Wednesday, September 29, 2010

An Essay on Smells

We came across this entry in Tom's mom's journal, dated October 1981.

I waded through a shoulder-high tangle of goldenrod to the old apple tree.  I could see the limb of bright red apples from the road, so I wondered if they were ripe and worth picking (seeing it was a very poor apple year).

As I stopped under the branch of  apples (Northern Spy) a veritable wave of fragrance rolled down over me.  The frangrance of ripe apples!  It was as if a large bubble of fragrance had been surrounding the cluster of apples and suddenly burst over me when I stepped under it.  Here was one of the evidences my mother had impressed upon me as a child, that farm folk had riches the poor city dweller seldom ever glimpsed.

This apple perfume is one of several distinctive and elusive olfactory delights I've always enjoyed.  Another is the rich smell of new leather shoes when you first open the box.  Yet another -- the whiff you can get from a freshly sharpened cedar pencil point.  Like the others, it is gone in seconds so you must savor them all at the optimum instant.

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