Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Journey of Scents

The sand is like a well-worn carpet beneath my feet; soft but grainy, comfy and warming. The sea breeze hits my face in a refreshing blast of salty mist that brings with it a tantalizing hint of impending rain. As I inhale, I can smell that distinctly evocative scent of freshly wet earth which I’ve read is caused by some mysterious mix of plant oils, bacterial spores and ozone in the atmosphere. It’s pouring somewhere, and the clouds are gradually edging this way. I can’t wait.
As I pass by a shop selling trinkets, I catch a whiff of the woody notes of incense burning somewhere inside, and I decide to enter, if only to enjoy the olfactory treat a little more. Ah, there are second-hand books on sale! I head to the counter and pick up a well-thumbed paperback. I can’t help leaning into the pages a little to inhale that delicate mustiness of ink on paper. God, books smell divine.

As I am deciding which one to buy, somebody arrives to mop the floor. In a second, I am inhaling the clean, redolent fragrance of scented phenyl. A gust of wind blows in from the front door and the balmy sea breeze mixes with the fragrant fumes of phenyl and woodsy incense and the book which I press to my face. I take a deep breath, closing my eyes without quite realizing, momentarily transported to so many places at once; my childhood home which would always smell deliciously damp in the rains; its freshly mopped floors and the sandalwood burning in the prayer room; the lush green campus of the university I studied at; plush hotel rooms where the air-conditioning instills a lingering mustiness. Perhaps this is what heaven smells like: earthy and everyday. I want to capture this heady bouquet in a bottle, use it to deodorize my room and my car and even spritz some on my skin and clothes. Maybe Godrej aer can help create this glorious scent of life and living, a scent that I believe represents the delicate and essential balance between nature and science.

The above is my entry to the Godrej aer Inspire a Fragrance contest.

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