Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nosy Interview: Gallo Fall

Gallo in Wisps of the Veil Nebula, © Joaquin Ferreiros

Gallo and I met through a dear mutual friend. Others occasionally refer to me as "Nosy Girl" in their interviews, but I think Gallo may be the only one to call me this in person as well, and I always liked how it sounded in his Senegalese accent, "Hello, Nosy Girl. How is Nosy Girl?"  

What do you smell like?  
Yay, it is Nosy time. Well, I smell like Soapwalla Deodorant Cream. I started using it since I moved in with my girlfriend. As my girlfriend has an allergic reaction to any perfumes, I want to save her from sneezing. 

I have been very aware of her fragrance-free world and am using a natural smell neutralizer that works even after a 5k jog. I smell like Soapwalla, kind of lavender-ish and peppermint since this is the only deodorant that am using.  

What do you like to smell? 
Great question! Well, Nosy Girl, I miss the smell of my family’s house in Senegal. Growing up, the scent of thiouraye (pronounced “choo-rye”) was the most prominent smell in our household. The smell was very distinct, heavenly good and magical.  

Thiouraye is made from diguidja (pronounced “dee- gui-jah) which is bits of wood and seeds soaked in a mixture of perfumes such as musk or other types of oil and spices and usually kept sealed in an old jar for a period of time. The way my mother makes it is very different from others as there isn’t any particular formula. After the thiouraye is fermented, my mother would sniff it to ensure it passed the smell test— her quality assurance, so to speak. The incense is burned on an “ande” (pronounced “ah-nde”), which is a handmade clay bowl filled with ashes. Then burning charcoal is buried under the ashes. Once sprinkled on the ande-thiouraye, the scent of thiouraye wafts through corridors and fills the house.

Occasionally, I pass by someone on the street and can recognize them as a fellow Senegalese—their clothes, hair, and belongings are all infused with thiouraye.

12 comments:

Natalie said...

Great interview, and I like the audio image of "nosy girl" in Gallo's accent. Also, how fascinating that thiouraye has such a distinct character (to Senegal) and that character can also be made more distinct (to one family). That's much better than our kids saying "Oh, my house always smelled like Bath & Body Works Pure Cotton candles" in my opinion.

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