and they just look better ironed. It’s a labor of love but happily pretty mindless, too :-) I hang my stuff up, I’m not picky. May 12, 2014 at 2:19pm Reply

    • Hannah: Most of these involve perfume in some way, but last night I washed my hair with coconut oil shampoo, which smells like coconut, and used my black soap, which I think smells like playdoh and coffee. Then after I steamed my face with tea tree oil and an oil that is a mix of oils but it advertises itself as rose oil so it smells like roses, but is also a bit fruity. I used my Dark Angels cleanser, which is very earthy and dirt-y smelling. I also think it smells a bit like Earl Grey, so I think the ”parfum” listed includes bergamot. Then I put a rose cream over my poor little stress acne scars.
      That was my evening of scents!

      Today so far I had sage tea and I smelled the neighbor’s flowers. May 13, 2014 at 4:37am Reply

    • Karen: Scorched linen! Memories of summers at my grandmother’s, cherry and crabapple, irises and new hay.
      Today it was wet concrete, wet earth, worms and flowering trees. Do maples or walnuts have fragrant flowers? They were all I could see. May 14, 2014 at 11:37pm Reply

    • Hannah: Yesterday I went to an Ethiopian restaurant. I wasn’t thinking about this exercise at the time so I wasn’t trying to pick out individual scents but I do still remember some of them. I had a big platter with a bunch of different things but I clearly remember the squash with cardamon, clove, cinnamon. The injera had a sour scent.
      I wanted to do the coffee ceremony because I knew it’d include incense, but I decided against it because my dad’s visit has already been extravagant enough. Luckily, the ceremony isn’t in another room and someone else was having the ceremony. I believe it was myrrh!
      Then we ordered coffee. Of course I smelled the coffee while I waited for the leaf to flavor the coffee. It smelled great!
      The little sugar pot definitely smelled resinous. I don’t know if the sugar was put in something that holds incense, or if the little jar is made of a resin.
      The meal definitely could inspire a perfume!

      Other scents from yesterday….
      the Cologne cathedral
      Aachener Printen, a gingerbread specialty from Aachen. May 19, 2014 at 7:56am Reply

  • rosarita: I am making a practice of sitting outside and concentrating hard on what I hear and smell. This weekend: green sappy maple seeds & leaves overhead, apple blossom, mown grass, faint gasoline from the mower, newly planted onion sets, a marvelous smelling bush as a municipal planting: clusters of tiny white blossom that smelled both sweet and spicy, like a cross between wild rose & mild carnation. Wish I knew what it was. Bradford Pear trees in bloom, faintly petroleum in scent, a shame bcs they’re so pretty! May 12, 2014 at 8:03am Reply

    • Kate: Could that be viburnum? Were the clusters kind of spherical? May 12, 2014 at 9:09am Reply

      • rosarita: Yes, and the buds were pink but the flowers were white. Off to look up viburnum, thanks! May 12, 2014 at 2:14pm Reply

        • Deborah Anne Oney (Annie): Probably cow’s eye viburnum? May 12, 2014 at 9:01pm Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: I always smell at everything, but never wrote it down. There are so many smells around me every day, but here are some of them today:
    Strong Arabica coffee with roasted brown bread made a nice perfume together with the orange peels from yesterday
    my bathsoap Très Chic Vinolia
    talcum powder Etos for babies
    Cat’s box: Oscar’s poop smells a little bit cheesy
    My books. Unlike many others, I don’t like the smell of old books.
    My Guhl shampoo (peach)
    A sample of Coco Noir
    Oscar’s fur smells like honey
    Yesterday I smelled Coco Mademoiselle 2 times in A’dam. The first time I recognized it immediately, on the other lady it was spicy, a little bit like Aromatics Elixir but weaker. She told me it was Coco Mlle! I was surprised. May 12, 2014 at 8:11am Reply

    • Jillie: What’s the Etos baby powder like, Cornelia? Is it a good substitute for Johnson’s? Does it have vanilla in it?

      Sometimes my cats’ poop smells like jasmine! I’m not boasting, honestly, especially as at other times it stinks. I learnt not too long ago that jasmine (and other white flowers) can smell “faecal”, and there have been times when I have walked by a jasmine in full flower and thought “that smells like cat poop”.

      Patou’s Sira des Indes reminds me of cat poop! May 12, 2014 at 10:57am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Etos talc has a very faint smell, that’s why I can use it with every perfume. it smells chalky.

        You have a nice perfumed house when Symba (or Charles?) have visited the cat’s box!
        Sira des Indes smells to my nose as banana.
        I can smell the faecal side of jasmine in Joy, especially in the vintage version.
        Have a nice day! May 12, 2014 at 11:13am Reply

        • Jillie: Yes, banana, that’s the note I was puzzled about in Sira!

          You have a good day too. May 12, 2014 at 11:28am Reply

      • Victoria: Figuring out how the bad (or conventionally thought of as bad) smells break down is even more interesting. For instance, as I discovered working in my grandmother’s garden, rotting wood can smell of chocolate! And of course, chocolate smells so animalic and dirty, especially the bitter kind that doesn’t have much any added flavors. May 12, 2014 at 11:28am Reply

        • Jillie: You are absolutely right! I have a sneaky liking for the smell of foxes, which most people find horrible. To me it is a bit like coffee and hops. May 12, 2014 at 11:30am Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: Not to mention French cheese (or Limburgse kaas from the Netherlands) and sweating feet. May 12, 2014 at 12:25pm Reply

  • Michaela: I’m not sure I understood well. Is it OK if I note what scents I remember at the end of each day?

    For today I can recall:
    - a new hoya flower opened this morning for me and I rushed to smell it (jasmine – like, very fragrant, like this one: http://hoyor.net/en/showspecies.php?id=50)
    - cinnamon, star anise and cloves – the 3 spices I decided to smell today
    – coffee
    – dust in the elevator
    – locust (heavenly scent!) and dog rose blossoms in the street
    – fresh wet grass
    – peony flowers
    – strong terrible house cleaner smell somewhere in the street
    – my dogs food for the morning: boiled whole rice (I strongly dislike its smell), fresh home-made kefir (gorgeous), fresh parsley (quite unique) and turmeric (I love this one, too)
    – tea tree and geranium soap
    – a rose attar, my perfume choice at least today
    – dust again, in the subway
    – red fragrant apple
    – intoxicating sencha tea
    – cigarettes in the pack, then cigarette smoke May 12, 2014 at 8:35am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes! If you can, try to note smells during each day this week and then write them down. But even if you just write down the smells from a part of your day (say, just what you remembered in the morning), it’s already great. May 12, 2014 at 8:46am Reply

    • Michaela: Some more scents in the evening:
      - grated carrots, celery and beets
      - hoya shepherdii, brevialata, Mathilde and fungii flowers (strange, I never noticed last year the smell of high quality cocoa powder of h. fungii; I used to clasify my hoya flowers scents in jasmine – like or rose – like, but they are all so different and recognizable); murraya flower – strong jasmine scent; geranium leaves
      - vetiver – patchouli, lemongrass and tea tree – geranium homemade soaps, calendula and chamomille cream. May 13, 2014 at 3:35am Reply

    • Michaela: As I wrote down my notes yesterday night, I realize how repetitive this experience could be. I’ll try to keep the long story short here and not to write again the daily smells I remember in the evening, but I already mentioned. Every day of this week, I won’t miss: coffee, ground and brewed, my homemade soaps, my hoyas and murraya flower, kefir (which I make on daily basis), sunflower honey, cigarettes, boiled rice, turmeric, raw or steamed meat (or organs), some grated vegetables, parsley and garlic and ground pumpkin seeds, my 2 dogs scents (slightly different, but, thank God, faint), my dogs supplements (liver and pollen aromas), hot computers in the office, especially in the afternoon, dish-washing liquid, scented candle (honey and chocolate, not bad). The next scents won’t miss me: various bathroom and kitchen cleansers they use at the office (which all make me sick); too much cigarette smoke, dust.

