Scent Diary : Apples and Wet Leaves

I love the first of the season apples that are still not quite perfect. They may be too small, too bumpy or too soft, but the fragrance of green leaves, honey and butter compensates for any aesthetic flaws. This was the reason why I couldn’t resist getting more apples at the market, even though my fruit basket at home was overflowing.  When it comes to scented things, I’m too easily tempted, especially by the assurances of a sweet-looking lady that she grew these apples herself.
apples

The apples at the market stalls are now competing with the nutty scent of fallen leaves. Golden autumnal light fills the parks and every gust of wind makes the carpet on the ground thicker and thicker. Sometimes I take detours to experience more of that aroma, because few things create that serene, yet bittersweet feeling of time flying by, one chapter closing and another one yet to open.

Scent Diary is a place where we can share fragrances we encounter, good and bad, perfumes we wear and the scents around us. It’s a way to sharpen our sense of smell, but also just to enjoy the fragrance hobby in a richer way. Whether you write down 1 recollection–“I smelled coffee this morning”–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 scented products you’ve discovered.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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121 Comments

  • Austenfan: As it is Uncle Serge day on NST I’m wearing La Myrrhe. I almost wish I had postponed wearing it as the woods are so fragrant at this moment. I can’t even begin to describe the smell but it has some nutty aspects as you point out.
    Apples are the best at this time of the year. I’m eating loads of them. I haven’t yet started cooking them. September 26, 2014 at 7:53am Reply

    • Victoria: I made roasted apples stuffed with dark brown sugar, walnuts and raisins the other day, and it was a simple and very satisfying desert. But I’m mostly just eating apples fresh right now.

      La Myrrhe is so beautiful! September 27, 2014 at 10:16am Reply

  • Aurora: Your photo sums up very well the season: it’s apple (and plums) time.

    I remember eating in Provence some plums picked direct from the tree (the reine-claude variety not sure what they’re called in English) and they were out of this world.

    This morning it was the scent of chestnut honey, so dark and almost pungent which started my scent diary for the day. I am fighting a cold so I added lemon to the honey to make a soothing drink and my airways miraculously cleared for a good while.

    And scent of the day is Noa L’Eau, it has an elegant fruitiness at the top and dry down to a conforting dry-down. I love it as much as Noa which I discovered thanks to you Victoria. September 26, 2014 at 8:03am Reply

    • Aurora: Oh, so sorry, I make no sense, I meant ‘has a comforting dry-down’. September 26, 2014 at 8:09am Reply

    • Victoria: In English they are called greengages, I believe. The funny thing is that in Ukrainian we call them renklod, and it took me a while to figure out that it was well, Reine Claude! 🙂 I love this type of plum. September 27, 2014 at 10:17am Reply

      • rainboweyes: They are called renklody in Polish and Renekloden in German too! Beside mirabelles, they are my favourite plum variety. September 29, 2014 at 3:43am Reply

        • Michaela: Renglote, in Romanian. September 29, 2014 at 4:41am Reply

        • Victoria: Yes, same in Ukrainian (renklod, singular or renklody, plural). Mirabelle was a discovery for me when I lived in France; a plum that was as sweet as a bon-bon. September 29, 2014 at 7:29am Reply

      • Aurora: How sensible of the Ukrainians to keep the word but shorten it.

        It’s so much fun to compare languages. September 29, 2014 at 7:57am Reply

  • Michaela: I love these apples, they are not perfect, but they are very tasteful. There are fallen leaves all over, they smell of autumn. It’s time of fresh grape juice here, delicious and very autumnal.
    I smelled coffee this morning, of course (I can hardly walk without coffee, and it is one of the loveliest scented moments of the day). I also noticed the scent of cold fresh air, rain, my wet dogs, iodine, kefir, boiled rice with turmeric. Parsley, dill, oregano. Datura flower (a more discreet garden lily scent). Chrysanthemums smell so autumnal lush.
    The morning whiffs of last night’s Pour un Homme and the clarity of Silences later made me happy today.
    The first scents I remember are not the lovely ones above, though, but dust, industrial cleansers and some watery perfumes that hit me in the subway this morning. September 26, 2014 at 8:14am Reply

    • Victoria: What a wealth of scents! 🙂

      And you’ve made me crave grape juice. September 27, 2014 at 10:19am Reply

      • Michaela: The best beverage in the world, if you ask me 🙂 The next one being fresh apple juice. September 29, 2014 at 4:48am Reply

