Scents and Sensibility

It must have been the spring air.

I took a revitalising constitutional around West Dean College grounds today and really noticed the smells.

The first was ‘sheep’. I asssociate this with the North York Moors and the wilder parts of Wales . It makes me dream of wide and lovely spaces with bracing air. Something invigorating.

The second was Sarcococca – an insignificant shrub that you wouldn’t invite to party – but so sour-sweet like sherbet lemons for the nostrils. I was inhaling the refreshing spirit of the early Spring sunshine. Something cheering.

The third was woodsmoke. I could not say if it came from the Oak Hall or the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, but it took my mind to Beowulf’s mead hall, by way of the smoke-preserved thatch of 10th century  Finns. It tickled my nose with history – and a pang of hunger. I smiled to think of the pervasive reek of kippering near Fortune’s in Whitby. Something homely.

I returned fairly briskly – thinking of other smells as I went past the swiftly-flowing winterbourne. Such a green scent here, lush and damp with growth. A smell of hope. But damp can have another smell: a smell of  rot and despair; of enclosed and festering places. Something disturbing.

The last I will mention is coffee. For me a smell of hard work and enjoyment. Something to do with my writing.

4 thoughts on “Scents and Sensibility

    • Oh yes – and cinder toffee means Bonfire Night , whenever.
      Thanks for the comment, Lorna – glad to know someone reads my stuff!

    • Of course you can _ I am reasonably certain it’s Creative Commons licensed. However if you want to be sure, you could visit for Creative Commons images – or use the Advanced Search feature on Flickr.
      All the best with your artwork – I’d love to see the finished result,
      Philippa aka K. M. Lockwood

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