      So, for Tuesday:
      -vanilla sticks, ground cumin, black cumin (the last one smells non-edible for me)
      - jasmine bush, thuja rubbed leaf, dianthus, pine resin
      - cold fresh morning air, spell destroyed as cars pass by (burnt gas heavy smell)
      - ScentStory 24 Gold, in the elevator (I happen to know this sweet sparkling amber, as I have a full bottle and loved it very much this winter; Chopard Casmir – type, not well-behaved); a neighbour of mine owns another perfume, twin scent
      - banana, fresh green cabbage, dill, cumin, olive oil, green onion, vinegar, Roquefort cheese
      - leather, in a shoe shop
      - sandalwood and rose incense, burnt to get rid of mosquitoes
      - wet laundry, washed with soapnuts
      - cut grass, dried in the sun, lake smell, in the park
      - herbal tea: a lot of plants mixed (about 15) end up smelling almost like chamomile
      - perfumes: a rose attar during the day (powerful, rich, addictive, yet very close to the skin); Madame Rochas sample I tried at bed time (good tenacity and presence, warm and sweet scent, I wouldn’t wear it though) May 14, 2014 at 4:37am Reply

    • Michaela: Wednesday:
      - vanilla, black cumin, cloves, cinnamon
      - rain on the pavement
      - wet dogs
      - scented blue iris flower, in the street – I spend some good minutes with my nose into that flower, gorgeous scent!
      - Jacomo Silences
      - dark chocolate with ginger and lemon
      - red apple, banana May 14, 2014 at 4:57am Reply

    • Michaela: Wednesday, again:
      - grapefruit leaves, slightly rubbed
      - marjoram, rosemary, basil, dried
      - cucumbers
      - mulled wine with star anise, cinnamon, a touch of cardamom and honey
      - unscented candle, burning
      - fennel
      - perfume samples in the evening: J.P. Gaulthier Le Male (some sweet plastic this time on my skin) and Jacomo de Jacomo (this one is the single perfume which makes me see something, and it is a camp fire somewhere in the mountains, on a full moon cool night, with sparks, and burnt wood smell); too manly, I don’t think I’d wear them, though I adore Jacomo. May 15, 2014 at 3:34am Reply

    • Michaela: Thursday and Friday:
      - orange peel
      - hot chicken soup near some appartments – weird choice at 6:30 a.m.
      - sea buckthorn oil
      - Bulgari Eau Parfumee au The Vert
      - raw mushrooms, ginger
      - rucola leaf, nutty scent
      - thuja resin
      - nail polish remover
      - garbage
      - sugary perfume in the subway station and another one, watery; both too strong;
      - Rochas Tocade and ET Black Pearls samples – nice sweetness
      - cajun seasoning
      - cold night air
      - sour cherry and blackcurrant syrups – my childhood scents May 16, 2014 at 4:03am Reply

    • Michaela: I’m so amused to imagine the whole scene: some individuals (us) one would call normal, suddenly sniffing at everything like hound dogs, day after day, all day long, in various parts of the world. Funny. May 16, 2014 at 4:12am Reply

    • Michaela: Week-end (so rich in scents):
      - gasoline
      - garden treasures: roses, irises, common elder blossoms, willow blossoms (a scent resembling fenugreek mixed with linden), locusts, jasmine, sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, lovage, fresh mint
      - soft drink made of elder blossoms
      - barbecue, summer squash, garlic
      - nail polish
      - Halston Z-14
      - wet wood
      - Bois de Roses, vetiver and nard essential oils
      - wet grass crushed under our feet
      - slighltly fragrant white small flowers on a bush in the street, polen. May 19, 2014 at 3:07am Reply

    • Michaela: As a matter of fact… the list is getting longer, day by day. I’m amazed. Thank for this game, I had a wonderful time reading everybody’s posts. I don’t feel scent-wiser after this week but I loved smelling so much! May 19, 2014 at 4:25am Reply

      • Victoria: Sounds great! If your list is getting longer, it means that you’re noticing more around you. And this, along with smelling a lot and smelling consciously, is the goal of this exercise. At first, it might take some effort to remind yourself to smell, but after a while, you just do, without even having to write anything down. May 19, 2014 at 4:41am Reply

  • Karima: Smells at home yesterday (rained all day):
    Freshly licked cat fur
    Fried bacon wafting in from the neighbors
    Ironing – agree with Hannah and rosarita
    Tomatoes on the vine
    Patchouli and sandalwood bath essence
    Truffle oil (almost prefer it to real truffles)

    and…
    Vintage Mitsouko on my skin (does anyone else get maple syrup?)
    Vintage Jolie Madame from a small bottle scored during a spontaneous visit to a fleamarket! May 12, 2014 at 8:35am Reply

    • Victoria: Some vintage perfumes do have that note to me, but it might be because of age. Not that it’s a bad thing. In some cases, it even adds something special to the fragrance. :) May 12, 2014 at 3:18pm Reply

  • sarah: Smells noticed during the last couple of days:
    The floral mix of my teenage daughters’ perfume in the morning: Stella McCartney and Anaïs Premier Delice
    Catshit-like extremely sour smell of a milk carton left out for recycling
    Moldy, sour cellar smell of a leather jacket at a fleamarket
    Remains of Do Son the day after use May 12, 2014 at 8:36am Reply

    • Victoria: The sour cellar smell is one of my favorites. It sounds odd, but it’s really evocative to me. May 12, 2014 at 3:21pm Reply

      • Sarah: You like that? The smell of corked wine and mold? It’s one of the “bad” smells I am really sensitive to. Really hate it, no just rinsing the glass after corked wine, it practically needs to be sterilized.

        Anyway, more everyday scents:
        The almost spearmint scent of balsam poplars in bloom
        The sharp, green smell of spring (nettles and weeds, in particular)
        A split open bag of brown sugar emanating all its dark sweetness.
        I’ve been baking so much I hardly notice the fresh bread scent, only that of yeast on my fingers, damp and slightly sour. May 13, 2014 at 4:10pm Reply

        • Michaela: I like the yeast scent very much, and the fresh bread scent is one of my absolute favorites. I wonder if there is anyone on earth who doesn’t love it. May 14, 2014 at 5:02am Reply

  • Zazie: The past weekend has been full of exciting smells.
    + smelling different carnations at a flower exhibition. The smell was much stronger, sugary and clove-like than I rembered. Not sure I liked it. Surprised.
    + smelling the peonies I bought at the exhibition. Salty, vanillic, strange. Not at all floral. Quite unpleasant.
    + Smelling the smell of summer in my tiny hometown. I cannot describe it, but I recognize it.
    + the “gnoccata” fair i attended offered a mixture of smells: gnocchi, of course, which smelled sweet and fruity to me, the smell of clean shampoo from the lady in front of me, the faint smell of excrements left by the horses and donkeys at the parade. May 12, 2014 at 8:47am Reply

    • Victoria: I want all of these scented experience, especially the “gnoccata” fair! :) May 12, 2014 at 3:21pm Reply

  • Kate: This morning:

    Sweaty smell of our sheets — we need to wash them!

    Still-cool air coming in through the kitchen window, smelling green and oxygenated from the trees and shrubs breathing all night in our backyard.

    The dry hot smell of ground coffee and then the more acidic smell of coffee brewing (I use a drip pot and pour by hand).

    Intense, dumped-it-on-my-head cologne — juniper and plastic — from a guy walking by.

    Crabapple bloom at the bus stop, my absolute favorite floral smell, dusty-sweet, almost like stones.

    Many layers of stale, old cigarette smoke on a person on the bus.

    Hot asphalt, salty and stinging, from road work near my job.

    The smell of my office — paper, dust, a little bit of cardamom and beeswax from a scented candle I keep around but don’t light. May 12, 2014 at 9:04am Reply

    • Victoria: You can almost envision the scene through the scent descriptions.

      I never thought of hot asphalt as salty, but you’re so right! May 12, 2014 at 3:23pm Reply

  • Elizabeth: -My coffee smells like slightly-burned chocolate
    -Someone on the bus yesterday wore a very large dose of Terre d’Hermes.
    -The peonies at the corner deli, with their lightly citrus-rosy smell.
    -The hallway of my building smells damp from the rain
    -The air already smells like early summer, warm and green
    -Except when it smells sour from the garbage piled up on the sidewalk May 12, 2014 at 9:10am Reply

    • Victoria: Ah, the sour garbage smell. Yes, I encountered it too today. At one point, it smelled like papaya, which makes me recall that many tropical fruits have a note of rot and decay. May 12, 2014 at 3:24pm Reply

      • Courant: We took our kids (and ourselves funnily enough) to tahiti’s Club Med a couple of times. The tropics, the embryo of Songes, does often smell of rotting fruit. I simply could not get enough of the smells at breakfast time. French perfume from the guests and cheeses, so many cheeses, coffee, fruits, bacon, maple syrup, Japanese breakfast tables, dirt, squalor, sand, salt, lobster, ciggys, sex, and children’s dummies, toys, talcum, diesel,LPG,…..too many, I was in heaven May 15, 2014 at 1:53am Reply

  • Jan Last: Wild chokecherry blossoms, which are only at their peak for one day, it’s a citrus smell which moves into a dense pollen smell the next day.

    Wet rocks in the rock garden, with that wonderful spring dirt smell.

    Sharp smell of clear adhesive.

    Finally got the stopper to release from a Molyneux Le Numero Cinq from the 1920′s. Aldehydes woody and green.