    • Michaela: Some other scents came during the week-end. Roses from the market, pink, lush, perfumed. Some of the last honeysuckle flowers. Incense and myrrh in the church, then whiffs of hot Kenzo Jungle, which made me reach for it the next day. Quinces, which always remember me of grandma, who kept lots of them by the windows. September 29, 2014 at 4:47am Reply

  • Sandra: Good Morning and Happy Friday..
    I have been eating a lot of apples these days..from the union square market.
    Its fall..however..80’s in the city this weekend.. my oh my
    My smells this morning are of lavender body wash- the strong rose smell in my blush. orange juice. My husbands homemade granola. Cat poo from our “fur children”
    Though I usually love to wear something a little more crisp in the morning as far as perfume goes-but I reached for my Chanel No 22. Its smells divine.
    When wrapping my scarf around my neck I smelled yesterdays Coco Noir. The parfum that came out this year, I believe is just fantastic. I like it better then the EDP.
    September 26, 2014 at 8:37am Reply

    • Sandra: More scents of the day-
      Lunch time I am eating sweet potato/apple soup from whole foods, or as I like to call it-“whole paycheck”
      Soup smells spicy and the apple note is very strong.
      My coworker making a strong cup of coffee- I love the aroma of coffee. September 26, 2014 at 12:03pm Reply

    • Victoria: We had a very warm fall, although it’s starting to cool down very much in the evenings. But I love the sunny, warm mornings, and I even occasionally drink my tea on the balcony. September 27, 2014 at 10:20am Reply

  • Allison C.: My goal this weekend is to make a dutch apple baby pancake. You start out cooking it on the stove and then bake in the oven. The recipe I have also calls for dried cherries and almond extract, so when it’s baking, the house is filled with the most amazing aroma. Today I layered Etro’s Vicolo Fiori over Heliotrope, another sweet, comforting concoction! September 26, 2014 at 9:37am Reply

    • Michaela: It must be delicious! Almost feel the inviting aroma when baked… September 26, 2014 at 10:00am Reply

    • Sandra: Those smells sound delish! September 26, 2014 at 11:02am Reply

    • Victoria: Sounds delicious! I tried a Finnish recipe for an oven pancake, and it was great. I especially love the baking part, because it was so easy.

      I’m baking a Sicilian ricotta cake this weekend, so right now my kitchen smells of butter and Marsala. September 27, 2014 at 10:22am Reply

  • Audrey: I love the scents of fall. In our area, we ‘be had the first couple of days of consistent rain which has caused the juniper sap to completely take over the outdoor scent space . It’s one of my favorite experiences every year. We’ve also had contractors here all week and the scents of freshly cut cedar as well as the heavy wet scent of grout has pervaded the house. In revolt, I purchased a bottle of Mon Precieux Nectar today so I ‘m wearing the lady if my decant. For some reason, about 10 minutes in, I get a fleeting but definitely noticeable scent of Desitin diaper cream. It doesn’t bother me…..having had a few children I find it comforting. The impression disappears after 10 minutes or so but I always found it odd how those few minutes affect my heart. September 26, 2014 at 10:01am Reply

    • Audrey: Pardon all the bad spelling. My phone has the most bothersome auto-correct…. September 26, 2014 at 10:02am Reply

      • Audrey: Ugh! Last of my decant! Not lady of my decant…..I ‘m not that poetic. September 26, 2014 at 10:03am Reply

    • Victoria: The Lady of My Decant sounds almost like a spiritual experience. I love it! 🙂 September 27, 2014 at 10:26am Reply

  • zara: Happy Friday to all and a big hooray for the weekend!
    Today I realized that it must be fall – for the first time in months I felt like wearing Shiseido Feminite du Bois again (the old one in the funky bottle). September 26, 2014 at 10:18am Reply

    • Victoria: That’s a beauty! 🙂 September 27, 2014 at 1:58pm Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: I always thought Bottega Veneta too subtle to my taste, but after spraying it very often with the testers, I discovered its beauty. Especially when lingering in fabric. September 26, 2014 at 11:13am Reply

    • Victoria: It does linger so nicely. I love catching a whiff of it on my scarf. September 27, 2014 at 1:59pm Reply

