The Nose Knows What the Nose Likes

Assignment: Write at least 100 words about something you love to smell.

If you were to ask my nose, it would tell you that there is no better smell in the world than vanilla. Except maybe basil. Or lemon. or orange, or grapefruit, or almost any citrus. Each of these scents makes my nose twitch with delight.

Why am I so attracted to these vegetative odors? Is it that they actually smell edible? Or that they are so crisp, so clean, so unassuming, that what you smell is what you get? There are no layers upon layers of complexity to these fine natural bouquets. No lofty top note floating above a sultry bottom note. No manufactured mystery to confound the nasal receptors. Lemon is just lemon, basil offers no pretense, vanilla needs no explanation. These aromas whisper: “We were not made in a laboratory, but grew in the sunshine and the rain. We are simple and clean. We will nourish you.”

My soul is indeed nourished by these fragrances. A mere whiff of one induces me to inhale more deeply, to cleanse my nostrils of less inviting scents. I involuntarily close my eyes, the better to isolate and enjoy the experience. And now, I have induced myself to go and find a lemon to sniff.

Gail Hunn ©2013