Monday, April 2, 2012

green mountain air

A couple of weeks ago, my main squeeze and I took a road trip through Vermont and it smelled great. The nosy highlight was definitely Plummer's Sugar House, a maple syrup operation we visited just outside of Grafton.  Two kind, bearded Vermonters showed us how the syrup makes its way down from the trees and let us stand there with them while the small outbuilding filled with the syrupiest, warmest steam. Everything icy outside was melting, but the warmth of that cement-floored room somehow made me more aware of the cold smells outside; the snow, the dirt, the gravel. I could have stood there all day. I asked the owner if he noticed the smell anymore and he said not at all, never, not even on his clothes when he leaves.

LemonUp next to "Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific" at the Vermont Country Store
The Vermont Country Store, ur-general store, also yielded loads of nosy delights, including LemonUp Shampoo and Conditioner (pictured above) which smelled so exactly like a sucked-on Lemon Drop candy that it was difficult to resist the urge to pour the product directly down my throat. Isn't the bottle fantastic? Why can't I get my fussy all-natural stuff in bottles like these (made from corn-plastic, please)?

Sugar, milk, milk, cream, & cream at Ben & Jerry's

We also managed to visit both a deliciously fragrant chocolate factory and Ben & Jerry's headquarters, where there wasn't much to smell, to be honest. I'd previously read that it's actually due in part to Ben Cohen's anosmia that Ben & Jerry's ice creams rely so much on texture provided by all those chunks and swirls, but I forgot to ask about this during the tour as I was too enchanted watching pints of Jimmy Fallon's Late Night Snack come off the line, get their lids, and do a little flip before disappearing out of sight. Also, the tour was loaded with puns, and I have a soft spot for puns (I hold myself back so hard around here!) so I was pretty focused on enjoying those and imagining which flavor we'd get to sample at the end of the tour (Milk & Cookies, totally scrumptious). It was warm enough to sit outside with our ice cream cones, and I was struck by how the sky looked just as it does on Ben & Jerry's packaging, perfect cartoon blue. The bright sun melted the last of the snow but not our ice cream cones, and spring smells bloomed green all around us.


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