  • Sylvia: Hello and isn’t it a glorious time of year!!?
    I’m wearing Guerlains Terracotta, that I found on a trip to Malaysia this summer. I keep reapplying small spurts to get the opening blast of pikake, a lush rememberance of my childhood. It brings me back to standing on the edge of a jasmine plantation one afternoon, overcome and mesmerized by the soft sweet breeze. Then comforting cocoanut and floral suntan oil and sigh… Relaxation on a beach scents. I can see the rubber trees and imagine smells of tuberose and green stuff blooming.. Guess I’m not ready to give up summer scents, yet.. 🙂 September 26, 2014 at 11:22am Reply

    • Victoria: Your mention of Malaysia made me wonder which place you have visited. I have been longing to go one day. September 27, 2014 at 1:59pm Reply

  • andreasd: Apples! Ours are deeply red and shiny with pink flesh. In the evenings there is a sharp smoky zing to the air. Mushroomy cold earth, lately cut lawns and the tannic scent of fallen leaves. A scent of homesickness, of needing to stack wood and turning in early. September 26, 2014 at 12:42pm Reply

    • Victoria: Sounds so nice. I got Reinette apples this morning which had pale pink flesh, and they are so delicious. September 27, 2014 at 2:01pm Reply

  • andreasd: And the scent? Muschio by L’Erbolario, just a low hum in muted green. September 26, 2014 at 12:45pm Reply

    • Victoria: The ultimate comfort! September 27, 2014 at 2:01pm Reply

  • iodine: Osmanthus! While walking in the city you’re suddenly invested by a blast of dense, sugary apricot jam and tea scent coming from those tiny (and rather ugly coloured!) flowers! Smelt very closely- I admit a stole a couple of flowers, yesterday- they veer more towards the citrussy, jasmine- like nuances. Wonderful, one of my favourite seasonal pleasures. 🙂 September 26, 2014 at 1:14pm Reply

    • Victoria: Lucky you! It’s one of my favorite scents, although I haven’t experienced it in ages, because we don’t have osmanthus around here. September 27, 2014 at 2:02pm Reply

  • Kat: I love how the air smells at night: wet moss and hay, a great mix. And if it gets really cold there’s already a whiff of snow (I don’t care about physics, you can smell snow.) Not wearing any perfume but I recently bought a shea/cocoa butter moisturizer- the scent is intoxicating. September 26, 2014 at 2:19pm Reply

    • Sandra: I love the smell of snow in the air..I so know what you mean! September 27, 2014 at 6:34am Reply

    • Victoria: I can smell snow too! And it does have a particular scent–metallic, a little aldehydic. September 27, 2014 at 2:03pm Reply

    • Michaela: I know this smell of snow in the air, already felt it these days, during a very cold rain. I love this scent. September 29, 2014 at 4:23am Reply

  • elvie: Maybe it’s the booze, maybe it’s the music, maybe I’m just tired, but standing on the balcony, in this not-quite fall-evening, with the scent of leves eagerly longing to curl up, redden and finally fall-swirling-down, one wonders why so few perfumes can capture the true scent of an aging year. You should smell our sycamores, Guys. I wish I could share it with You. It is poetry. September 26, 2014 at 3:14pm Reply

    • maja: I believe you. September 26, 2014 at 4:41pm Reply

    • Victoria: It sounds so good! Just your description is enough to imagine it. September 27, 2014 at 2:03pm Reply

  • Joy: In addition to fresh brewed coffee, my home had the smell of wet dog. It was pouring, and the blackberry leaves that smelled spicy yesterday, now smell decayed. The wild cherry leaves have fallen and added to the smell of leaf decay. At my Spinning studio, there was the smell of new birch flooring and the tide flats outside. I wore EL Knowing. The deep rose scent seemed to provide a cozy, warm antidote to the very wet day. I just sprayed a dot on as I didn’t want to take away the much needed air of my Spinning comrades.
    I enjoy reading about the layering that others do. I will take notes and try a few of those options. September 26, 2014 at 3:46pm Reply

    • Victoria: Layering is fun, and some people have a knack for interesting combos. I don’t always have patience to experiment with layering myself, but I also love reading about others’ experiences. September 27, 2014 at 2:04pm Reply

  • maja: Well, I am still going to the beach late in the afternoon, so it’s all about pine forest, wet sand, salt and dried seaweed. I recently received a sample of a not so famous brand’s perfume called Corpi Caldi. (Warm Bodies) I find the name quite bizarre 🙂 but it so strangely inviting, intimate and warm indeed. I try to contrast the fresher September winds by the sea with this one. September 26, 2014 at 4:39pm Reply

    • Victoria: I love the idea of scents you experience on the beach. The mix of seaweed and pine resin is something that has been intriguing me for a while. Can I visit, please? 🙂 September 27, 2014 at 2:05pm Reply

