Scent Diary : Wine and Strawberries

One of my weekly pleasures is a Friday market that takes place on a small square not too far from my apartment building. It starts late in the afternoon to fit the working hours, and by 6 pm, the jagged rectangle surrounded by grey limestone buildings teems with EU workers in suits, moms with strollers, elderly ladies with pulling carts and just about anyone who lives in the area.  I come here as much for the produce as for the smells and also for an occasional glass of wine with a friend; I’ve yet to encounter a Belgian market without a drink stand! The market inspires me to experiment in the kitchen and to write in my scent diary (provided that said wine consumption was kept in check.)

strawberry salad

Many of you have asked me to make Scent Diary a regular feature, a place where we can share the scents we encounter. Being aware of different scents throughout the day is the best way to sharpen your sense of smell, while writing down the recollections improves your aromatic vocabulary and memory.

Whether you write down 1 recollection or 10 matters less than simply reminding yourself to smell. You can add as many comments as you wish. You can comment today or over the course of the week; this thread will always be open. Of course, do share what perfume you’re wearing or what particularly good fragrance you’ve discovered.

I wish my friends in the US a wonderful Memorial Day celebration, and the rest of us a relaxing, sunny weekend! I’m wearing Chanel Beige, and we will have this savory-sweet salad with strawberries, arugula and mozzarella for lunch. The rest of my scent diary will be in the comments.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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129 Comments

  • Andy: Walking out of the bakery this morning, the scent of sweet vanilla and yeast segued into the fresh, crisply aromatic breath of the neighboring barber shop. With the warmly golden sunrise illuminating the street, I couldn’t help but feel sheer optimism! May 24, 2014 at 9:15am Reply

    • Victoria: Just imagining this makes me smile! There is nothing like the smell of warm bread. I baked a loaf yesterday before leaving for some work meetings, and when I returned, the whole apartment smelled like a bakery. 🙂 May 24, 2014 at 10:26am Reply

    • Andy: Every time I walk into the kitchen, I keep getting the pleasant surprise of the room being scented with the light, rosey perfume of our cut pink peonies. A pleasure for the eyes and nose. May 25, 2014 at 8:32am Reply

      • Victoria: Many of us have peonies as home (it seems so from the comments). It’s the season, and I can’t resist buying yet another bunch. May 25, 2014 at 3:27pm Reply

        • Alessandra: heh, I wish the florists in Italy could sell them, in addition to the usual types of flower they sell! Believe it or not, peonies are very rare to find at florists, in Italy. I miss them 🙁 overdosed in Paris last week May 26, 2014 at 3:28pm Reply

          • zari: Alessandra, can’t you plant some where you are? I have peonies planted and they are just starting to bloom. Can’t wait for the first cut! I would assume that the temperatures in Italy should be able to accommodate peonies.

            On another note, I started the morning off with Cristalle, but realized my nose was searching for a more comforting scent, so now my personal space is emanating Colette (Tocca). As I headed out this morning, and locked the front door, the honey like scent of yellow and white roses with the surrounding grass and mulch reminded me despite having to go back to work today, we are lucky the snows have melted and summer is nearly here! May 27, 2014 at 9:40am Reply

  • Tijana: Aaaah, Beige… I have been “slathering” myself in it since I bought it two months ago… I love it so much, I splurged for both EDT and parfum and have been wearing it almost exclusively since I got it! I have to respect this fragrance for being so easy and appropriate to wear almost any time, and becoming one of my favorites even though at first sniff I dismissed it as being “nothing special” 🙂
    Today I am wearing J’Adore though. Another fragrance I never gave time of the day when it came out, but reading your review on it yesterday, I decided to find my long forgotten sample and try for the first time… My hubby loves it, I like it, but I am hoping I can find somewhere today to test the L’Or version, I read amazing reviews on that one!
    Happy weekend Victoria, I am off to the opera today (Massenet’s Don Quichotte) and I will share any lovely aromas I smell there! 🙂 May 24, 2014 at 9:20am Reply

    • Victoria: If you like J’Adore, do try the new Hermes Jour d’Hermes Absolu. It has a very similar vibe, and it smells rich but radiant. May 24, 2014 at 10:28am Reply

      • Tijana: Thank you – I did today and LOVE it!!! Do you like it? I even like it more than J’adore, probably b/c of the peach blossom!!! I sense a new bottle once I am out of Beige… Perfect for the summer, I think… May 24, 2014 at 9:39pm Reply

        • Victoria: I like it very much. J’Adore today is a bit more shrill than it used to be, and I enjoy the radiance of Jour d’Hermes. But I like both perfumes, and I always recommend them to friend who like that kind of radiant, bright floral style. I can’t tell you how many positive compliments I get on Jour d’Hermes, all versions. It projects really well and lasts nicely, but it’s not overwhelming. Anyway, it’s good to try and compare. May 25, 2014 at 3:19pm Reply

          • zari: J’adore is pretty and shrill for me as well. I sampled it back in the fall, and had a massive headache from it the rest of the day. Jour d’Hermes brings to mind a sun filled ambery hallway, clean linen pillows and cream carpets, white french doors, and a rich person’s very elegant and under-stated house. Haha, I’m not sure why, but it does. May 27, 2014 at 9:43am Reply

            • Victoria: That’s a spot-on vision. 🙂 May 27, 2014 at 10:04am Reply

      • Tijana: Actually I think it is apricot blossom, not peach blossom! Love it! May 25, 2014 at 6:47am Reply

      • Figuier: Thanks for the tip – I found the rhubarb/florist part of Jour too much, so a ’rounder’ more J’Adore like version would be fantastic. May 25, 2014 at 8:03am Reply

        • Victoria: It’s less sharp and much softer, which is one of the reasons I really like it. Plus, it lasts really well. May 25, 2014 at 3:22pm Reply

  • Victoria: I woke up to the sharp lemony scent as my husband started cleaning the apartment. Lemony, sharp, a bit piney.

