Letha and I met when we both lived in the Biltmore, a former hotel with The Shining-esque hallways and a primo location in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. Get a glimpse of the world through Letha's beauty-hungry eyes by peeking at her Instagram feed, visiting her Etsy shop, or perusing the archives of her blog.
What do you smell like?
I think I primarily smell of baking soda and apple cider vinegar because that’s what I wash my (hippie, sustainable, cheap ass) hair with. I probably also smell like the ‘Yes to…’ brand of products. I like and use their cucumber body butter a lot (it smells better than the straight up lotion of the same cucumber persuasion.) Also Tokyo Milk’s ‘Sencha Bleu’ solid perfume. According to their web site ‘Sencha’ smells like “Hyacinth, Iris, Citrus Zest and Crisp Greens.”
What do you like to smell?
Fresh ginger, avocados, tomatoes from the farmers market, pickles, cheese, bread, olives….oh, olives! Spices; dill weed, rosemary, peppercorns before they're ground, cardamom. Gin, a super hoppy beer (Pliny the Younger!), just-pressed and poured coffee. Tea before it’s brewed, how promising it is, how potent. Mexican hot chocolate. Olive oil in a hot pan before anything joins it. The dusty smell of uncooked rice. And again, cheese. (Always cheese.) Also: antique/thrift stores, memories wafting out of inanimate objects from all directions. Such a smelly clamor. Cracking open a book and inhaling the headiness of paper with ink on it-- escapism before I even get to the story. Slowly becoming a bona fide bicycler and finding lots of neat byproducts about commuting via two wheels…one being that there are lots of smells involved. And each day’s ride smells radically different. The first day of public school here in Seattle (I kid you not) smelled like fruit loops. Other times it's apricots or cashews or just grass and growing things. Often this summer I’ve smelled lavender so hard I choke. Particular spots, late at night as I roll by, smell like whiskey just poured into a glass. Today it smelled as if someone had dumped fresh wood chips over everything in creation and then stirred in some velvety moss. Heaven. Pressing my cheek against my twin niece and nephew’s 6 month-old faces and breathing in new life. How a just-made bed smells of both cleanliness and of dust (dusty smells, a running theme with my nose it seems). The way the person I love to curl up with often smells--ever so faintly-- of the smoking he’s constantly trying to reign in, but doesn’t, not really. The few times a year I catch a whiff of the odor of really hot sand in summer. The complex, deep smell of wet earth after rain. Earth smells are far and away my favorite. Dust. Pines. Decaying leaves. Clay. Earth smells tell me that--despite the chaotic rhythm of we and the planet--“this has all happened before, will all happen again.”