      • maja: Of course! 🙂 You can nap in the hammock and wait for drops of pine resin. 🙂 September 28, 2014 at 3:31pm Reply

        • Victoria: Can you tempt me further? I’m sold as it is. 🙂 September 28, 2014 at 5:01pm Reply

  • Andy: I just got some of this season’s early apples today. One thing I’ve noticed about some varieties of apples, when they are very, very fresh, is that they can possess a flavor nuance of fresh raspberry! It’s unexpected, uncanny and so delicious. September 26, 2014 at 6:03pm Reply

    • Victoria: Amazing! My grandmother reminded me that one of the apple varieties we have is called Malinovka, which means “of raspberry.” These apples don’t last really well, but the flavor and the color of the flesh (dotted with pink) are beautiful. September 27, 2014 at 2:06pm Reply

      • Andy: I looked up some pink-fleshed apples, they are gorgeous! Today, I ate some more of the apples I mention, and already, that incredible raspberry flavor seems to have faded quite a bit. September 27, 2014 at 5:43pm Reply

        • Victoria: I foresee a photography session with some pretty pink apples. 🙂 September 28, 2014 at 7:45am Reply

  • bregje: i love reine too! ate them last year in Vaison la romaine(provence). And cherries.
    And that’s where i bought un jardin sur le toit,which i’m wearing right now.
    But this year i went to Sicily and i’m really(still) into citrus scents at the moment.
    Trying to hold on to the summer. I love autumn too;especially the smell of rain and leaves,earth and truffle.
    I’m thinking of trying Bottega Knot next week;) September 26, 2014 at 8:35pm Reply

    • Victoria: Which citrus perfume reminds you of Sicily, Bregje? I loved my stay there, and I’m looking for something to capture my own impressions. September 27, 2014 at 2:07pm Reply

      • bregje: I like Stella nude,un jardin en mediterranee and of course light blue.
        Also Eternity summer 2014.I bought it on the plane;).Had to get used to it but in Sicily it smelled fantastic!
        But none of them completely capture the richness of the scent in the air over there. What towns did you visit?
        I made arancini yesterday! They tasted fantastic but my house still smells like oil today;) September 27, 2014 at 7:10pm Reply

        • bregje: If i were to create a perfume that smelled like Sicily it would have to consist of sweet oranges,fresh sour-sweet lemons,the bitterness of Aperol,salty seawater ,sweet almonds,bougainvillea,oleander and smoke. September 27, 2014 at 8:10pm Reply

        • Victoria: Arancini! Wow, so impressive. I have been working myself up to try them at home, but I’m still to do it.

          We rented a car and circled the whole island, starting with Trapani, Erice, Agrigento, Selinunte, Ragusa, Noto, Enna, Piazza Armerina and Catania. Oh and Syracusa! Didn’t make it to Palermo though and decided to save it for another time. September 28, 2014 at 7:49am Reply

          • bregje: oh,we almost made the same trip,haha.
            I loved Syracusa.
            And we also decided we have to go back.Haven’t seen Taormina,Giardini Naxos and Messina yet.

            Today it’s raining,so i’m having an apres l’ondee day.
            Even my cat smells like it! September 29, 2014 at 4:48pm Reply

            • Victoria: We haven’t seen those 3 places either. We did make it to Cefalu, but very briefly, and it was a run through the town to see the beautiful blond Jesus adorning the Cefalu Cathedral. That alone was worth it.

              Lucky cat! 🙂 September 30, 2014 at 10:02am Reply

  • Malmaison: It’s a spring Saturday on the other side of the world in NZ and all my bulbs are popping out in the garden. I’ve just been to visit my parents and enjoyed the strong tomato/onion/herb smell coming from the brick-lined kitchen in their old villa, where my Dad was making his famous tomato soup. Then onto the supermarket where the entrance was lined with buckets and buckets of the strongly fragranced flower we call ‘early cheer’, though I’m not sure what its real botanical name is. In honour of all this spring awakening I am wearing Diptyque’s Ofresia, but I am also so enjoying reading everyone’s fall scent diaries, and imagining sycamores and chilly winds and wet leaves! September 26, 2014 at 9:11pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s so cool that while our gardens are going to sleep, yours are awakening. 🙂 Ofresia is just perfect on such spring days. I don’t even care that it doesn’t last on me, but the first blast of greens and flowers is lovely. September 27, 2014 at 2:08pm Reply

