Friday, July 24, 2009

Cologne

Glittering, in light reflected off the mirrors on which they rest, glass containers of various contours, and colorful contents catch the eyes of little ones passing by. Little fingers search for just the right one, selecting the red, white and blue label, each pump hissing copious amounts of fragrance in tiny rain showers onto little boys heads. Content in his delight he turns...

Hey Logan! Guess what I smell like?

What?

I smell like America!

Cole, you don't even know what America smells like.


Uh huh, just smell me.

A slithering smile slips across my lips, as I think about what it just might smell like...smoke from a firecracker, sparkling in the night...sweat off the brow after a hard days work...fresh turned dirt in your search for earth worms...tart lemonade or a cool summer breeze with a hint of the stain off the wood of the deck...

I imagine each of our scents we attribute to be a little different, yet we'd be talking about the same thing. Our perceptions of importance, or possibly preferences color our olfactory observations.

What does your your country smell like?

27 comments:

♥ Braja said...

The scent of India differs with the season: in winter, the smell of smoke from fires lit with dried cow-dung, a surprisingly wonderful aroma, as villagers cook their meals and warm their bodies; in summer, the scent of the Ganga as her cool waves swallow the heat in your mind, heart, and body; in autumn, the smell of cow-dung fires again, this time to scout away the mosquitoes during hatching season; and in spring, the smell of night-blooming jasmine, wafts of incense smoke in the temple, delicious foods from the street, the kitchen, the feasts...
Life is a scent, and it smells like India...:)

subtorp77 said...

@Braja, sounds, er smells wonderful!

Brian, up here in summer we have the animal smells( skunks, mostly )and vegetation. Newly cut grass. The scent of rain. Winter is dull and gray. Dirty snow that traps diesel fumes from passing lorries, etc.

I like your version much better!( wondering how long it took to clean that off, wot? )

Alan Burnett said...

Great idea. This part of England (West Yorkshire) smells of moorland peat, smoke-ingrained stone, wet grass and occasionally - if you are very lucky and the wind is blowing in the right direction - fish and chips.

secret agent woman said...

Well I'm from the same country as you, but my part of the counry this time of year (and really I'm thinking of my own little world) - the smell of rain and soil, different flowers in bloom, smoke from fires where farmers are burning off land, red wine whatver I"m cooking.

Lorraine said...

Like evergreens and the freshness of rain, thanks for asking lol
I love your post, always :)

Brian Miller said...

@braja - your description is so poetic...of all the seasons. exotic.

@subtorp - the scent of rain...love it. yeah, they smelled for quite a bit...

@alan - please let the wind blow fish and chips my way...please let teh wind...lol.

@secret agent - sounds wonderful...cooking anything good today?

@lorraine - mmm...evergreens and rain...makes me think of fog drifitng through as well...

Madame DeFarge said...

I suspect that Scotland smells of open spaces, rain and fried food. But it always smells of home.

otin said...

You know how everyones house has it's own distinct odor, but you cannot smell your own house because it is comfortable and you are used to the way it smells, even if others may not like the odor? That is how America smells to me, it has no odor because it is my house and I am comfortable in it!

Daniel said...

I think of the smell of my rose bushes wafting in through the open windows and the faint hint of chlorine from the pool. I love to keep my windows open all summer long so that I can be closer to the season. I don't want to miss a thing.

Beth said...

The summer brings the smell of fresh cut grass and herbs. Fall is fall back in time with the smell of crayons and play-doh. Winter lets the smoke from the firepit waft by to mix in with the scents of baked goods. Spring breathes new life into our world with the smell of rain and spring flowers.

The smell of our world! I love that your son saw America in a bottle of cologne.

TechnoBabe said...

My country smells like wood and nails and sawdust for the rebuilding in the political and the real estate and the health fields.

Kathleen said...

Fascinating question . . . the first thing that popped into my head: Mexican rice. Many of my first memories are from time spent with my Mexican relatives. My mother was a first-generation Mexican American. She NEVER cooked Mexican food, but her mother and aunt did. So when I was in their care, I loved the aroma of the rice they cooked, mellow and full of comfort.

willow said...

