One spring day, a few years ago, I was driving with the windows down. I smelled something that was familiar from the distant past, but not an aroma from nature. Nor was it one of the harsh, caustic stenches from my fifth grade chemistry set. It took a week, but finally I had an “Aha” moment. I had smelled gunpowder, specifically the odor that immediately followed the “Bang” of our cowboy cap pistols delivered by Santa Claus. To make the pistol pop, we inserted thin paper strips, which came in rolls. The red ribbons contained minute amounts of gunpowder. Then, we would point the pistol toward our enemy and pull the trigger. Pop. Bam. Pow. Bang. Nobody liked to be killed, but we could put a lot of drama into being wounded.
A game we played at organized parties involved putting various substances with distinct aromas into small medicine bottles. Each blindfolded player then sniffed and guessed what each bottle contained. Some of the more interesting scents were…
Outdoors, every spring and summer, in our part of the world, we are blessed with the aroma of hyacinths, gardenias, roses, lavender and honeysuckle.
My dad, who was a serious rose grower, said the first thing anyone ever did when near a rose was to smell it. One of the tragedies (might be too strong a word, might not be) of life is that roses from florists are without aroma. Bummer.
The best fragrance? None of the above. I vote for a bakery!