Monday, May 2, 2011

recollected weekend smells

It was a super-fragrant weekend! Some highlights:

Elisa let me come over and sniff her impressive perfume collection. I was introduced to the number-one fragrance for off-duty cowboys, eau d'Haribo, and a whole bunch of beautiful perfumes to add to my already obscenely long wishlist.

(last spring in Seattle)

Violets were everywhere! I had to access deep reserves of self-control to not yank them up by the fistfuls and macerate them in my mouth. Here's Diane Ackerman on smelling violets:
Violets smell like burnt sugar cubes that have been dipped in lemon and velvet, I might offer, doing what we always do: defining one smell by another smell or another sense...The thing about violets, which many people find cloying to the point of nausea, is that no response to them lasts long; as Shakespeare put it, they're: Forward, not permanent, sweet not lasting, /The perfume and suppliance of a minute
Violets contain ionone, which short-circuits our sense of smell. The flower continues to exude its fragrance, but we lose the ability to smell it. Wait a minute or two, and its smell will blare again. Then it will fade again, and so on.
The smell of popcorn is an all-time favorite, and I also have a great deal of fondness for the smell of a good hardware store. So imagine the devotion I feel for my local Tags/Ace hardware shop, where they occasionally roll out a popcorn machine and give you a little Ace-logo-emblazoned bag of popcorn just for wandering in off the street. 

(last summer at the hardware store)

I was at the hardware store to buy a 9" springform cake pan (this hardware store keeps getting better and better, no?) so I could try this almond cake recipe, recommended by my friend Rebecca, who makes the best pineapple upside down cake in the world. On Sunday afternoon, the whole house smelled like almond paste and spring breeze and library books.

Yesterday was May Day. Did you play ding-dong-ditch and leave a paper cone of tulips on a friend's porch? It's probably not too late.


Preets said...

I was looking at that almond cake recipe myself, and when you mentioned it in your e-mail, I wondered if it was the same one! So it was a success, eh? Are you going to make it for us in Maine?

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