    Green tea that smelled like musty straw, not good

    Strawberries and apricots

    Warm flatbread from the Syrian shop–a bit of charred wood and smoky oregano May 24, 2014 at 10:22am Reply

    • Victoria: Yesterday I also caught several different perfumes during my grocery shopping: Lancome Tresor, Coco Mademoiselle and something light, powdery and rose-like. Then a girl in the elevator smelled of Lolita Lempicka, and it reminded me how much I love this scent. This makes it the 3rd Lolita Lempicka sighting within the past week. May 25, 2014 at 4:20am Reply

    • Victoria: Walked into the kitchen in the morning and all I could smell was peaches! Opened the fridge and wow, a blast of sweaty feet and musty socks. Someone forgot to cling wrap Muenster cheese.

      Wearing Lumiere Blanche by Olfactive Studio and feeling cozy and warm. May 25, 2014 at 8:38am Reply

      • Austenfan: Munster cheese is wonderful, an acquired taste I think. The smell is enough to scare the horses. May 26, 2014 at 9:41am Reply

        • Victoria: Yes, indeed! But the worst cheese I’ve ever smelled was some local Belgian variety. When I asked about it, the cheesemonger said that it was “special,” and wondered if I really wanted to buy it. Now, I’m hard to scare with bad smells, but that thing came close. I have no idea what it’s called. It just looked like a ball and was also sticky and chewy. May 27, 2014 at 10:05am Reply

      • Alessandra: Lumière Blanche is AWESOME May 26, 2014 at 3:28pm Reply

  • Jillie: What a lovely husband you have, Victoria!

    Have you tried strawberries with soft, fresh goats’ cheese? I love the way they complement each other.

    Scents today – wet earth smelling of mushrooms and compost, the sappy smell of damp leaves and the green freshness of sodden grass crushed underfoot; we have had torrential rain and everything is soaked (the weather is a sure indicator that this is a holiday weekend!). May 24, 2014 at 10:59am Reply

    • Victoria: He is a good sport, but we usually divide the housework–I buy groceries (the stores close just as he gets home from work) and I usually cook or we cook together. And he does the cleaning, laundry, etc. Works out well, I think. 🙂

      Oh, a great idea to pair goat cheese and strawberries. Because I forgot that there are only 2 of us, I bought 3 baskets. May 24, 2014 at 12:54pm Reply

  • maja: Wish I woke up to my husband’s cleaning the apartment! 🙂
    A lot of smells today for me. The smell of rubber in a bicycle shop, sea food spaghetti I made quickly way past the regular lunch time, Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine this morning that left me disappointed again. I tried Madame Rochas for the first time and was reminded of Caleche so I sprayed it on my other hand to compare. I seem to forget just how soapy, elegant and wonderfully perfumey Caleche is especially on a hot day like this. And I have to add – the slightly burning smell of charred peppers I’m roasting at the moment. 🙂 Roasted peppers remind me of my childhood and autumn so much since we used to roast industrial quantities for making homemade ajvar (peppers and eggplant spread). May 24, 2014 at 11:46am Reply

    • sandra: I have the same problem with Orange Sanguine. I really want to love it-but it just falls flat and fleeting on me. 🙁 May 24, 2014 at 12:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: The smell of charred peppers is so good, it makes my mouth water whenever I think about it. I like roasted peppers wrapped around feta cheese or marinated in honey-garlic-wine vinegar dressing.

      Maja, do you have a recipe for ajvar, or can you direct me to a good recipe online (it doesn’t have to be in English either, google translate works well enough)? May 24, 2014 at 2:46pm Reply

      • maja: Sure, I’ll try to find the right one. 🙂 May 24, 2014 at 4:40pm Reply

  • Vishishta: The herbal smell of a Sauvignon Blanc at a small winery in the Napa valley. The hot, humid and musky smell of volcanic ash (mud) heaped upon my body at the Calistoga mud baths. The lemony hit of lemon in Calistoga water. The remnants of my body worker husband’s hands from rubbing lavender oil into people all day!
    A scent diary! What a beautiful idea. I will do it! May 24, 2014 at 11:54am Reply

    • Victoria: How I envy your Calistoga trip! When my dad was alive, we made a visit there at least once a year (with a stop at a winery, too), and I can now remember all of the scents you describe. Thank you for a nice recollection. May 24, 2014 at 3:11pm Reply

      • Vishishta: It is so different than the weather in Berkeley, where I live! the vision of women in long knit strapless gowns, the heat, the sensuous cafes with beautiful umbrellas made Berkeley seem cold when I returned! Cocoa Noire faintly remaining on my long sundress made me feel like a queen! May 24, 2014 at 3:27pm Reply

        • Victoria: Very different from Brussels too! 🙂 Today was anything but warm and sunny for most of the day. May 24, 2014 at 3:39pm Reply

  • sandra: Though my fiance was not cleaning the apartment, he was up early doing laundry!