    Snow on my lilacs dusty green no lilac smell at all. May 12, 2014 at 9:24am Reply

    • Victoria: Congrats on that stubborn Molyneux bottle! And what luck to find this vintage gem. May 12, 2014 at 9:51am Reply

  • Sandra: This Morning :
    On the elevator I smelled a woman wearing Calvin Klein Euphora.
    - deli- smelled like breakfast , western omlettes and toasted bread
    - eggs and orange juice is what my kitchen smelled like. Toasted raisin bread with butter
    - Cats in the litter box (eww) though I do love them and there stinky butt
    -My morning meditation: nag champa insence
    - shower Nivea shampoo, annick goutal soap and my dad’s shaving cream (I took his bottles after he passed away) today I will need to shave the legs 27C here in NYC May 12, 2014 at 9:32am Reply

    • Victoria: Isn’t it fun when you recognize specific perfume on people you pass in the street? May 12, 2014 at 3:26pm Reply

      • Michaela: I would love to! It happened just once with L of Lolita Lempicka on a young girl passing by, hard to mistake.
        The second time I was certain I feel D&G Light Blue, I was so proud of myself to have guessed, but I felt so sorry for the lady near me in the bus, thinking she has no limit in applying perfume, it was too much indeed. In the end, she went by, the scent still there, and it proved to be my own perfumed sleeve, because I have sprayed my wrist about 2 days before to try it. I couldn’t stop laughing. May 14, 2014 at 5:56am Reply

        • sandra: HA! that is a great story!
          I sometimes think..man someone around is wearing too much perfume. Then its really just me!
          I am wearing it! May 15, 2014 at 8:44am Reply

    • Sandra: The rest of the day, I did errands and stopped to buy a lipstick at the Chanel counter and spayed one wrist with no19 and the other with Cristale Vert and inhaled deeply. May 13, 2014 at 7:12am Reply

      • sandra: This morning I woke up very groggy.
        The apartment smelled like kitty poop since my fiance just scooped.
        In the shower, I hardly smelled anything because we had no hot water. Cold shower=quick shower.
        After warming myself up, I used a sample from L’occitane of a lotion Vitoria Regia, a very lightly scented which is a floral aquatic scent.
        Then, I had Cheerios, which have their own smell, like toasted grain and a banana.
        Next it was a spray of Coco Madamoiselle and out the door..
        Subway-smelled like body odor. May 14, 2014 at 12:08pm Reply

        • sandra: This morning it was my lemon soap from Annick Goutal, my nivea body creme.
          Toasted everything bagel (onion, poppy seed, seseme seeds) and cream cheese.
          Today I am wearing Coramendal by Chanel. May not be a spring scent to some people but I love it.
          Out of the subway, NYC smells like wet pavement and a moss sort of smell. May 15, 2014 at 8:43am Reply

          • Sandra: Last Day!!!
            Someone on the subway smelled like nag champa. Love that smell
            Let’s see, this morning it was cat poo, banana , orange juice and my perfume eau de mervielles – a salty skin smell May 16, 2014 at 8:27am Reply

  • Brainfodder: The most memorable are as follows:
    My youngest son’s warm sleepy head – morning cuddle
    Cappucino from my husband
    Banana, honey and greek yogurt
    My children’s school books
    The inside of my bag – leather infused with perfume smells from multiple samples including Chanels Cuir de Russie (extract – swoon!!) and Dior’s new Cuir Cannage fragrance – I’d love to bottle the whole smell of the bag
    Hawthorn blossom
    Wet tarmac
    Lilacs
    Yoga mat with sweaty feet smell
    Hospital – a mixture of cleaning products, floor polish, an old building smell, and antiseptic
    Habit Rouge, L’Heure Bleue and Mitsouko from the Guerlain Counter (what a good day!)
    Bronze Goddess oil and then, Private Collection from the EL counter – this was my first time… PC is fantastic – a serious green tinged bombshell on my skin very unmistakable
    And then there was the man in the department store… he doused himself in Paco Robanne’s Invictus – scalp first, neck, then face (!), on the shirt, inside the shirt, wrists, then a final flourish in the air and a step through – he was really going for the full sample! :)
    Chanel No 19 was a little lost after his performance, so I went off to buy dinner…
    Roast chicken
    Tangerines

    This is good fun! Thanks Victoria! May 12, 2014 at 9:44am Reply

    • Victoria: Wow! I’m having so much fun reading all of these scented diaries, and I love how many different things everyone notices.

      Thanks to you I’m having yogurt with bananas and honey for dessert. :) May 12, 2014 at 3:28pm Reply

    • Brainfodder: Memorable smells so far;

      Plastic bag and cardboard smells – a very early morning supermarket home delivery.

      Deodorant – thoroughly artificial cucumber scent – I need to find a good neutral anti-perspirant deodorant!

      The sun has returned, and with it… OJ’s Frangipani :)

      Bitter milky frothy strong cappuccino.

      Steaming porridge with honey and cherry compote – milky, honeyed and delightfully sweet/sour.

      Stale smell of a dishcloth ready for the bin – yuk! Followed by a thorough hand wash…

      Haribo and tangerines – a post-football treat for my youngest son, packed into his rucksack.

      The smell of laundry detergent on my friend’s little girl’s clothes, as she gave me a cuddle.

      Prada Iris (I think) in a fantastic trail behind a mum on her dash to the school gates – she was wearing a chic A-line pastel pink coat, chunky scruffed-up boots and rolled up jeans/T-shirt… and bed-head hair ;) Great coats are a mummy rescuer!

      Cooking smells in the office at lunch time – toast and microwaved curry left-overs (not mine unfortunately).

      Wafts of Frangipani until about 2 hours ago (it lasted a good 8 hrs) – time to go home! May 14, 2014 at 12:17pm Reply

  • Alicia: Green tea in my cup, the warm smell of toast, the joyful fragrance of two strawberries on the platter. A flower vase full of skightly spicy carnations nearby, the old leather in my armchair, a slight wax odor coming from the wood floor. The acrid smell of a cigarette in an ashtray; through the open window enters the intensely green smell of the pines in the woods at the back of my house. Some pale pushkinias are growing at the entrance of the house; I smelled them yesterday night and nothing come, Sad, a flower name by Pushkin should have the best poetic aroma. I am smelling myself of the Egyptian jasmin in my bath soap and lotion, and my blouse has a faded remembrance of Arpege. My tulip magnolia has flowered, and yesterday I caught a lemony note at the heart of one of them. A porcelain dish full of rose potpourri, which I have to change because it is too old to emanate the beloved fragrance, At the moment the breakfast room smells mostly of carnations and faintly of pines, with some wax, a bit of leather, and my veil of jasmin. Not bad. May 12, 2014 at 9:55am Reply

    • Victoria: Sounds pretty wonderful to me, especially the veil of jasmine. :) May 12, 2014 at 3:29pm Reply

  • SophieC: This is a fun idea. Some smells from yesterday and today:
    The curry marinade I made for chicken – grated fresh ginger, coconut yoghurt, turmeric and a cloud of spices. It smelt fresh yesterday and this morning the fridge had a wonderful rich curry smell (I happen to adore this).
    Rye bread with raspberry curd – sweet, sharp and buttery
    Ripe Strawberries
    Hot coffee and cinammon this morning
    Rich jasmine burst as I sprayed on Joy this morning
    Cat litter – eugh – masked with odor neutraliser
    Iris from later perfume
    Herbal tea – mainly rose
    Hot lemon and mint in water
    Rose from hand cream
    I shall try to key in to more environmental smells – I wonder if perfume masks them for me when just sprayed? May 12, 2014 at 10:04am Reply

    • Victoria: Your curry sounds mouthwatering, Sophie. I love yogurt based curries with coconut.

      If we overapply perfume, we miss some of the environmental smells. On the other hand, some environmental scents we encounter aren’t that pleasant (especially in big, crowded cities,) so maybe it’s not such a bad thing. I don’t wear much perfume, or any, if I’m planning to be somewhere around blooming plants. May 12, 2014 at 3:34pm Reply

      • SophieC: Thanks for the reply! I will definitely bear in mind the point about not wearing perfume when going near flowers and plants, as of course it is far better to really inhale their individual scents and be able to smell them unmasked.

        Interestingly the yoghurt I used is actually made from coconut milk and really intesifies the flavour of coconut – not sure if it available in Belgium but an interesting alternative if it is.

        As to smells today (if different from yesterday)
        A beautiful waft of Prada Iris from someone in Starbucks
        Roiboos tea
        A very ‘cold’ smell of rain in grey weather on city pavements – hard to describe but almost artificial and chilling and completely different to rain on wet earth
        Lemon and ginger in water this morning

        Will be interesting to see if we all pick up more nuances as the week goes on! May 13, 2014 at 1:43pm Reply

        • Brainfodder: I had the pleasure of someone’s waft of Prada Iris this morning – she must have sprayed just before leaving the house – it was still a glorious cloud! May 14, 2014 at 12:22pm Reply

          • SophieC: It seems a particularly distinctive scent, especially for such a well behaved one.