  • Mel: Finally. SoCal is suddenly dry and cool – well, cool considering the recent heat wave – but the wind today collaborated with my hunch that fall was not just a rumor! The skies were clear and Technicolor blue, the sun cast eerie seasonal golden light and long lowering shadows and the scent, everywhere, was dry and husky lavender! September 27, 2014 at 1:34am Reply

    • Victoria: Dry and husky lavender sounds wonderful! That’s something I would love to smell in perfume too. September 27, 2014 at 2:09pm Reply

  • Enname: It is the beginning of spring here so the apples are almost finished – I just bought the remainders from the market. Most of this morning I spent picking the freesias that have come up alongside my roses, sitting them beside my computer and smelling their peppery waft. Makes writing a thesis tolerable. Otherwise the air smells of pollen and new eucalypt leaves, even in the city. September 27, 2014 at 5:59am Reply

    • Victoria: I love how through this Scent Diary we can all experience smells vicariously from so many different parts of the world. I’ve never smelled new eucalyptus leaves, but I imagine it is a wonderful perfume. September 27, 2014 at 2:10pm Reply

      • bregje: i’m almost jealous that your year is just beginning,haha.
        Roses and freesia,how lovely.
        And eucalyptus leaves do smell wonderful!I like to make bouquets of flowers with some branches of eucalyptus and than my whole house is scented with their fragrance:) September 27, 2014 at 7:16pm Reply

  • Margot: My youngest got up very early in Santa Monica,CA this am… When it’s early you can hear the sound of waves from our house ..I could still smell a bit of the Christalle I put on last night….I made oatmeal for her with maple syrup and apricot tea for me.. The apricot tea has a smell like dried apricots rather than juicy fresh apricots. Now my husband is making strong coffee…good morning all. September 27, 2014 at 10:23am Reply

    • Victoria: It sounds like an idyllic Saturday morning, Margot! Enjoy it. September 27, 2014 at 2:11pm Reply

      • Margot: I did.. hope your Saturday was as wonderful. And, may I say what pleasure your blog has given me over the past year? You are a wonderful, evocative writer. September 27, 2014 at 10:40pm Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you so much for such a nice compliment, Margot! 🙂 September 28, 2014 at 7:52am Reply

  • Rebecca: I went for an early morning run in the hills, it’s been unusually rainy here this summer and autumn hence it’s greener than normal. Smelt of dirt (good dirt), wild thyme, grass turning to a hay like smell… a bit golden! Afterwards I smelled my arm, it was salty, clean warm skin smell, really quite lovely! It’s been hot today and I spritzed on some Eau de Varens no 4 from the fridge. A simple lemony cologne. Tonight I will go for something warmer, a big contrast in temperatures calls for some comfort… my vintage Organza Indecence maybe. Or Vetiva Tonka perhaps. September 27, 2014 at 11:39am Reply

    • Victoria: Mmm, either Organza Indecence or Vetiva Tonka would be decadent enough, but also comforting. Which one would did you end up picking? September 27, 2014 at 2:11pm Reply

      • Rebecca: Vetiva Tonka…. after a spot of weeding and a blissful hot shower. Added scent bonus was the Imperial Leather soap my husband brought back from the UK. Real treat because I can’t buy it here in Provence and it’s the soap I grew up with 😉 amazing how evocative it is for me. Happy memories. September 27, 2014 at 3:39pm Reply

        • Victoria: The smells from our childhood are! And the associations they bring up are amazingly strong. September 28, 2014 at 7:40am Reply

  • limegreen: Cooled off here and time for fresh NY-style bagels (toasted smell still lingers, mouth-watering). Yesterday decided to try my sample of the new Andy Tauer Sotto la Luna Gardenia. Unfortunately nothing but sugared coconut on my skin. 🙁

    Covered it up with a special treat for autumn — Dans tes Bras body butter. Victoria has reviewed the Malle body butters but I was still not prepared for how creamy yet light and amazingly fragrant it would be! (Considered getting the Musc Ravageur body butter instead but no regrets here.)
    Has anyone tried the new Dries van Noten body butter? September 27, 2014 at 1:27pm Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t tried DVN body butter yet, but every other I’ve sampled was amazing. At one point, I wore Carnal Flower body butter instead of the perfume, and I enjoyed it very much. September 27, 2014 at 2:12pm Reply

