Monday, April 7, 2008

Forty Smells

Wet cement.
Garlic frying in olive oil.
Cumin.
The soundhole of a new guitar: hide glue, nitrocellulose lacquer, mahogany.
Honeysuckle.
Fresh sweat.
Ishi's fur, licked clean, warm from a nap in the sun.
Basil.
Coffee beans, freshly ground.
Rosemary.
Shallots.
Dirt.
Bourbon.
Tomatoes, straight from the garden, exhaling their strange chemical vapor.
Dust burning off the tubes of a guitar amplifier.
Cigar smoke.
Beach: salt air, wet sand, decay.
Sandalwood.
Vinyl.
Sex.
Celery.
Crayons.
Gin.
Turmeric.
New carpet.
Gasoline.
Tattoo shop: antiseptics, pigments.
Band-aids.
Oil paint.
Matches.
Patrick Olwell's flute shop: scorched bamboo and linseed oil.
Brown paper bags.
Genmaicha.
Vanilla.
Glass.
Burning hair.
Almonds, toasting in a pan.
Limes.
Pencil shavings.
Blood.

8 comments:

T said...

Woo hoo! And since I still can't really smell everything, the way your list asks one's imagination to work is perfect for me at the moment!

Rob said...

Always glad to help. :-)

hsempl said...

what's genmaicha? oh wait, some kind of tea, i bet.

i love the eclecticness of this list and yet your personality really shows through. some of these things i didn't even know had scents: glass? i'll have to go smell my windows, now.

Rob said...

Genmaicha is a Japanese green tea with toasted rice in it. It's one of my favorite green teas. It smells something like spinach and something like popcorn.

I don't know if everybody can smell glass. When I put my nose down inside a clean drinking glass, I pick up a clean mineral smell, like clay or clean sand. I first noticed it (like a lot of these smells) when I was a small child; I don't think my adult self would be able to detect it otherwise.

mike said...

41. Nine parts raw coffee beans and one part raw cocoa beans roasting in a cast iron skillet.

Rob said...

See, I don't really dig the adding chocolate to coffee thing. Adding coffee to chocolate is cool -- I love dark chocolate with espresso beans, for example. Overall combining the two enhances the chocolate but undercuts the complexity of the coffee. Or so my palate reads it, anyway. Now if you change your proportions to nine parts cocoa and one of coffee, I'm there.

Anyway, these are my smells. When are you starting your own blog, Mike?

sara said...

oh, patrick's flute shop. how lovely. i smelled like that for three years.

Rob said...

Ha, yes, you did. It's one of the sexiest ways for a human being to smell, if you don't mind my saying so. I keep waiting for Demeter or somebody to put out a burned bamboo cologne, but no joy yet. (Although they do a Bonfire scent that might come close.)