    Your a lucky gal Victoria!

    This morning it was cat poo, and wet cat food-smelled like tuna though the can said salmon.

    My sweethearts smoothie that was on his breath when he kissed me. Smelled like pinapple.

    I am working today..poo! I came in to find our office being cleaned. Smelled like Pledge (lemon smell) and some sort of bleachy smell. Clorox clean-up

    Today I am wearing Back to Black by Killian. Its in its finaly stage of a soft powdery smell. I love it. Makes me feel cozy-even at work. May 24, 2014 at 12:00pm Reply

    • Victoria: Hey, doing laundry is big help too! 🙂

      Back to Black’s drydown is my favorite part, especially when it wears to the powdery-almond and musk base. May 24, 2014 at 3:17pm Reply

    • sandra: This morning I was up earlly for work-
      showered with a magnolia smelling body wash from FA. Smelled fab!
      Had plain yogurt and honey. The honey smells sweet but a bit tart at the same time.
      On the subway-which was not working properly-it smelled like smoke and something metal. I had to get off and take a taxi and the cab driver was eating some sort of meat sandwich for breakfast that smelled rotton and like vomit. I had to open the window! Gross
      My perfume today is Bombay Bling. Just a few dabs-since there is a no fragrance policy at work and a notice a few drops never offends anyone. May 25, 2014 at 8:20am Reply

      • Victoria: A colleague observes that yogurt smells like green apple, and I finally smelled it closely and noticed that yes, it does. Yogurt with a crisp green apple is now of my favorite combos. May 25, 2014 at 3:24pm Reply

        • Sandra: Yum! I will have to give that a try!
          I like yogurt with pretty much any fruit, but never thought of apple.
          Speaking of the forbidden fruit- I am wearing Good girl gone bad 😉 I have been trying to use my by killian samples. May 26, 2014 at 7:25am Reply

          • Victoria: Those Kilians are on my “to resmell” list. I got a bit overwhelmed with their launches, but I liked a couple from the recent collection. May 27, 2014 at 10:06am Reply

            • sandra: I also like playing with the devil.
              I would like to try the ones from the asian collection next.
              I only own one-cruel intentions. It give me my oud fix-and its great for night time because its really sexy. I have also noticed that with some of the samples, as well as CI, a little goes a long way!

              Yesterday was a great day for smells!
              Union sq market: fresh herbs, mint, rosemary, basil, strawberries, apples. The smell of this juice my sweetie and I shared by Red Jacket, apple juice and blackcurrant. sweet and tart.
              Like a fresh picked apple.

              We met some friends of ours that are vegan in brooklyn. We went to this vegan donut shop, I tried an apple pie donut. The filling was apples, cinnamon, sugar-the donut was fantastic. Afterwards we walked around and it smelled like a hair salon on the street. That blowdry hair smell.
              We then followed them on to their favorite vegan diner which was decorated like the 80-90’s and its smelled like garlic, onions and french fries. Though we are not vegan, we both had a fab time! May 27, 2014 at 11:11am Reply

              • sandra: This morning it was lemony soap, nivea creme and my nivea deo that is lotus scent but it smells like a sweet lemon to me.

                Hospital smells today: foul smelling burned skin, that sort of sterile smell in the halls.

                Afternoon is was pizza (new york pizza has a great smell) caesar salad dressing and potato chips. Not a good eating day today at work! What can you do-group lunch!

                Today I am wearing eau de merveilles by hermes. My favorite salty skin smell. May 29, 2014 at 3:43pm Reply

                • Victoria: Mine too! I might wear it later tonight, because I have a nice, big sized decant in my purse. May 30, 2014 at 11:15am Reply

  • Mj: I am starting to get an odd “canine” feeling, but here goes today:
    Dry newspaper wrapped in plastic, sawmill smell
    Geranium leaves (finally planted in pot on front stoop) potting soil, green smell like taste of celery
    Well used riding boots surprisingly pleasant when I stuck my nose in and inhaled, faint warm leather tempered with musty horse. Inspired an unsuccessful attemp to find my sample of Hermes Kelly Caleche. May 24, 2014 at 12:04pm Reply

    • Victoria: 🙂

      Is it regular geranium or scented geranium? May 24, 2014 at 3:18pm Reply

  • Elisa: No perfume yet today — I just got out of the shower and slathered on shea body butter from The Body Shop, which has a nice subtle tonka-like smell.

    My favorite smell this week: I got a craving for my brother’s tomato chutney. It’s very simple and very addictive and very fragrant, since you start by toasting cumin seeds and a cinnamon stick in butter. The rest is just chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned, either works), brown sugar and red pepper flakes cooked down until it’s thick and chunky. Delicious on meat or roasted vegetables.

    Have a lovely weekend V! May 24, 2014 at 1:18pm Reply

    • Victoria: The Body Shop’s Nut body butter smelled so good, I wanted to eat it. 🙂 I haven’t seen it for years, and I suspect that it was discontinued for good, despite their promise to bring it back.

      I’m now craving that chutney! It sounds delish. May 24, 2014 at 3:21pm Reply

      • Metaphortunate: Oh god, the nut butter. I’ve never gotten over how edible that smelled! May 26, 2014 at 4:21pm Reply

    • Jillie: Just wanted to say that I now crave that chutney too, Elisa! Yum. Will have to cook it. May 25, 2014 at 3:46am Reply

  • Danaki: Yesterday:

    visited my local department store and sniffed TDC Oudh in Love, was very disappointed as the oud was sharp and shriek-y. Reminded me to stick to my miniscule Arabian oudh oil vial – about to finish. I was wearing SL Ambre Sultan and tried Cedre one more time before deciding it might be too masculine for me – I like it, but I don’t think I’ll ever wear it.