  • Jordi: Fall is settling down in this side of Spain evenings are chill and the days are getting shorter. It’s that time of the year ideal for mushroom gathering; walking into wet forests smelling the pine trees and the mediterrenean bushes mixed with that moss and humid soil smell that connects you deeply with the nature surrounding you. My perfume for these days is Terre d’Hermes with an occassional break for Brin de Reglisse September 27, 2014 at 5:37pm Reply

    • Victoria: What kind of mushrooms do you gather? I love these kind of activities, and the smells of the forest. September 28, 2014 at 7:43am Reply

      • Jordi: They are very peculiar from the mediterranean forests and highly appreciated in cusine, I don’t think they even have an english translation for their names but here is a link with a picture of most of them. A shame smell isn’t captured in pictures they smell peculiarly and deliciously :p http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/60/Bolets_variats_de_la_Catalunya_central_04.JPG September 28, 2014 at 9:32am Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you. Some of them look exactly like the kind of mushrooms I gather in Ukraine (the coral colored ones), but others are very unusual. One of my best Barcelona food memories is a mix of wild mushrooms sautéed with garlic and parsley and lots of olive oil. September 28, 2014 at 10:33am Reply

          • Jordi: I happen to live near Barcelona and thats exactly how i plan to cook them this evening 😀 Glad you enjoyed that here.

            I wonder what mushrooms are in Ukraine and how they smell and taste September 28, 2014 at 10:58am Reply

            • Victoria: We get cepes, chanterelles, rovellones, various mushrooms called by the names of the trees under which they can be found. Pine forest mushrooms have a stronger flavor, almost meaty and resinous; the field mushrooms are more delicate. My grandmother gets cepes by the bucket from one of our forager neighbors and she preserves them by drying and pickling.

              All of this talk of mushrooms made me crave them, so I made cepes tonight Barcelona style. So good! September 28, 2014 at 4:59pm Reply

              • Jordi: We also get cepes and rovellones which I ate tonight with garlic. It’s amazing that I can spot a good area in the forest to find them just by the way it smells, sometimes my nose helps me more than my eyes which are almost constantly deceiving me to believe some dry brownish leaves are mushrooms 😛 And when I can’t find them I take the chance to gather some fresh thyme, rosemary or lavender.

                Regarding preserving them my grandpa preferred keeping them in some salty juice in pots. Always lots to learn.

                By the way I hope you enjoyed your mushrooms as much as I did mine. 🙂 September 28, 2014 at 5:37pm Reply

                • Victoria: That’s what my paternal grandmother used to be–she was able to find mushrooms by smell. She grew up in a small village, and they relied on a forest a lot for certain edible, especially during the war. September 29, 2014 at 7:22am Reply

          • limegreen: The smell of wild mushrooms sauteed with garlic! (Stomach growling, mouth watering) September 28, 2014 at 11:57am Reply

            • Victoria: One of my favorite combos! 🙂 September 28, 2014 at 5:00pm Reply

              • rainboweyes: I made some last night – what a delight! September 29, 2014 at 4:02am Reply

                • Victoria: We’re on the same wavelength. 🙂 September 29, 2014 at 7:29am Reply

  • Brenda: A strong smelling fall day here in Canada. My husband is wood working in the garage…and I can smell the wood and sawdust. Some neighbours are enjoying a slow-burning yard fire pit….a sure sign of spring in our neighbourhood. My house smells of apple crisp – prepared for dessert. I use Royal Gala apples ….they are a little softer than the Granny Smith suggested for this … but, we all prefer their sweetness and softness. Fall is bittersweet…… September 27, 2014 at 7:25pm Reply

    • Victoria: I also prefer soft apples in a tart or pie. Here they ask, do you want melting or crunchy apples? September 28, 2014 at 7:51am Reply

    • bregje: This makes me think of my mother’s apple pie.
      She always used a special brand of soft,sweet apples that was only sold in one small store.

      My mother died two years ago and i haven’t been able to recreate this wonderful buttery apple pie,but i can still recall it’s scent.
      Another one of her classics was blanquet de veau. i think that i might have that for diner tomorrow;):curry,ginger and creme fraiche,mmm September 29, 2014 at 4:57pm Reply

  • Annette: Dear fragrant people, rejoice with me! At the moment I am eating my mom’s apple pie. With apples from my parents’ garden. At my right elbow there’s a mug of cherry and almond tea. A little further away a stack of books. Lazy Sunday afternoon 🙂 September 28, 2014 at 8:24am Reply

    • Victoria: Lucky you! That’s my ideal lazy Sunday. 🙂 September 28, 2014 at 10:29am Reply