            New smells for today:
            Orange blossom water on my fingers
            Orange blossom water mixed with grapefruit
            Chopped up mint leaves and fresh ginger
            L’eau d’Hiver (dabbed from a sample)
            Love Chloe later in the day
            Rose hand cream
            Freshly cut papaya
            Pineapple May 15, 2014 at 7:52am Reply

            • SophieC: New smells for Friday:
              Dark chocolate – toasted and coffee notes too
              Sweet peas – incredibly delicate and powdery with the sweetness
              Figs just warmed in the microwave May 16, 2014 at 9:47am Reply

  • deborah: – I put eucalyptus and peppermint scented body lotion on, and wondering what other fragrance I can layer with it.Its zippy and energizing.
    - smelled our coffee brewing this morning, heaven.
    -rainy, wet green outside May 12, 2014 at 10:22am Reply

    • Victoria: Anything green or citrusy would be perfect with those notes. If you have a cologne, try layering with it. May 12, 2014 at 3:35pm Reply

  • Gentiana: Exciting !!!
    I try to start from tomorrow, I just discovered the post, after a haaard working day… May 12, 2014 at 1:03pm Reply

    • Victoria: Perfect! I look forward to your notes. May 12, 2014 at 3:35pm Reply

  • Paeonia9: Wet moss being warmed by the sun – somehow manages to be both deeply musty and refreshing. Damp soil has an interesting indolic quality.
    Packing tape – For some reason the scent makes me think of cheap tuberose fragrances.
    The burnt cookie dough smell of my Deisel VW Golf exhaust.
    The current hairspray I’m using smells exactly like caramelized grape flavored bubblegum…and it is quite frankly unbearable.
    Toasted pine nuts and lemon peel.
    Someone’s loving Angel and it’s not loving them back.
    Dear Co-Worker: Copious amounts of Coco Chanel EDT cannot hide the stench of cigarette smoke.
    Dear Grocery Cashier: Put the Cool Water down and back away slowly… May 12, 2014 at 1:15pm Reply

    • Victoria: :) You make me want to find some packing tape to sniff. May 12, 2014 at 3:36pm Reply

    • Karina: That comment about the hairspray made me chuckle! I had a curl cream once that smelt just like skittles, it was kind of a novelty at first but I quickly tired of it! May 13, 2014 at 10:53am Reply

  • Ariadne: This is indeed fun! I am not smelling much of anything lately due to intense allergies. I am however smelling vicariously through these posts and either remembering or imagining each one. May 12, 2014 at 1:39pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, no! Please feel better, Ariadne. Poplar trees are starting to go to seed, and it means that the white fluff is flying in the air. I fear an onset of allergies coming, unless it rains again. May 12, 2014 at 3:38pm Reply

  • Susan F.: Ohhh, how I love this post. I should print out all the replies just to read as I rest on the porch after gardening.
    Smelled my coffee and husband’s oatmeal at breakfast time. Then the warm animal scent as I led my horse to the barn. Don’t want to think of the urine smell in his stall.

    As I planted my dahlia tubers I smelled the damp earth and nearby silage smell of the rotting grass clippings we use to mulch the rows.

    I was so exhausted after labeling and covering up the tubers I came in the house and made lemonade (not great lemon scent from the bottle of juice) and sprayed myself w/ Hermes Jardin Sur le Toit to treat and revive myself.

    Today I’m looking forward to making wax tart melts and melt and pour soaps using some of the 100 scents I’ve accumulated. I think the wax melts will be black currant and rose (a delicate favorite of mine!) and thinking I should do a peony plaid soap because my peonies are about to burst open. I’ll need to photograph them together.

    I didn’t mean to get into my hobby/business, but, well, scent is totally what drew me into it! I LOVE scent! Thank you for such a wonderful blog. : ) May 12, 2014 at 2:34pm Reply

    • Victoria: I enjoyed reading about it! And about the silage smell of grass clippings. Having helped my grandmother in the garden, I’m well familiar with it. :) May 12, 2014 at 3:41pm Reply

    • Michaela: Very nice hobby :) I see what you mean, scents make the world go round :). I was trying to find some nice fragrant combos to scent my cold process soaps. I began researching about essential oils safety, then about mixing scents, and then I became addicted to Victoria’s blog and began to buy perfume samples and bottles :) May 13, 2014 at 4:43am Reply

  • rainboweyes: What an excellent idea – collecting scents! It’s going to be great fun. Here some of my scents of the day:

    - my acacia shampoo, camelia day cream + iris body lotion – a great start of a new week
    - my kids’ hair
    - scent of the day is Ann Gérard Cuir de Nacré
    - fresh strawberries (the first local ones!) for breakfast
    - a cup of malty Assam tea at the office (unfortunately spoiled by the smell of chlorine in the water – very unusual for Germany, normally drinking water is treated with ozone or UV light here. Will bring water from home tomorrow.)
    - freshly cut grass
    - laundry dried outside – you can literally smell the sun and wind caught in the fabric! May 12, 2014 at 3:43pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, what’s your acacia shampoo called? And camelia day cream and iris body lotion, for that matter? :) May 12, 2014 at 8:34pm Reply

      • rainboweyes: All three products are German brands:
        - Logona Sensitiv-Shampoo Bio Akazie
        - Sensisana Kamelie Lotion (they also have a cream but it’s too rich for the spring/summer – and a wonderful camelia body lotion). Another nice product with camelia is Camelia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser by Pai Skincare (a UK brand)
        - Martina Gebhardt Happy Aging Body Lotion (with vanilla, rose and florentine iris oil. I wish the iris was more pronounced here but it’s a nice blend anyway. Maybe I can pimp it up with a drop of iris essential oil?)
        As the oils in these products are of natural origin, they are very delicate and fleeting – which doesn’t bother me, though, as I don’t like body products with overly intense scents that interfere with the perfume I wear. May 14, 2014 at 11:58am Reply

    • Karina: Oh my gosh I love that smell of laundry when it has been dried outside, nothing better than burying your face in crisp, clean sheets that smell so delicately of the earth and trees! May 13, 2014 at 8:19am Reply

      • Alouetta: And sunshine! May 14, 2014 at 6:46am Reply

        • rainboweyes: Yesss!!! And on windy days the wind saves me a lot of ironing work (not my husband’s business shirts, though ;) ) May 14, 2014 at 11:41am Reply

    • rainboweyes: Today’s most memorable scents were
      Sweet Chai tea in my cup,
      fried fish,
      French Munster and Epoisse cheese my co-worker had for lunch,
      fresh pineapple. May 14, 2014 at 12:05pm Reply

    • rainboweyes: Yesterday’s scents were:
      - yuzu and vanilla body oil after taking a shower with peppermint and bergamot shower gel (helped to wake up a lot!)
      - Hiris
      - my boys’ rooibos caramel tea
      - a delicious but hard to define mixture of fresh fruit and vegetable scents at the farmers’ market
      - a freshly opened bag of coffee beans (heaven!)
      - dark chocolate and espresso after lunch
      - roasted almonds
      - red Burgundy wine May 16, 2014 at 4:03am Reply

  • Sheri: Fun! Yesterday’s smells were lovely – sunshine on new growth in everyone’s yards on the way to my Mom’s for Mother’s Day, scents of fresh potting soil, that ozone smell from spraying with the garden hose, and new leaf buds on the grapevine in my own back yard … Today is a work day, and scents so far have been an early-morning espresso, my closet with its cacophany of various perfumes in sample vials and lingering on my clothes, freshly mown lawn and motor oil at the neighbors’, pine needles and oak trees in the parking lot at work, and my slightly metallic leftover tuna sushi at lunch. And white ginger pear tea. May 12, 2014 at 3:47pm Reply

    • Victoria: The combination of cut grass and motor oil sounds fascinating! May 12, 2014 at 8:35pm Reply

    • Sheri: Bedtime now, and I’ve got duelling samples going on – Bandit on my left arm and Caleche on my right. Bandit is getting lovelier by the second. Caleche started out reminding me of freshly starched shirts and the Church Lady, but is fading quickly and turning a little powdery. May 13, 2014 at 1:19am Reply

    • Sheri: Yesterday evening: something faintly sweet and a little dusty in the parking lot – maybe the oak trees?
      This afternoon: a whiff of Infusion d’Iris in the elevator lobby. No idea who it belonged to! May 14, 2014 at 7:29pm Reply

    • Sheri: Right now: lemon rind in bourbon, Gran Classico and Liqueur 43 – heaven! May 15, 2014 at 9:57pm Reply

    • Sheri: Sunday:
      Peanut butter on toast at breakfast – yum!
      Fresh ozone and pine in the air after a sudden hailstorm (ahh, Oregon springtime!)
      Dregs of yesterday’s OJ Woman May 18, 2014 at 5:34pm Reply

  • Jai: Fun idea!

    I am sick with a spring cold&cough, so my sense of smell has been muffled temporarily.

    However, yesterday, while my husband, little girl and dog were in the back yard, i went out to join them for some sunshine, and i bent down very close to inhale the ‘carpet’ of lily of the valley that has sprouted.

    I don’t know what caused it, but this year, the floor of my front and backyard gardens are covered with them!

    The other smells that i detected yesterday were more mundane –warm dog fur, diapers, hot laundry from the dryer, the smell of the vacuum blowing out its dusty-smelling air. May 12, 2014 at 4:03pm Reply

    • Victoria: Those mundane scents make up so much of our scented experiences that it’s harder to notice them. I just realized after all this time that our carpet smells a bit like vetiver–earthy and woody. Not sure what’s causing it, but the scent is there. May 12, 2014 at 8:39pm Reply

  • Lauren B: Yesterday included:

    - the sugary sweetness of my morning Coke
    - the yellow tuplips I gave my mom for mother’s day
    - my mother’s Chanel No. 5 EDT spray she wears nearly every day
    - my black poodle, Josie’s, breath when she licks my face
    - the dry florality in the air from all the pollen
    - later, the rain coming off the concrete in the heat
    - tomatoes, cheese, spices, etc that comes from a pizza parlor
    - stale dye from new clothes in a department store
    - a sample of Etat Libre d’Orange’s Rien I was trying out May 12, 2014 at 5:02pm Reply

  • Figuier: Lovely idea – and some lovely/fascinating smells on everyone’s lists. I’m also down with a cold, so inhaling is a bit painful.