I adore the notion of America having a smell. This summer, in my neck of the woods, it would be wafts from the charcoal grill, damp grass after a mow, and the dank scent of old stone on the patio after a rain.

Valerie said...

There are so many smells where I live that it's hard to pinpoint anything in particular. The UK as a whole though is a mixture of rain soaked grass and trees, farms, shining rugged rocks, and the oily smoke of industry. But I love it.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Your post instantly took me back to where I grew up in Ohio-- on a fall day, fresh cut grass, and the smell of a cool wind in your hair. That is a smell I wish I bottle.

Los Angeles on the other hand smells like smog.

Nancy said...

My world smells like pine trees, water from the stream behind us, and sometimes campfire from the many camp grounds at the other end of the lake.

Brian Miller said...

@madame - home has such a distinctive smell doesn't it

@otin - hear you otin. sometimes it takes someone new to come into our environment to help us identify the smell.

@daniel - what a great smell. windows open all the way.

@beth - crayons and playdoh...what a smell!

@technobabe - mmmm...ismell the same but i hear they are taking a break so that saw dust may settle.

@kathleen - thanks for sharing that little bit of you/ love mex food...especially authentic.

@willow - old stone on the patio after the rain...awesome!

@joanna - glad to give you a good memory to fill your naose and maybe clear out the smog just a bit..

@nancy - love that smell!

books,coffee,etc.... said...

Hi! Brian,
Where I live the seasons changes
four times a years...Right now it's
Summer smells
Cool breeze, after rain smell, flowers, children laughter...All the sights, sounds, and smells of Summer.
Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

Lola said...

I am a slave to my nose, very attentive to smell and aromas surrounding me. Italy is a tiny country, but it smells like a rainbow. So different everywhere you go!
Right now Rome smells like baked asphalt and dry dirt during the scorching summer days, but at night or at dawn (I am enjoying the wee hours during jetlag) it's another story: wisteria breeze, wet and freshly mowed grass, warm pine trees, anti-mosquito coils spiraling smoke. Then in fall/winter Roma smells of roasted chestnuts, rain and... history.

Ciao,
Lola

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

I love that Cole said he smelled like America! :)

Right now the air is still warm with a crisp edge, the sun has set and there are still remnants of the quick rain that passed through followed by the heat of the setting sun. Damp earth, clear air, fresh cut grass, and the lingering scent of kabobs cooked on the grill for dinner.

subtorp77 said...

@Deedee, the smell of "children laughter"???( scratching head )...

Brian Miller said...

@subtorp - you've never smelled children's laughter? especially after eating pizza? lol.

@dee dee - that is a wonderful description of summer. smiles.

@lola - yeah i pick up those scents from your posts...especially the chocolate ones like tonights. the smell of history...intrriguing.

@stacy - damp earth...very cool. the errant breeze wafting the kabob scent is making me a bit hungry...

subtorp77 said...

Brian, Princess gets rather serious when it comes to food-HA!

Lakeland Jo said...

I think if you asked a lot of brits at the moment they would say something very uncomplimentary. If frustration and anger has a smell? If they feel like I do anyway. but cracking out of the cynicism and thinking positively.
I love the smell of real fires when autumn comes around where we live- lots of people still have them around here including us. Where i used to live in the North East I was right by the sea, and the smell of the salty air and fresh clean wind was wonderful. I love it...adding to that the smell of fish and chips.
One place I love the smell of is Florida- I love the sweet smell of the humid heat. And of the sun cream I always where when I am there. Great post

...mmm... said...

England smells like Indian Curry! :)

Goofball said...

what an interesting question....

eeum Belgium in the summer smells like freshly cut grass, BBQ's, French fries, wet asphalt & wet stones after a rain shower, ...
It doesn't nearly smell enough like hot dry earth in my opinion though :p....I love the smell of a hot field when on vacation as I can hardly smell it in Belgium.

at the coast of course it smells like sand and salt and sun screen :). Aaah sun screen my favourite smell in the summer!! The most relaxing smell you can have.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Where I live, this time of year, the smell of blueberries, cut grass, overgrown mint, and sweaty children. ;-)