    • bregje: Wow,that sounds wonderful,Annette!
      My grandfather had an orchard with cherry trees,apple and pear-trees.
      People from all over town came over to pick cherries.
      There was a variaty(of cherry) that my cousin and i still dream about that was white on the outside and peach-colored on the inside;they were delicious!
      And just being outside and play amongst the trees… September 29, 2014 at 5:04pm Reply

      • Annette: Bregje, my parents have a very small garden, it’s hardly an orchard. Just a couple of apple, pear and cherry trees plus the usual: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries… Oh, there’s even a young apricot tree! But the garden brings them so much joy. And me too, of course!
        BTW, I think I know which cherries you mean:) When the season comes I always buy them at my local market. Oh, boy, and June is such a long way away… September 30, 2014 at 5:46am Reply

  • nemo: Fall here smells like fresh hay (from the dried leaves, I think?) warmed with sunshine. I am celebrating the season by cooking with lots and lots of cinnamon and apples (and pumpkin soon, too). I love winter spices! September 28, 2014 at 9:14am Reply

    • Victoria: I love winter spices too, especially nutmeg. It also goes so well with all the summer and fall fruits. September 28, 2014 at 10:30am Reply

  • Elena: I didn’t know scent diary was coming up again, but I am realizing that paying attention to how things around me smell has become a habit! I smelled some roses (maybe? I am not a horticulturalist by any means) on the Cliff Walk in Newport RI which had a hint of cinnamon, almost. We went apple picking today, and the scent of apple pie is filling my house! We used cinnamon and some cardamom, which I can’t get enough of. The orchard smelled wonderful. There was hay and diesel from the trucks, sweetness from the fruit that I ate as we picked, and a sour tang from the fallen fruit fermenting under the trees. My dog smelled faintly of smoke this morning, too, which was from the fire I made in the fireplace 3 days ago. His bed is right next to the fireplace, and the leftover charred wood must be scenting him as he sleeps. September 28, 2014 at 8:41pm Reply

    • Victoria: All of these scent vignettes are so fascinating! I’m especially intrigued by your dog smelling like smoke. 🙂 September 29, 2014 at 7:24am Reply

  • Diana: I bought a locally picked apple today, which I ate during a nighttime work shift. Was pleasantly surprised to note that it smelled and tasted not only of apple, but distinctly also of strawberry, banana, and sour apricot. I also smelled the bitter green of the stem’s newly severed wick whilst biting into the flesh. The perfect crunch! September 29, 2014 at 1:29am Reply

    • Victoria: Wow, what a flavor range! Do you know what kind of a variety it was? September 29, 2014 at 7:25am Reply

      • Diana: Just a Gala! I assume that freshness and seasonality allows one to experience a lot of sensory nuance that is lost at other times. September 29, 2014 at 10:59am Reply

        • Victoria: Makes perfect sense. I couldn’t believe how good the regular Golden Delicious tastes when I ate them straight off the tree. Once they sat around, they became sweeter but less perfumed. September 29, 2014 at 11:13am Reply

          • Diana: A fine experiment! I’m not sure of the science behind this, but empirically it seems evident that fresh fruits have a richer and more complex scent profile than the old, imported ones do – regardless of degree of ripeness, as you noted! September 29, 2014 at 9:17pm Reply

  • rainboweyes: I worked in the garden all weekend and enjoyed the smell of dirt and rotten leaves. Although I’m not an autumn person (it reminds me too much of the upcoming winter – my least favourite season), the golden days we have right now are a bliss.
    I cooked Hokkaido squash soup with apple and curry spice last night, I love the smell of curry powder! September 29, 2014 at 4:13am Reply

    • Victoria: This reminds me that I need to make a new batch of garam masala, Indian spice blend. My mother-in-law gave me two recipes, one calls for roasting spices, the other one uses them raw, to use depending on a dish. September 29, 2014 at 7:31am Reply

  • Aurora: Morning smells: The scent of cinnamon on my oatmeal: I have read that sweetening with cinnamon prevents from getting sugar cravings during the day so I’m giving it a shot this week.

    Musing about cinnamon and cardamom and their use as ‘sweet’ spices probably why I love them so much.

    Reached for Boucheron by Boucheron today, eau de parfum anchored by the solid perfume – I really like it.