    Still, at present:

    -the faint whiff of starch off my new cotton scarf
    -cold rains-soaked pavement and crushed chestnut leaves after a stormy day
    -steam rising off my mug off hot honey and water – nutty, musky with a tar-citrus edge May 12, 2014 at 5:44pm Reply

    • Victoria: Crushed chestnut leaves and flowers after the rain is my scent today as well. And the lemon and honey vapors coming off my tisane, because like you, I’m coming down with a cold. May 12, 2014 at 8:40pm Reply

    • Figuier: Sorry to hear you’re succumbing too, Victoria; but at least you’re getting to enjoy a honey tisane ;)

      - filter coffee with soy milk – rather burnt & tarry smelling this morning, oops!
      - DH on his way out the door – wafting scent of clean ironed cotton, Nivea shaving foam & a squirt of Sycomore
      - dusty sour smell of slightly stale flour-dusted sourdough
      - sweet licorice-like smell from star anise soap
      - Cuir de Lancome sprayed on cloth, much more effervescent than you’d expect
      - the characteristic smell of my study/boxroom: old books, new books, printer paper & ink, dust, a hint of damp. May 13, 2014 at 5:22am Reply

  • Madame Beespeaker: Our neighborhood in Vancouver is full of heritage lilac trees and I have two in my back yard. Their scent is heavy in the streets. The hawthorn is in bloom and I know smelling it is good for your heart, so I stick my nose right in the blossom to get that herbaceous delicate scent. Warm cinnamon from the muffins I baked this morning. Mineral soil smells from gardening. I too ironed this morning with a grade 5 class, teaching them to sew. Sometimes I put lavender in the spray bottle of water I use while ironing to scent the linens. I bought a “eu de cologne mint” which I am in love with–just smells like my grandma’s 4711. I smelled the raw resinous smell of marijuana on the bus just now–in someone’s knapsack maybe. May 12, 2014 at 6:07pm Reply

    • Victoria: My mom sometimes puts lavender water when she irons, and it adds such a nice scent, almost giving an illusion of sun-dried linens. Sounds like you had a richly scented day! May 12, 2014 at 8:50pm Reply

    • Karen: You just made me homesick for Vancouver. Lilacs, salt air, and weed. Takes me right there. :) May 17, 2014 at 5:14pm Reply

  • Gigi: Very fun post!

    I didn’t get the chance to smell anything very exotic today, but here goes…

    Jasmine green tea first thing this morning.
    Strange chemical brown sugar smell of shampoo.
    Sulfuric smell of boiled eggs.
    Maybe my favorite smell of all…creamy coffee.
    More creamy coffee. Yet more creamy coffee (urgh, Monday…)

    Musty carpet smell at the office, broken up by the lovely smell of my own Eau Premiere.

    The faintly musky and incredibly comforting smell of my cat’s furry head. May 12, 2014 at 10:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: Nothing exotic for me either, but you know, it’s for the best in terms of this exercise, because the common, day-to-day smells are harder to recall. So more work for the nose and best results! :)

      How I miss my Viola (she lives with my mom) and her furry head’s smell. :) May 13, 2014 at 3:52am Reply

    • Alouetta: Mmm, coffee… May 14, 2014 at 6:45am Reply

  • Claire: Thanks, Victoria, for a wonderful opportunity.

    At this moment I smell:
    * something burning outside
    * raw flour (from tea cake)
    * baked egg
    * citrus (from my tea)
    * butter (from tea cake)
    * tar
    * plastic (from my son’s toys)
    * synthetic-dyed wool (from my knitting project)
    * more smoke & tar from the outside
    * my son’s musky hair
    * magazine paper

    I found myself hard to describe certain scents. Hoping this exercise will lead me somewhere.. May 13, 2014 at 12:12am Reply

    • Victoria: You’ve noticed so many things and broken down the smells, so it’s great. Describing them will come with practice, and as we continue smelling we can try ascribing adjectives to what we smell. But for now, just noticing and remembering is important.

      I’m enjoying this thread so much! May 13, 2014 at 3:54am Reply

  • Jan: What a great idea! Tuesday is nearly over here so I have my list for the day:

    - autumn leaves – kind of dry smell with a touch of rot (I am in Australia)
    - tar – pungent and not pleasant from the road menders nearby
    - cigarettes twice – once from someone smoking who walked past me in the street. I don’t like that smell but worse was the person on the tram tonight – old smoke, ew!
    - my cumquat tree must be starting to flower again because I could smell the blossom when I came in the front gate.
    - walking past a hairdresser – that perfumed but chemical smell
    - pesto sauce on my lunch – basil and garlic
    - an orange mid afternoon. The first navel of the season and the promise of more to come.
    - the book I have been reading for work today – I think the smell is the ink, rather than the paper.
    - the lavender wool wash I used to do some hand washing.
    - and finally perfumes – the base notes of Seville a L’Aube on my shirt from yesterday and L’Ombre dans L’Eau fresh for today.

    Looking forward to tomorrow! May 13, 2014 at 5:42am Reply

    • Jan: Wednesday (added a bit late)

      - cooked tomato, savoury and sharp
      - a musty taxi, too many people have been in it since last it was well cleaned
      - hot oil on the calamari snacks at the neighbouring table in the bar last night
      - wine May 15, 2014 at 2:50am Reply

    • Jan: Thursday

      - autumn leaves again
      - something floral here on campus but I couldn’t find what was flowering
      - charred wood at the aboriginal wood carving exhibition May 15, 2014 at 2:52am Reply

  • Andy: Monday:

    -Unscented Sunscreen
    -Heat-Withered Lilacs
    -Brewed Coffee in a cool kitchen
    -Hot Rubber Bike Tires
    -Wisteria overhead
    -A smattering of scents at the nursery: rose scented geraniums, tree peony, Osmanthus, lemon verbena
    -Grapefruit peel, orange blossom water, in my drink
    -Dewy, bright Tea Rose, to finish off my day
    -Nutty brown butter, lingering in the air long after I’d finished my omelette May 13, 2014 at 7:34am Reply

    • Andy: Tuesday:

      -The burgundy-flowered Oncidium on the coffee table; vanillic and musky
      -A single gardenia flower
      -Fresh sage
      -Charred Tomatillos and green chiles
      -The scent of damp earth upon digging into it May 14, 2014 at 9:32am Reply

  • Karina: Thank you Victoria for this wonderful idea.

    Tuesday:

    Remnants of my facial moisturiser left on my hands

    Chocolate powder and marshmallows

    New running shoes

    The scent of my dog’s natural oils left on my hands after playing with him

    Coriander while cooking dinner – I adore this smell, and the taste!

    White balsamic vinegar May 13, 2014 at 8:13am Reply

  • Elia: Had a few the past two days,

    -honeysuckle in the Syrian restaurant garden. Smelt watery like fresh dew.
    -crushed a bitter orange leaf in my hand unconsciously yesterday and then got whiffs of fruitiness later on and wondered for a while, a lot fruitier and floral than I expected from a leaf.
    -cardamom in the Syrian coffee
    -garlic from one of the dips, not enough of it!
    -A co-worker had a big white floral on today and I thought it might be vintage, asking I got the answer of Burberry London, the last thing I’d guess…
    -Thyme, dried. Overpowering really. I got some to make tea with.
    - worn like 8 samples, but only Jeke stuck out. Very well blended, incredibly dry but in a likeable comforting way.
    -coffee from coffee beans to reset the senses
    -bergamot essential oil because it was in front of me, made me crave some bergamot loukhoumi May 13, 2014 at 8:31am Reply

    • Elia: -An almost burnt smell from the ironing room in which the iron had obviously been on for too long. Dry fire May 13, 2014 at 8:34am Reply

    • Elia: -wet grass under the sprinklers
      -nutella like spread, with rich hazelnut and chocolate
      -samples again, of which Carthusia Caprissimo was most notable in being heavily oakmoss yet none listed
      -Linda’s been wearing Ambre Nuit. Always lovely
      -Linda’s hairspray, strange, strongly diffusive. part acetone, part citrus, part candy, not bad
      -some kind of acetone smell around the office, source unknown…
      -the air freshener around the office, crudely sharply citrus. A girl pointed it out today, ‘really nice like Lynx’… okay…
      -I wore Jardin D’Amalfi for comfort today, like spring lightly sprinkled with fructose
      -chocolate coated flapjack. milk, butter, cocoa and oats May 15, 2014 at 7:06pm Reply

    • Elia: -a cloud of Amouage from testing
      -fresh cut lemon, almost overripe and fermented
      -diaper pee, concentrated, ammonia heavy
      -Portobello Road soap co hand cream, lavender, true lavender
      -Olbas oil, mint and eucalyptus
      -chlorine from the swimming pool, enough to kill all senses
      -apple juice May 16, 2014 at 9:48am Reply

    • Elia: -scalp shampoo, tar!
      -natural toothpaste, fennel
      -lysterine mouthwash, super minty tartly alcoholic
      -slikka ice hairproduct, menthol
      -burnt eggs, smells better than unburnt, like crispy crepes with a thin layer of caramel May 17, 2014 at 4:20am Reply

      • Elena: There’s little I like less than the smell of overcooked eggs! Funny how different our interpretations are. I will try to smell caramel next time. May 17, 2014 at 10:11am Reply

        • Elia: Want me to get the recipe from Linda? lol
          I smelt it like an hour after it occurred, maybe that is relevant. May 17, 2014 at 1:13pm Reply

    • Elia: -cheap white wine, as sharp as turpentine
      -rainbow roses, syrupy texture waxy base
      -unknown berries, sweetly resinous and very familiar, should find out what they are
      -purple snap dragon, which had a suprisingly strong scent. I liked them
      -grappa like liqueur, grapeskin and high alcohol content
      -sesame seed paste, subtle and nutty May 18, 2014 at 7:43am Reply

  • Danaki: Ok. I’m going to try…

    Pink pepper, some citrus and powdery notes from Dahlia Noir edp I spritzed on this morning (not a very good edp overall, but OK for work).

    from my coffee, there was a strong inky aroma and mild acidity. On a second sniff, I get the warm coffee smell that I’m used to.

