If it was possible to bottle up all the rich smells nature wafts my way when I spend time outdoors, I’d have shelves of bottles. I would sniff them when I needed a boost of creativity or motivation or comfort. Even if there were no green trees or the mountain’s endless blue folds to be seen, I could let my nose project some views in my brain for me.
Outdoor scents are usually not identifiable as one particular, familiar odour. My brain does not seem capable of dissecting the layers of a particular spots fragrance into individual aromas. I smell something and suddenly a very strong sense of déjà vu, distant memory or a lightning strike of inspiration hits me. And most of the time the memory or feeling stays just outside my grasp, indescribable.
The hardest part of storing nature’s wide array of inimitable scents would not be capturing them, but labeling them accurately. And in 5 words or less. Likely, my bottle labels would have lots of fine print. The fine print would describe observations and associated feelings and memories which that scent conjured up from spelunking somewhere deep in my brain.
If I had them captured, I would describe them like a wine connoisseur: “This bottle contains the warm, rocky, spicy smell of the alpine; this is the dusty, fresh, grassy, clean, tingly smell that rises up from the ground after a dry summer’s rain. Take a whiff of the thick, sweet, beehive-like scent of leafing cottonwoods in the spring and perhaps try a lungful of sunbaked pinecones, mud and melting snow…”
If it was possible to bottle up the wealth of nature’s fragrances, I’d wash my clothes in the smell of the wind rustling the grass and pine trees, shampoo my hair with the scent of frost and let my nose transport me somewhere I couldn’t be with breath of past trips and experiences.
What scents have stopped you in your tracks and how would you label them? If it was possible to bottle them up and take them home that is...