I'm reading Broken Harbour by Tana French, and last night I came across a passage that cast sea smells in a new light:
The smell of the sea swept over the wall and in through the empty window-hole, wide and wild with a million intoxicating secrets. I don't trust that smell. It hooks us somewhere deeper than reason or civilisation, in the fragments of our cells that rocked in oceans before we had minds, and it pulls till we follow mindlessly as rutting animals. When I was a teenager, that smell used to set me boiling, spark my muscles like electricity, bounce me off the walls of the caravan till my parents sprang me free to obey the call, bounding after whatever tantalising once-in-a-lifetimes it promised. Now I know better. That smell is bad medicine. It lures us to leap off high cliffs, fling ourselves on towering waves, leave behind everyone we love and face into thousands of miles of open water for the sake of what might be on the far shore.