    In the supermarket, I was picking up and sniffing all the flower bouquets to the amusement of the security guard. The roses smelt fresh and the peonies were grassy and cool. Certainly not the best flowers.

    Today:
    sweet, bright and refreshing scent (and taste) from my Chinese green Jasmine tea. Has anyone managed to bottle this aroma yet?

    A fresh, tart zing from capers on my herby couscous. the ras-el-hanout spices on my chicken were unfortunately out of date so I didn’t get much fragrance there.

    I’m getting citrus-y notes from my beer today. May 24, 2014 at 3:21pm Reply

    • Victoria: Fun! I was doing the same thing at the supermarket today. 🙂

      Andy and I are still looking for a true to the experience Chinese jasmine tea. So far, we found nothing remotely like it. May 24, 2014 at 3:36pm Reply

      • Danaki: Ooh. Can’t wait for the results of your travails. Two days ago I prepared the ‘Shalimar tea’ according to your recipe and now they sit for a week for them to infuse. Can hardly wait. May 24, 2014 at 4:25pm Reply

        • Victoria: Hope that you like it! You can always adjust the flavors later, which is the beauty of the recipe. May 25, 2014 at 3:14pm Reply

    • Danaki: The UK bank holiday that passed carried good smells despite the unwelcome rain and the slight chill. The girls pouring out of Revolution night club smelled of honey and vanilla. A heady mixture of Flowerbomb and Coco Mademoiselle. The masalas from the kebab shop a few yards down the road were mouthwatering.

      At home, I enjoyed the aromas from a roasted chicken but must say that I hated the acrid smell and dry taste of Scotch Bonnet chilli that my partner used in lieu of the standard chilli I prefer. It is his signature dish and he must not mess with it.

      on monday, a zesty and pineapple-ish scent from my pint of Hoegarden on a road side pub mixed with diesel odours was strange but nevertheless enjoyable, and then probably my favourite smell in the world – chips! (potato fries for US readers). May 28, 2014 at 10:13am Reply

  • carole macleod: Today just smelled-clean! I vacuumed everything yesterday (bought a miele-love it!). The air was fresh and I took some time to brush Marmalade, the long haired orange cat. He always smells like pine and heather and just a healthy cat smell. His fur is so long that he trails big pieces of heather and small snails (yuck). I have beeswax candles on burning, and am taking a break from perfume for the day.
    Have a good evening! And i cannot get the image of the needlework out of my head-i wish I knew how to make beautiful things. May 24, 2014 at 3:43pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oops, I missed your comment earlier, Carole! My apologies! There is nothing like the smell of a clean home. 🙂

      The embroideries my grandmother used to do are spectacular, and I also wish I had those skills. And time! Because that’s the main ingredient one needs for embroidery. May 27, 2014 at 10:09am Reply

  • Mj: They are regular red geraniums from garden supply. Where can I find scented geraniums? Sounds like they will smell better. May 24, 2014 at 4:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: They smell like green roses and citrus peel, and you can use leaves in compotes and drinks. A good garden supply store should have them. I’m thinking of ordering one online. May 24, 2014 at 4:12pm Reply

      • Mj: Mmmn, I am going to order scented geraniums on line. A set of 5 3″ pots from Local Harvest goes for $36.99 including shipping. Pricy but just what I am looking for. I always learn something from your blog. Thanks so much! May 24, 2014 at 5:06pm Reply

        • Victoria: I can’t wait to hear what your plants are like and what do you think of the scent. The scented geraniums have beautiful leaves, and depending on the variety, they can be quite hardy. So, I hope that the purchase will be worthwhile. May 25, 2014 at 3:17pm Reply

  • Solanace: Raw beans smell like stale beer
    Cooked beans, on the other hand, have a nutty note
    Fried bacon fills the house with joy
    And the smell of fried bacon with onions added is 10 times better, fresher and more alive.

    SOTD is Guerlain Tonka Impériale – perfect for a cool day. Today I am getting a smoky vibe in it that I quite enjoy!

    Have a great weekend! May 24, 2014 at 4:41pm Reply

    • Victoria: What an interesting observation about beans! I now want to find some to smell.

      My husband would agree with you that the smell of bacon fills the house with joy. 🙂 May 25, 2014 at 3:15pm Reply

    • Solanace: Yesterday was a lazy, rainy Sunday here, and looking for some action I layered two bombs from the 80’s, Coco and Rumba. The combo turned out to be surprisingly satisfying, somehow reminiscent of Tabu or drinking a bit much of very dark red wine, such as Cahors or Fitou. Probably not a good one for those no-perfume policy working places, I suppose. 🙂 May 26, 2014 at 5:49am Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: In the morning coffee as usual. I love the smell and the taste of it (when I lived with parents and brother in Gent: Zwarte Kat koffie, only for me, the others disliked that strong smell).
    The cats’ box. Fortunately my cat eats dry food.
    In the garden centre I smelled lots of herbs and plants. Bought rosemary, great on baked potatoes, with salt and garlic.
    No perfume in the tramway, only a vague, musty smell.
    Salad with celery, feta, spring onions, kalamata olives, dille, olive oil, and a glass of Verdicchio (fresh, peppery celery, salty olives, sweet dille, fruity oil and fruity wine).
    Perfume: Sous le Vent.