    I can smell caramel from my diet coke. May 13, 2014 at 8:42am Reply

    • Danaki: So, today…

      rosa centifolia from my rose Savon de Marseille. Milky melting butter on my toast. Almost tabacco-like aroma from my cup of Oolong tea.

      Garlic from my falafel wrap, it takes over. A synthetic smell from diet coke.
      Outside on the lawn, the grass to too wet so I can’t catch much odor.

      Remains of ‘Fleur de Sel’ (clarisage?) on my phone cover. I sprayed it last weekend whilst at a department store as I ran out of clean wrists whilst testing perfumes. May 16, 2014 at 10:30am Reply

      • Danaki: Saturday: bitter hops from my pilsner beer. zesty lemon and oak wood from muscadet wine.
        Sunday: diesel from buses on the way to the train station. Danish pastries – caramel and burnt sugar smell – smells yummy.

        fresh fragrant wisteria in the garden. Sweet apple and peach from walking past a shisha cafe. May 19, 2014 at 5:55am Reply

  • Mary: Taking it from the top:

    -Orange blossom shower gel
    -espresso coffee and toast on a terrace in the sun
    -the ripe apricots I bought and promptly dropped in the road. Of course I picked them up and rinsed them!
    -I was with a student when my husband opened the front door (30 metres away) and somehow I got a whiff of the fresh mint he brought in.
    -lightly fried fish – not a good smell in the house but it was very fresh and quite delicious – and I didn’t have to cook it.
    -the lovely nutty/apricot aroma of my glass of oloroso sherry
    - one student arrived this afternoon smelling lovely. When asked, she told me it was Cristalle Eau Verte
    -my own SOTD, Citizen Queen, long faded now and not really appropriate for 35º.

    Tomorrow I’m going to Jerez Fair and will be able to report a lot of very different smells – it’s all horses, eating and drinking and singing and dancing! May 13, 2014 at 3:26pm Reply

    • Mary: Oh, and I forgot one of the best smells of the day; my cup of wonderful “Cream of almond” tea. Black tea with almonds and the most wonderful marzipan tea aroma. I would love to find it in a bottle. May 13, 2014 at 3:58pm Reply

      • Ashley Anstaett: Mary, where do you get this “Cream of Almond” tea? I’d love some. Kusmi’s Almond Green Tea is one of my favorites, but I love the idea of a creamy almond. May 15, 2014 at 12:25pm Reply

        • jillie: Ashley, I don’t know if this helps at all, but here in the UK we have The Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Company – their online shop sells the most delicious almond tea I have ever tasted, along with another called bitter almond (which I haven’t tried yet). They also have violet! May 16, 2014 at 5:05am Reply

          • Ashley Anstaett: I am going to try and get some, Jillie. Thanks so much! It looks delicious and it’s not too pricey! May 16, 2014 at 9:33pm Reply

        • Mary: Sorry,Ashley, have just returned to the blog. I live in Spain, so buy my tea in a little independent tea shop here in Jerez. The shop is called Aromas de Té. See Aromas de Té, Jerez, on Facebook. They also have a green tea with almonds and cinnamon, also delicious, but it doesn’t have the same hit of marzipan. I’m sure they’d send it to you – if not, I could :) May 18, 2014 at 10:10am Reply

          • Ashley Anstaett: You may have started a new habit, Mary! :-) I will check out their website and see if they ship to the U.S. If not, I may see if you could send me some. That is too sweet of you. I’m happy to pay for the tea and send some goodies in return! The one with a hint of marzipan sounds like a winner. I love marzipan and I love almond tea. It’s just so hard to come by! May 18, 2014 at 11:32am Reply

            • Mary: My pleasure! Let me know how you get on! May 18, 2014 at 5:05pm Reply

  • leathermountain: cool air after a warm spell — electric green
    my shampoo is Buckwheat Gummy Bear
    Silences PdT
    fresh sunscreen smells like wet stone and feels like chalk
    much later, salty skin with the sunscreen and I could be at the beach May 13, 2014 at 3:45pm Reply

    • Sheri: Buckwheat gummy bear – hmmm, sounds … yummy? :) May 14, 2014 at 7:32pm Reply

  • Sulin: A big white peony
    A lady beside me at the train station eating a kitkat bar
    The smell of hot springs
    The humid and vegetal smell of gardens after heavy rains.
    The smell of wood polish and beeswax in chapels.
    The cool mineral smell of old stone walls
    The warm smell of new buttery leather May 13, 2014 at 6:48pm Reply

    • Alouetta: Out of that list the one that I could instantly smell was the Kitkat! May 14, 2014 at 6:43am Reply

  • MontrealGirl: What a fun exercise! Here goes:

    - coconut cream to moisturize face
    - the chemically smell of ‘unscented’ Spectro gel soap
    - leftover perfume on my cardigan (incense and powder from Coco Noire)
    - fresh, floral, laundry-smell perfume (Cerruti 1881 for Her)
    - hairspray
    - moist manure that was spread in the flower beds (my first thought was ‘yuck’ and then I thought I should be glad and appreciate the smell as it means that the gardeners spread fresh, healthy, natural manure on the flowerbeds rather than using chemicals)
    - moist, decaying leaves and earth, fresh cold air
    - mix of baked bread, sugar and vanilla smell coming from the bakery (had to control myself not to pop in to get a Cannnele for breakfast)
    - sweet floral perfume of a woman also waiting for the bus
    - dusty, dry warm air in the office
    - coconut from a macaroon afternoon treat
    - VERY intense and smooth fresh ground coffee smell on bus (not burnt or bitter smell of brewed coffee, thought it would make a good perfume even though I’m not a coffee drinker)
    - warm air, smelling like it is about to rain (how does one describe that smell?)
    - grilled chicken in grocery store
    - lime from dish detergent (I figure if you are going to do housework you might as well treat it as an opportunity for aromatherapy and savour it. Fruit&Passion dish detergent and window cleaners smells amazing, lavender water for ironing, fresh lime juice to remove calcium in the shower, etc.)
    - mint from my cup of green tea & mint

    What’s funny is that I’m amazed that I did not notice more smells. What I mean is that it seems our environments are too smell-less. For example, why don’t I smell more stuff in the grocery store? Why doesn’t it smell when walking by the flower store? May 13, 2014 at 7:34pm Reply

  • nastja: Loved reading everyone’s comments! Today I was thinking about the smell of swimming pools as I entered the locker room of my pool and the smell floored me as usual. We say pools smell like chlorine but what is that? Today smelling it on my swimsuit, I thought maybe it’s warm rubber and clover or acacia or sweet pea. Plus the medicine cabinet. Plus nerves, a total punch in the gut, from all the years of racing. The other smell to all my mornings: the lovely A-train from Brooklyn. Smells like morning breath, last night’s alcohol, curry on a man’s jacket, saccharine gourmand strawberry jammy lotion on the teenage girl rocking out to her iPod, brake fluid (tar, burned toast, what else?), humidity seeping out of century old walls (actually all subways just smell like the Moscow subway, but that’s another entry!) May 13, 2014 at 7:47pm Reply

  • Elena: This post makes me realize how much I use my sense of smell to check on the health and well being of my family. Beyond the obvious smelling when the baby needs a diaper change, I can also smell when her “production” is off because she’s been eating too many acidic tomatoes, or we’ve accidentally given her something she’s sensitive to. (No soy, milk, or eggs, which sneak in to lots of things.) My older daughter’s breath becomes less than pleasant when she starts to get a bit dehydrated, and my dog, when he’s perfectly healthy and having plenty of fresh air and exercise has a hint of an almost floral sweetness under his slightly musky/dusty scent. I love burying my nose in his neck. My husband’s breath and overall scent changes (for the worse) when he is under stress and working late nights. I need to get my own tired and sweaty post-tennis self into the shower! May 13, 2014 at 8:57pm Reply

    • Elena: Today: a dandelion. Sweet and delicate, very pleasant and mild.

      Roasted coffee, vanilla, toasty smell of coffee shop.

      Fern, earthy and green. Spring intensified.

      Wafts of my conditioner from last night as I got hot today. It purports to have Argan oil, but I smell coconut.

      A handful of rock salt. Maybe a little bit of a mineral coolness, but mostly just nothing!

      Lilacs in bloom. I can’t parse this, it just smells like heavenly lilac. May 14, 2014 at 3:47pm Reply

      • Elena: More lilacs. A cooler day today, and they were much less heady.