    Why is it that most ‘Jewellery’ perfumes seem to sale poorly, perhaps some PR problem. September 29, 2014 at 7:56am Reply

    • Victoria: I love cardamom, because it goes perfectly with both sweet and savory dishes. In Europe, it’s mostly used in sweets, but in India and the Middle East, it can be found in pretty much everything. Chicken marinated in lemon, cardamom, chili powder and olive oil is one of my quick weeknight dishes. If I feel fancy and have any on hand, I use garam masala instead, a blend that contains cardamom and a few other spices. September 29, 2014 at 8:42am Reply

      • Aurora: Victoria: Thank you so much for sharing your chicken recipe. It sounds delicious and quick, I will try it when I entertain (I am one of these ‘boring’ vegetarian.

        Cardamom is really versatile then, I didn’t know about garam masala it goes on my to buy list. September 30, 2014 at 4:49am Reply

        • Victoria: Being a vegetarian is hardly boring. My MIL has been one all her life, and her cooking is so diverse and rich. If you don’t eat meat, then you can try cardamom on roasted potatoes. But I’d add some coriander seeds too. Coriander, cardamom (not too much), garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil. September 30, 2014 at 10:10am Reply

  • rainboweyes: The chicken recipe sounds lovely, I have to try that marinade!
    I love cardamom in body products too, I used grapefruit & cardamom scented body wash and cream in the summer and I bought cardamom & vanilla shower gel just a few days ago. September 29, 2014 at 3:53pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s easy and you can vary the seasonings–onions, garlic, scallions all work in the marinade. September 30, 2014 at 10:00am Reply

  • Michael: I finally had the opportunity to test the Chanel No. 5 parfum on my skin. Unfortunately, it didn’t last as long as the EDP version, so I am now the proud owner of a 50ml bottle of the latter. I applied the EDP quite liberally on my arms and when I met up with a friend a few hours later, she commented on how good I smelled, so I guess the heightened vanilla note in the EDP must work on me.

    The SA also let me test both the Coco and Coco Noir in the parfum and I think the latter especially smells much better and stronger compared to the EDP. September 30, 2014 at 6:00am Reply

    • Victoria: Enjoy it, Michael! Sounds like it’s a perfect fit. September 30, 2014 at 10:10am Reply

      • Michael: Thanks! The SA also suggested that I use the body cream before applying the EDP to prolong the scent and the former smelled very much like the parfum when she applied a small amount on my arm, possibly due to the heightened jasmine note? I’m very tempted to purchase the latter as a little goes a long way and it is housed in the most beautiful frosted glass container. I wonder if it would make the Eau Premiere last longer on me, since it disappeared half an hour after application on its own … October 10, 2014 at 7:18pm Reply

  • Aurora: The smell of rain this morning (at long last very dry September here in the UK).

    Stopped to inhale 2 salmon pink roses hanging over a fence. They smelled of passionfruit and the rain drops became them as much as sunshine would have.

    Today’s scent is Rive Gauche which suited the rose experience. I am pleased because the eau de toilette (I don’t know if there is any other concentration nowadays) which at first thought a bit of a let down for longevity is still going strong at 4 hours +.

    I read you, reviewing Chamade in an article of Red November issue, I liked your contribution best of the 10. I sampled the extrait years ago and don’t remember it well but I had liked it. So it’s going on my sampling list. I simply don’t have enough Guerlain only Lys Soleia half-full and Shalimar in 3 concentrations, they are each different and each good. October 1, 2014 at 7:57am Reply

    • Victoria: A beautiful scented day, Aurora! 🙂

      Ah, I haven’t seen that issue yet, and I’m glad to hear that you liked my piece on Chamade. It’s such a beautiful perfume, and it’s always a pleasure to write about it. October 1, 2014 at 9:11am Reply

  • Marilyn: Out here in Far West Texas we don’t have much in the way of falling leaves, or any other kinds of leaves! The beauty of the desert is of an entirely different kind. Growing up in Indiana, though, I used to love shuffling through the fallen leaves, both for the sound, and for the lovely, earthy fragrance!
    Thanks to you, Victoria, I am becoming aware of the wonderfully dry aromas of the desert. You have taught me so much! Thank you! October 2, 2014 at 11:26am Reply

    • Victoria: You’re lucky to live in such a fascinating place. I visited two different deserts, and on those occasions I was amazed how different it smelled. One of my favorite memories was sleeping in the desert under the stars (although waking up in the morning and discovering a giant black beetle inside my shirt wasn’t) and smelling this fresh, green, almost floral aroma as the dusk descended and the desert started to cool off. October 3, 2014 at 4:48am Reply

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