    Have a nice weekend! May 24, 2014 at 5:01pm Reply

    • solanace: Your salad sounds delicious! May 24, 2014 at 6:38pm Reply

    • Victoria: I want your salad too. Anything with dill and olives is bound to be delicious. May 25, 2014 at 3:16pm Reply

  • Karima: The delicate rosey scent of peonies from a dear colleague’s garden wafting through my apartment. Store bought ones never seem to give off any scent.
    31 Rue Cambon on my wrists. If only it were stronger and longer lasting, I would consider purchasing a full bottle.
    Gritty smell of freshly brewed espresso tempered by adding full fat cream, yum!
    Heading into town soon and looking forward to outdoors smells! May 25, 2014 at 6:12am Reply

    • Victoria: We have peonies at home too, storebought ones, but they still smell nice. The ones from the street side gardens around here smell incredible, on the other hand. May 25, 2014 at 3:20pm Reply

  • Figuier: Having a prolonged avocado phase – its fatty faintly green smell and strangely flat flavour goes so well with olive oil and lemon. Mashed onto chewy white bread the dusty granular smell of flour adds a lovely contrast.

    In the library – old books, part pleasant part unpleasant, a ‘yellow’ smell somehow.

    Wearing Shanghai Lily and feeling very glamorous while doing the laundry. Yesterday in town I got a lovely whiff of cologne at the bus stop; it’s so rare to smell perfumes in public here that I get unduly excited when it does happen. May 25, 2014 at 8:02am Reply

    • Victoria: That’s definitely one glamorous perfume! I also like to wear something over the top glamorous for doing the most menial tasks. It makes me feel great. 🙂 May 25, 2014 at 3:21pm Reply

  • Gentiana: Early in the morning went out in the garden: the smell of wet grass and earth after the yesterday evening’s rain. Onion, dill, peonies, cherry trees, burdock. The chicken. Breakfast: home-made bread (yum!), butter, ham, cheese. And the divine smell of coffee.
    Perfume: byc moze (interesting chypre made in Poland) layered with Yves Rocher Mure sauvage (I am running out of So Pretty by Cartier, it is discontinued, galactic prices on errr bay and I am trying to recompose it 🙂 )
    My mom’s scent ( a strong blast of Angel that I gave to her as it smells awful with my chemistry).
    The dust and gasoline vapors on the street, walking to the voting unit. Smell of many people in closed environment, old, damp walls of school, paper, ink, disel-fuel-painted floor.
    Street smells again, smoke, fresh cut grass in one yard. Hay in the next.
    Chestnut in full bloom.
    The mother of Klari, feeding a dog in the street, she had to be cooking from early morning, smelling of fried onions.
    Grass in the graveyard, the strong smell of burnt matches as I try to light a candle on my father’s grave. The smell of burning candle. Burning wick, melting wax.
    A few late tulips, falling apart, flowers in decay.
    The old church. Old stone, old walls, old wood. Incense. Myrrh.
    Street towards home. Srtong gasoline smoke. People coming and going. Non-descript perfume.
    My mom’s chorus fellows. Great plate of cake – the smell of vanilla, chocolate, pastry. Coke. Fanta.
    Barbecue in the neighborhood.
    Home. Kitchen smells: sour soup (chorba, borsh… yum!), fried rabbit, chocolate cake.
    I take a nap. My bedroom smells of a strange mixture of perfumes.
    Wake up, I got to go.
    Three sprays of Narcisse Noir on my stomach. Powder, soap, flowers. Musty, murky, slightly unwashed. To be more specific, the smell reminds me of starting washing – not yet clean body (au contraire 🙂 ) mixed with the smell of a good soap. Not to be worn in public – I think. Well, in fact, I wear it for myself, going to my office to finish something.
    My car – rubber, plastic, faint perfume of some blotters.
    Stale cigarette smoke and non-descript old office building hall smell.
    My office’s smell: perfume, wood, plastic, paper, incense, cinnamon, tea, dishwashing liquid.
    I follow the development of N. N. Two hours later: still powdery, flowers brighter, no more unwashed. Now it is suitable for public wear.
    In between wafts of other perfume coming to my nose (probably the samples used yesterday spilled a bit on my drawings )
    Grapefruit.
    Green Tea.
    Toilet. Well, it’s good that Nela is back, it smells clean enough. Last week she was off, another cleaning lady came and wasn’t doing a good job at all….
    Protex Herbal hand washing liquid. Very medicinal smell (rosemary, thyme, marygold, sage and a lot of chemicals)
    The day is not over yet.
    So many smells already? May 25, 2014 at 11:13am Reply

    • Victoria: Wow, so many observations! Thank you for sharing, Gentiana. It makes me feel as if I’m getting a glimpse of another place, and it’s wonderful. May 25, 2014 at 3:28pm Reply

      • Gentiana: I’m glad you liked it. I smell my environment all the time and a great part of my perception and impression is about smells.
        But I am not diligent enough to write it every day.
        And not so good in writing the descriptions. May 30, 2014 at 4:22am Reply

        • Victoria: Every now and then is already very good and helpful! It also don’t write my scent diary every day, but if I remember and write it down, I enjoy re-reading the notes later. May 30, 2014 at 11:18am Reply

    • Solanace: Yes, I felt like you took me for a walk, thank’s! May 26, 2014 at 5:54am Reply

      • Gentiana: 🙂 Be welcome! I am happy you liked my walk. Be my guest, any time ! May 30, 2014 at 4:19am Reply

  • Austenfan: I want some of that salad!