        Plum blossoms

        Fresh pizza dough, yeasty and tangy

        dusty curtains

        Natural apricot deodorant May 15, 2014 at 11:08pm Reply

        • Elena: cilantro and lime with toasted cumin and coriander. Kitchen still smells like cumin this morning.

          wet washcloth which needed to be laundered, ugh.

          tiny soft puffs of Fancy Nights leftover from bedtime last night wafting up from my pajamas.

          A beautiful Pinot Grigio. We almost finished the bottle last night, unusual for us. clean fruitiness.

          I smelled rainy afternoon yesterday… It may have been the sidewalk plus the plants getting wet and the smell of the air itself, but it was unique.

          I think I am doing this exercise right. My daughter asked me on Thursday, “Mommy, why do you always want us to stop and sniff things?” :) May 17, 2014 at 10:06am Reply

          • Victoria: :) Definitely! And imagine how much it enriches her world too. May 17, 2014 at 10:19am Reply

          • Elena: Disappointingly near-scentless lilies and roses from a bouquet.

            Some beautiful purple flowers which sort of resembled phlox, but definitely weren’t, which smelled a bit fishy.

            Maple syrup, which to my surprise, smelled not at all like the “maple syrup” note I sometimes get in old perfume, but rather like burnt sugar, wood, and smoke. This was my biggest surprise of the exercise, and a wonderful one. I don’t think I’ve really smelled it before properly.

            Cardamom sprinkled on top of rice pudding. One of my favorite spices in the world.

            Sheets dried outside. This I don’t need encouragement to bury my face in!

            I also vacuumed my dusty curtains which I smelled a couple of days ago! This exercise has been positive in more ways than I would have guessed! ;) May 18, 2014 at 10:41am Reply

            • Elia: Cardamom over rice pudding, hmm not tried that one before. I’ll give it a try May 18, 2014 at 4:06pm Reply

              • Elena: It’s more usual with cinnamon, right? I love it with golden raisins, pistachios, cardamom, and coconut milk. I use this recipe as a basis when I make it. It’s perfectly cooling and creamy after a nice spicy Indian curry. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/indian-rice-pudding-recipe.html May 19, 2014 at 5:13pm Reply

                • Elia: Yes, always cinnamon. With rice pudding sprinkled over the top, possibly some neroli water in the mix. ty for the recipe May 21, 2014 at 4:27am Reply

                  • Victoria: I’m craving some right now after reading your exchange. May 21, 2014 at 2:35pm Reply

            • Victoria: If you smell chocolate with your eyes closed and before tasting it, it will be another surprise. It smells very different from how it tastes! May 19, 2014 at 4:42am Reply

  • Peggy: This is what I remembered to write down.
    Slick magazine pages that smell inky and faintly sour, cold coffee, the good mint smell of my lipstick, the warm and animalistic smell of my dog’s neck, and sizzling onions! May 13, 2014 at 10:41pm Reply

  • Sunette: So love reading the comments!! I started using a new shampoo almost a year ago (alterna bamboo volume) and the funny thing is a couple days ago my husband smelled my hair, inhaling and saying wow that is nice, so this morning in the shower the hot steam with the shampoo just made inhale and appeeciate. Another thing that makes me go AH is the softsoap (palmolive in europe) the bodywash with iris and ylang ylang. I “found” it on vacation as a teenager and ever since couldn’t live without it! I used to live in South Africa where it is as common as aquafresh but now I have to buy it online for a steeper price (together with radox bubble bath!!). Ah the simple pleasure of a bubble bath! The bathroom has always been a place of serenity with all the different aromas you can add to it! Thank you for this posting!! May 13, 2014 at 10:53pm Reply

  • Alicia: Awakening to the rose smell in my bed (I sprinkled my linens with Tea Rose), the strong smell of coffee and of some vainilla in a piece of pound cake. Outside it is raining and the smell of pines and wet earth greets me at the door. Went to the hairdresser: chemical and vile smells of different products mixed with a sort of desinfectant cleaner. After that in the elevator a lady smells I think of Jean Naté (?), and in the legal office the secretary emanates the present awful version of Emeraude. Again at home, just about the same smells as yesterday, only difference is that today I am wearing Lauder’s Private Collection. At dinner a friend brings fresh baked bread, a smell I love. I have a leg of lamb in the oven, basted with sherry, Spanish style (my grandmother kitchen comes to my mind, full of the smells of my childhood). The dinner is finished with flan de naranja, orange custard, which smells of orange, vainilla and caramel. Strong coffee and cognac, another smell I love. Afterwards dishwasher detergent, followed by my jasmine soap, and herbal tea. That is all, my computer has no smell. May 14, 2014 at 12:55am Reply

  • Ferris Égoïste: – A woman came in from outside and she smelled of dense and heavy cigarette smoke and ashes.
    - The smell of the heater turning on.
    - freshly laundred clothes right from the washing machine.
    - the sour smell of dried milk on the outside threads of the milk container.
    - the smell of laundry sheets in the grocery’s laundry aisle
    - May 14, 2014 at 1:17am Reply

  • Figuier: Some more smells to add:
    -toasted cumin sees: nutty and comforting
    -Sweet caramel of ripe banana
    -ylang in the eco-friendly bathroom spray
    -wet concrete, which somehow smells of its texture, in the garage
    -that inimitable ‘institutional building’ smell of wet floors, synthetic carpets, dusty radiators and industrial-strength cleaning products
    -passing along a corridor of offices with open doors, I got a wonderful waft of what smelled to me like Coromandel in its sweet drydown (it couldve been Prada also I guess) May 14, 2014 at 6:03am Reply

    • Figuier: Oops, meant to add below my main list above – apologies! May 14, 2014 at 6:04am Reply

  • Alouetta: I haven’t got much but…
    - fried green beans with garlic and starchy root vegetables
    - olive oil, sour
    - nutty boiled brown rice
    - milky coffee. Marvelous! Smells like my mind waking up :)
    - a basil leaf from the garden. It’s gone to seed and doesn’t smell as juicy as usual. More like cut grass.
    - chickens, live ones. They smell musty, dusty.
    - an amber oil I got in India- floral and powdery
    - Mecca Balsam over the top, rich and complementary
    - the cool air riding home over the river. Smells like space.
    - Sarrasins. I don’t have the words for this one.
    - my skin. I think I smell like sand. Wet sand?
    - my home when I come back. I’d spilt an aromachem, think it was jasmatone, and it smells like sweet plastic or a more pleasant version of a toenail about to drop off. I really have find some way to clean that up.
    - my husband. He smells good.

    This is fun! May 14, 2014 at 6:40am Reply

  • Cheri: I’m just starting my Perfume Journey, but I think I can play along with this thread!
    Please join me on my pre-dawn run; The wet stone/water scent as I walk down my front steps. Faint scent of roses as I start my warm up jog past the front yard. A whiff of cold asphalt, not as bitter and strong as it will get in the hot afternoon sun, but noticeable. As I head down the street he heady sweet/floral/ fecund smell of the evergreen ground jasmine blooming everywhere here in the Sacramento Valley is of CA is almost overwhelming right now. As I pick up the pace and head around the corner past the greenbelt, the jasmine fades and is replaced with a dry grass sage scent. Stale cigarette wafting out of a garbage can waiting for pickup on the curb. As I reach the crest of a hill, a breath of fresh air hits my face just as the sky lightens to a pale watercolor blue with pink streaks; I can’t even describe the scent except it’s early morning fresh. Moist green lawn as I head down the hill, they must have turned on the sprinklers in the night…Jasmine again, and garlic, perhaps a cat ran through the society garlic plants on the side of the walk. Wood from the teak tale on my porch. A burst of rich fresh coffee as I open the front door (my reward!) Thanks for joining me! May 14, 2014 at 11:57am Reply

  • Michael: It just struck me, for no particular reason, that Frederic Malle’s Une Fleur de Cassie is the contemporary version of Chanel No. 5 … from the shimmering aldehydic top notes right down to the powdery, sweet drydown … it’s what I imagine Ernest Beaux would have created had he been born in the 20th century … ? May 14, 2014 at 6:35pm Reply

  • Gigi: Today, a walk through a downtown alley (big mistake, poor nose!) and smelled old urine, moist air from vents with a dusty undertone, weird sweet and sour sauce smell from garbage bins. Car exhaust.