    Around where I live the elderberries are in flower, and contrary to last year they are very fragrant. I love their smell, up close it quickly becomes too pungent, but from a little distance it’s lovely.
    There is a small jasmine bush ( don’t know which kind) in my street as well. It smells sweet and honeyed and gorgeous.
    The smell of my dog when she has been swimming in the Oosterschelde; she smells of salt water and seaweed. May 25, 2014 at 11:25am Reply

    • Victoria: Do you do anything with the elderberry flowers? I love the syrup you can sometimes find at the English shops, and it tastes delicious with champagne. On the other hand, what doesn’t! May 25, 2014 at 3:30pm Reply

      • Austenfan: No I don’t. I could probably make them into syrup. But I already have some. It is gorgeous, have never tried it with champagne, I have with ricepudding though, which was good. You can find it in France and Germany as well. Mostly in “organic” shops. May 26, 2014 at 9:34am Reply

        • rainboweyes: I’ve come across recipes for strawberry jam and orange marmalade with elderberry flowers, haven’t tried them myself, though.
          I love elderberry syrup in my champagne too but my current favourite is champagne with a shot of rhubarb syrup! May 26, 2014 at 12:08pm Reply

  • rickyrebarco: I woke up to the smell of freshly ground coffee, followed by the wonderful scent of pancakes being cooked, followed by the smell of burning on the griddle. Then maple syrup. Later on, fresh hummus, nice and garlicky the the pungent, clovey and apple cider vinegary scent of homemade pickled beets mixed with garden fresh tomatoes and the tang of spinach leaves along with their bitterish taste. Then cleaning started here with the lemony antiseptic scent of Clorox wipes, which are a cleaning staple in the U.S. Finally, the fresh scent airy scent of Tide with no additives overtaking the musty smell of my laundry room as the clothes are washed. Later my nose will be busy smelling the chlorine in my pool when I take my daily swim. Lots of scents in Florida today! May 25, 2014 at 3:43pm Reply

    • Claire: Chlorine smells = smell of summer to me. Fortunately or unfortunately. May 25, 2014 at 7:38pm Reply

    • Victoria: Now I’m craving pancakes, the classical thick pancakes with lots of maple syrup and a touch of butter… May 27, 2014 at 10:10am Reply

  • AndreaR: The steadfast and reassuring scent of burning bees wax candles and incense.

    The nail screeching odor of scented trash bags. What were they thinking?

    Hotel lobby fragrance. Subtle in one hotel but the one in the other hotel made me think I was following someone who had doused herself in cheap scent. May 25, 2014 at 7:14pm Reply

    • Victoria: I love the scent of real beeswax candles, and it invariably makes me think of a church. A very serene, comforting scent. May 27, 2014 at 11:01am Reply

  • Claire: Peonies! I got two stems from local farmer’s market last week, the white ones. They are more fragrant than the pretty-looking pink ones. Even my toddler agreed that it smells good.
    Just came back from children’s birthday party, smelling Play Doh, rubber balloons, smoke from blown candles, shortening from store-bought birthday cake, crayon, wet soil, newborn baby smell, and the poop. May 25, 2014 at 7:35pm Reply

    • Claire: I should clarify that normally breast-fed infants poop smells like nothing- maybe sour yoghurt. This one is formula-fed infant poop smell, a smell every mother is probably familiar with. Unmistakable. May 25, 2014 at 7:40pm Reply

      • Claire: We are cooking today, let’s see.. tarragon (old ones in the fridge, which smells more like mint to me, lacking that zing that fresh tarragon has. Is this true?), bacon, onion, coriander powder (mistaken for lemongrass, are they almost the same smell?), cilantro, and pungent cheese.

        My old white peonies finally withered but I can still smell them to the last petal. May 26, 2014 at 8:23pm Reply

        • Michaela: White peonies are fantastic, I also love them even better than the pink ones! May 27, 2014 at 4:27am Reply

    • Victoria: I saw beautiful red peonies today, but I was surprised that they had no scent. The pale cream ones, on the other hand, filled the whole shop with their aroma. May 27, 2014 at 11:03am Reply

  • Kate: The powdery orange smell of my sea buckthorn body wash. I sprayed on some Hiris after my shower, which is not a perfume I wear often, but I find it calming and was in need of a soothing scent. Today, to my surprise, it teetered on the verge of cloying but stayed just on the right side. It is chilly and transparent, with a sweet undercurrent.

    Then the scent of strong coffee, sun-warmed grass and the scent of the roses I have been growing in my garden: classic tea rose scents, with creamy myrrh from the older varieties.

    Afterwards, the heavy, narcotic smell of lake water in sunshine on our walk through the grounds of an old estate – mixed with the sharp tang of duck and goose droppings and rhododendron – does rhododendron have a scent? I don’t know if it was the flowers or the foliage I was detecting… May 26, 2014 at 6:09am Reply

    • Victoria: I read that some rhododendrons have a scent, but I’ve never encountered enough of rhododendrons to know what they smell like. A note to self: sniff rhododendron the next time I see one. 🙂 May 27, 2014 at 5:07pm Reply

  • Gabriela: I love Beige! May 26, 2014 at 7:36am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s so easy to wear too. May 27, 2014 at 5:08pm Reply

  • rainboweyes: The smell of the farmers’ market makes me swoon every time I visit. My newest discovery (beside the gorgeous strawberries and first local raspberries) are organic bananas from the Canary Islands – they look unspectacular but have the best banana flavour ever!
    Btw, yesterday I made the coconut rhubarb cake (I posted the link to the recipe a while ago) and it tuned out absolutely delicious – fluffy and tart, topped with whipped cream 🙂 May 26, 2014 at 7:40am Reply

    • Victoria: Mmm… The coconut rhubarb cake sounds absolutely delicious! I have a recipe printed out, but I still haven’t tried it. May 27, 2014 at 5:08pm Reply

  • Alessandra: Yes, yes! Make it a regular feature!!

    And I never thought of putting strawberries in that kind of salad, I wanna eat this, too! Maybe for dinner! 🙂

    My greatest most recent scent memory is that of being at Parc Monceau in Paris last thursday, and being surrounded by a lovely mixture of iris and rose scents…. the natural concoction was sublime!!!! I wish I could bottle it up! May 26, 2014 at 10:26am Reply

    • Victoria: A friend gave me an idea, and I’ve been making it ever since. Strawberries go so well with anything creamy and milky. May 27, 2014 at 5:09pm Reply

  • Maren: I’ve been cleaning today, so Lemon pledge has the sotd! Hah, but now I am ready to take a nap in the hammock, wearing Lumiere Blanche and loving it. May 26, 2014 at 2:17pm Reply

    • Victoria: A nap in the hammock will more than make up for it all! 🙂 May 27, 2014 at 5:09pm Reply

  • spe: Spent some time in Estonia. There are the most beautiful smelling trees. Not sure if they are linden? Soft cotton / light laundry musk / floral is the only way I can describe it. Light but warm. Can anyone help me figure out what those trees are? Thank you! May 26, 2014 at 2:33pm Reply

    • Michaela: Anything like that? http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail309.php

      I am also curious how can anyone put linden scent into words… May 27, 2014 at 4:30am Reply

      • spe: Could be that. I picked a twig to bring home but it shriveled up so quickly there was no time to analyze it. No blossoms on it yet (this was about two weeks ago). May 29, 2014 at 1:18am Reply

    • Victoria: You should ask Annikky if you see her pop up in the comments. She’s Estonian, and she knows a lot about different plants and scents.

      Is it anything like this:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_padus May 27, 2014 at 5:11pm Reply

      • spe: Well – it could have been. There were no real blossoms yet. I may have a photo. And I’ll definitely be on the look out for Annikky! Thank you! May 29, 2014 at 1:22am Reply

  • Metaphortunate: The wood smell of the bench in the park down the block. It’s carved out of one huge tree trunk.

    The weirdly, addictively chemical smell of the lilies my friend brought to dinner the other day. They smell like industrial carpeting but I can’t stop sniffing them.

    The smell of my baby’s neck at the night feeding when he had a strawberry at dinner and has been just a little bit too warm in his crib. The slight cheesiness of old milk, the moist mildness of baby sweat, clean hair, the sweetness of strawberries in season. May 26, 2014 at 4:17pm Reply

    • maja: The baby part is so tender and lovely. 🙂 May 26, 2014 at 5:01pm Reply

    • Victoria: I got a warm feeling reading about the scent of your baby. It could have been a poem! May 27, 2014 at 5:12pm Reply

  • Michaela: Honeysuckle blossoms today. Nothing else matters 🙂
    A little girl gathering flowers smiled to me: ‘I pick up honey for myself’; ‘Won’t you give me some?’; ‘No!’ 🙂
    It’s almost the same I feel about this scent, I would keep it just for myself, it is so perfect! It’s not honey for me, I get honey from flowers like snowdrops, or a lot of small white bushes blossoms, sometimes from tulips. I can’t describe honeysuckle at all… Some linden, grass in the sun and jasmine, maybe? On the sweet side but not too sweet, warm but not hot, elegant, distinct from the distance but not heady. I just can’t name it. May 27, 2014 at 4:40am Reply

    • Victoria: Your description of honeysuckle is exactly how I smell it too! It’s one of my favorite floral scents. May 27, 2014 at 5:13pm Reply

      • Michaela: I’m happy!
        Just curious, did you find any perfume not exactly the same, but to make you think ‘honeysuckle’? May 28, 2014 at 4:11am Reply

        • Victoria: The one that smelled very close was Marc Jacobs Blush, but it has been discontinued. I’m still missing it. May 28, 2014 at 8:07am Reply

          • Michaela: Thank you. Sorry. There’ll be another one sometime, for sure. It’s too tempting. May 28, 2014 at 8:29am Reply

    • Michaela: White Linen sampling. I did it once this winter and I couldn’t get much out of it. Now I’m absolutely amazed. A lush bouquet of roses in the hot sun, all day long, while, in the evening, roses get very pale and I feel clean sparkling white laundry, for sure. Surprising and beautiful.
      Other scents I remember: too much confectioner’s sugar in a perfume on a lady in the street, watery perfume on another one, exquisite perfume on a man with musk and vetiver, I think, strawberries, Smecta medicine, mint tea, boiled carrots, fried onion. May 28, 2014 at 4:00am Reply