    Gratefully, later came across a lilac bush in full bloom. Stuck my nose right in it and just took it all in. Wish I had another way to describe it but all that my mind could think was “Lilac!” So beautiful… May 14, 2014 at 8:43pm Reply

  • Ashley Anstaett: wow, this is such a great idea. I started doing it in my little notebook that fits in my bag! here is mine for today:

    -coffee and warm, dry spices on martin.
    -rose shaving cream
    -balmain ivoire sharp and green
    -rain on wet cement
    -sweet, powdery iris
    -wet dirt
    -wet, musty dog
    -rhubarb-tangy, green, sour

    So fun, and so fun to read everyone else’s too! May 14, 2014 at 8:45pm Reply

    • Ashley Anstaett: today’s smells:

      -peonies on the table-bright and lemony, with a hint of decay

      -mishmash of vintage perfume smells and mustiness from a lot of bottles bought from craigslist

      -warm strawberry, rhubarb and orange flower water simmering in a pot

      -stinky boy b.o./unwashed laundry

      -hibiscus iced tea

      -mint and dirt

      -chorizo-very spicy; smells hot

      -honeysuckle-sweet, green, a little like bit of a burnt caramel smell today too, maybe because it’s so hot? they smelled sunny today. kind of like clean clothes that have been dried in the warm sun. last week they were crisp and green and subtly sweet. May 20, 2014 at 7:43pm Reply

  • Mj: Day before my birthday:
    Raspberries, honey, tea, spoilt milk,ruined the tea. Should have smelled it before pouring.
    Faint new car smell. Too much cologne on valet in car later.
    After work apples, green wet smell of forest preserve, wet wood, wet hay, moldy tack room, old leather, manure, faint herbal trace of Cowboy Magic shampoo mixed with warm horse while grooming. Weird fecund smell of arena sand. Warm smell of horse on my fingernails mixed with soap at home. May 14, 2014 at 11:19pm Reply

  • Sarah: More scents:
    The almost mushroom like smell of cat fur
    The catpissy smell of hackberries
    The so-familiar-it’s-almost-unperceptable-to-me smell of my daughter’s warm skin
    The smell of clean, wet wool May 15, 2014 at 5:11am Reply

  • solanace: Baby diaper – heavens, what do I feed this girl?!
    Fresh coffee, the best smell in the known universe.
    My husband’s cigarrete smoke. I’m an ex smoker who still loves catching smoke whiffs, specially on him. :)
    Cucumber peel as I prepare the boy’s snack. I can see cucumbers are cool smelling vegetables, but I’ll never, ever understand why on Earth perfumers got so infatuated with this note in the last decades.
    SOTD is La Petite Robe noire EDP, because the sky is blue and I’m feeling pink. And pink this one really is, just like the Bromil cough syrup I adored as a kid. Mahoganny’s Bulgarian rose hand cream, which I’m digging right now.
    The smelly Tamanduatei river on my way to work. Just sad, someone ought to fix that. A picture: http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/52920751.jpg
    Something synthetic still lingers from my new-ish office furniture.
    Nespresso Rosabaya, the pink one. Good enough, but not real coffee.
    Can still smell la Petite Robe Noire on my wrists. Not that I give a darn, but this one does not exactly say ‘rocket scientist’. May 15, 2014 at 11:01am Reply

    • solanace: Friday:
      Disappointing arruda (Ruta graveolens) soap. Does not smell like arruda at all, just generically ‘green’ and ‘fresh’.
      My karité body lotion smells oddly familiar – maybe just like the white nivea soap?
      SOTD: Nez à Nez Marron Chic. This one says ‘witty gal’, or at least I think so.
      A foul exhaust smell during my bus ride back home. Nobody wearing any perfume I could discern, which felt a bit gloomy. Come on, guys, let’s overpray me some Axe!
      Hot cocoa with cherry brandy.
      Shalimar Ode à la Vanille. Comfy, warm, smoky and delicious.
      Cajun spice. This thing of smelling the spices is great, thank you for the tip, V! May 16, 2014 at 7:38pm Reply

  • Patricia: Just returned from my lunch break. The lilacs are in bloom and several heavy blossoms were at nose level, so I held them gently and deeply inhaled. The lovely floral scent combined perfectly with the sea salt and slight humidity.

    The feta cheese in my Mediterranean wrap was salty, tangy, and smelled like gym socks that had been worn a few times. May 15, 2014 at 12:27pm Reply

  • Maren: I’ve been pretty crazy with work this week so haven’t been able to focus on this as I’d like to, but I’ve had fun reading other’s comments. And it’s made me more conscious of tuning in to smells, even if I don’t have time to note them everyday, it’s a fun exercise. Olfacory highlights that I’ve noticed this week are:
    - blast of fresh ripe strawberries on display as I walked into the entrance of the grocery store, product placement for sure!
    - tree bark mulch, at same grocery store, don’t know what kind it is but I LOVE the smell of it and it fills the air from half a block away!
    - fresh damp earth, while out on a walk.
    - Hot, freshly popped buttered popcorn!
    - peptobismal, after too much popcorn, weird distinct smell, menthol, mint?
    - my dog’s paws, something about them smells so earthy good.
    - dog’s fur on the other hand, not so good, he needs a bath, my husband and I call it the vacuum cleaner bag smell – oily, dusty
    - musty books, not so nice either. May 15, 2014 at 11:19pm Reply

  • Amer: This morning I was dicing button mushrooms and suddenly the kitchen was filled with the pungent smell of myrrh! Can’t believe I never noticed before how similar they smell! Then I opened my trashcan which contained banana peels and the contents of an ashtray… nope, no Jasmine and Cigarettes there… Some humble things are just humble things. May 16, 2014 at 4:31am Reply

    • Amer: btw, what are these flowers in the picture? Chestnut? May 16, 2014 at 2:24pm Reply

      • Victoria: Yes, they are chestnut flowers. May 17, 2014 at 11:28am Reply

        • Amer: I like chestnut honey, it has a unique, almost pheromonal aroma, but I have never smelled the flowers themselves May 18, 2014 at 8:12am Reply

          • Victoria: Different varieties of chestnut trees smell differently, as I’ve discovered. Some are starchy, a bit chlorine like, but many have a sweet, fruity, floury scent. The white variety as in my photo is the most strongly scented, but pink chestnut trees look even more beautiful. May 18, 2014 at 10:29am Reply

  • Jehane Perse: Thursday: black coffee with agave syrup (like a gold bead of light chasing round the edge of a puddle of night); on one road – pink horse chestnut blossom, red hawthorn in flower, car-impregnated street dust, the vegetal degradation leaking out from half-lidded recycling bins; on another road – the caramelizing waft of roast meats curling up through pavement-level grates from basement kitchens; through it all, an Arabian fruity/floral oud that I was experimenting with because last time it gave me a migraine but this time only made me sneeze.
    Today: oud-laced bedsheets that need changing; toothpaste. May 16, 2014 at 5:02am Reply

    • Jehane Perse: Friday: salty baked fish with green chillis – not much smell ‘in the air’ but puts a kind of smell-staircase of sharp angles into my nose and throat; cigarette smoke, Suffolk cider and that strange smell of other people’s slightly damp hair warming under artificial lighting, at a jazz evening in a tavern May 16, 2014 at 6:51pm Reply

      • Jehane: Saturday – at the theatre, the actress almost level with the audience slowly ate a peeled cucumber! It was a hyper-hot weekend and there was also a smell of vegetable-dyed cotton and denim on slightly sweaty but clean-for-the-evening skin from the audience.
        Sunday – fresh ginger root boiled with turmeric and black pepper.
        Monday, Tuesday – was a little ill and don’t remember.
        Today – been sorting books to give to charity; ‘booksmell’ and also the smell of fresh blood as I’ve been to the butcher’s, and the weather has cooled down so there is a dampish green smell off the stream and its bordering plants. May 20, 2014 at 7:14am Reply

        • Jehane: Oh and I’ve been wearing Oscar de la Renta’s Volupte, which isn’t ‘me’ at all but is a hand-me-down from my mother, who received it as a gift but who has a very austere taste in perfumes (Chanel 19 is the most voluptuous she’ll permit herself). I don’t feel like myself in it; I feel like a fuller, more summery woman than my usual petite, black-clad self. May 20, 2014 at 7:19am Reply

  • Victoria E: I love your information. I have been smelling roses, peonies, flan cream, coffee…….and well I take a whiff of everything……..I do have a question…….I all of a sudden want to wear a ROSE fragrance and could someone please give me suggestions to purchase here in America? Thank you so much. I don’t know why all of a sudden I want a rose fragrance since I love Fracas but I just am in love with the smell of roses. Thank you so much. May 22, 2014 at 12:18am Reply

    • Victoria E: Fresh cut grass……… May 22, 2014 at 12:20am Reply

      • Victoria E: OH I forgot, I purchased while in Houston…….I live such a long way away from Houston but I love that city….I picked up some Lady Primrose dusting powder and just dusted all over my clean fresh pink sheets……..the smell was intoxicating. I wish powder came with all fragrances. May 22, 2014 at 12:22am Reply

  • Victoria E: Another one I forgot and I love this thread……I use Erno Laszlo Controlling Lotion on my nose…..only…….and there is a fragrance in that lotion like no other……..and it has been the same since 1980 when I tried it for the first time the smell came back to me in memory when I wore Laszlo in 1980……….. May 22, 2014 at 12:26am Reply

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  • Mare in A Travel Tip: We went to Italy earlier this summer. We flew out of JFK in NYC, and had a 5 hour layover. I picked up a bottle of Chanel No. 19 EDT… July 30, 2014 at 3:40pm

  • rainboweyes in A Travel Tip: I don’t associate scents with particular places but sometimes bring perfume as a souvenir from my trips, especially to places where niche scents are available. When going on vacation, though,… July 30, 2014 at 2:53pm

  • Rowanhill in A Travel Tip: Oh, and a small travel spray of Guerlain Mon Precieux Nectar was a lovely evening fragrance if Songe did not seem to fit the bill. July 30, 2014 at 2:06pm

  • Rowanhill in A Travel Tip: This year I kept it simple. Eau de Rochas and Dior Escale a Portofino for Seville in May, EL Azuree Soleil, Goutal Eau d’Hadrien and Songes for Barbados in July… July 30, 2014 at 1:59pm

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