      • Victoria: Don’t think that boiled carrots smell a little like iris? I was making a salad the other day and noticed it. May 28, 2014 at 8:07am Reply

        • Michaela: How interesting! I’ve never noticed. I have to smell them again the next time. Today I boiled them with turmeric and it turns the scent to orange-ginger. May 28, 2014 at 8:27am Reply

          • Victoria: Have you tried adding a pinch of turmeric when cooking anything with tomatoes? My MIL says that it brings out the taste and color and she’s right. The trick is not overdo it, otherwise, the earthy note dominates. May 28, 2014 at 9:25am Reply

            • Michaela: Thank you for this tip! I’ll definitely try! May 29, 2014 at 3:43am Reply

        • Michaela: I struggled today to take the iris from my boiled carrots with my nose and brain, but it was impossible. The next move is funny: feeling a bit frustrated of my smelling non-abilities, I ate them, and then a miracle happened: I certainly felt like eating an iris flower, the low-fragrant type 🙂 May 29, 2014 at 4:38am Reply

          • Victoria: 🙂 I, on the other hand, tried eating some jasmine and discovered that it smells much better than it tastes! May 29, 2014 at 11:33am Reply

            • Michaela: You are brave! 🙂
              Locust blossoms are edible, tasty and healthy. Worth tasting, anyway. May 30, 2014 at 4:35am Reply

              • Victoria: My Japanese friend who lives in Provence makes the locust blossoms as a sort of tempura, and it’s a spring treat. Too bad we don’t have a tree near us, or I would try it myself. May 30, 2014 at 11:20am Reply

    • Michaela: First linden in bloom. I’m disappointed. I see it’s full of flowers but I have to get my nose into one of them to feel the scent. It’s what we call ‘wild lindens’, they are less fragrant than the others, which usually bloom later and fill the whole street with their scent. Anyway, very beautiful scent.

      Walking my dog I hear him sniffing shortly: hm-hm-hm-hm-hm, all the time, while I smell some bush once or twice only, something like ‘hhhh-mmmmmmm’. Maybe he knows something I don’t 🙂 We don’t always have the same preferences, though: he adores pee scent while I’m going for roses 🙂 Have to buy fragrant roses from the market this week-end. May 28, 2014 at 4:23am Reply

      • Victoria: We have those too, and I always get disappointed that they aren’t scented. Also, if it rains too much or if the spring is too cold, the lindens don’t seem to smell as strongly. May 28, 2014 at 8:08am Reply

    • Michaela: Some other scents these days:
      – cool mint tea – beautiful;
      – fruity-floral and loud cologne in a crowd rushing from the bus;
      – elder flowers and lemons beverage still in the fermenting jar (oddly, I like it)
      – dust and paper smell in an empty post-office;
      – chlorine – flowery floor cleaner scent – terrible;
      – fresh unsalted cheese – milky, creamy, nice;
      – raw calf meat;
      – wet dog fur;
      – linden, roses and jasmine bush in bloom close to the office. May 29, 2014 at 10:11am Reply

    • Michaela: Another walk in the street was scent successful, so to say:
      – dianthus and stephanotis in a flower shop; the whole warm humid interior smells of lush, I imagine a piece of jungle smells this way;
      – a wonderful pink rose (I saw it blooms only in May but I doubt this makes it a rosa centifolia);
      – catalpa trees in full bloom; delicate scent if you can get a flower (they don’t fill the air);
      – fresh coffee in a small room where an old wonderful Armenian prepares it, grounds it and sells it; the best coffee I ever tasted; its intoxicating aroma covers 50 m of the whole street and is going to make my office mates happy today;
      – pine resin, honeysuckle, linden, wilted flowers and grass on the ground;
      The last few visits at the vet I felt absolutely nothing because of emotions. Yesterday evening everything was fine with the dog, so I felt relaxed and I could detect the familiar mixed scents there. May 30, 2014 at 5:53am Reply

      • Victoria: Good to hear that the dog is well!

        Some other roses bloom in May too, and it probably depends on your climate rather than the variety. Centifolia looks like a messy blossom, with lots of crinkly, frilly petals. May 30, 2014 at 11:23am Reply

        • Michaela: Thank you 🙂
          The pink rose looks too tidy, I’m pretty sure it’s not a centifolia. The fragrance is divine anyway. June 2, 2014 at 7:40am Reply

  • Anne of Green Gables: I was disappointed that I missed the last Scent Diary so I’m very happy to hear that it has become a regular feature. These are the scents I encountered so far today.

    – Sweet and juicy smell of Saturn peaches
    – Slightly burnt smell of toasts
    – Buttery and citrusy smell of Paris Breakfast Tea from Mariage Freres
    – Fresh, earthy and moist smell of morning air after rain
    – Mouth-wateringly sweet strawberries at a local supermarket
    – Honeyed and intoxicating smell of black locust trees by the entrance of my office building (I’ve been waiting all year for this smell)
    – Sharp, screechy smell of musk (?) from a colleague
    – Delicate smell of jasmine petals from the cup of tea I’m drinking now
    – I’m wearing Incense Pure by SSS today and it’s very comforting on a chilly day like today. May 27, 2014 at 6:51am Reply

    • Victoria: Such a rich array of scents! Aren’t the Saturn peaches amazing? I bought far too many the other day and couldn’t decide whether to eat them or just to sit inhaling their aroma. May 27, 2014 at 5:15pm Reply

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