After a bitingly cold winter, this week has seen the advent of spring here in tiny, beautiful Holland. I smelled spring coming, just like I smell the first day of winter. It is no big feat to smell spring coming here, if you are a foreigner. There are telltale signs if you are not born Dutch: even though I live in a city, the air carries with it a certain scent only detectable by us, non-natives. The Dutch seem to be accustomed to it – or at least the ones I have asked are – they do not smell it at all. That scent is perhaps not the most romantic, but to me, it has become beautiful through association: It is the smell of newly fertilized fields. Yes, you read that right; I am indeed talking about the smell of dung, the smell of manure. A smell I normally cower away from, furiously rolling up the window when passing from a field with the car. Yet, in such small concentrations, a mere hint of it carried by the wind all the way to our lovely city, the scent becomes almost swoon-worthy. I haven’t always been this positive about it: when I first moved here the smell of spring shocked me – I could hardly believe people went calmly about their way, apparently not noticing anything. I’d tug the sleeve of my partner: “Don’t you smell the poo?”, I’d ask anxiously. The answer was always no. Noone seemed to smell the poo. Finally, relief came when I discovered that there was a group that indeed did smell it – the international students. We learned to anticipate spring by this first smell, we learned to recognize the end of the long hard winters by it. After living here for many years, I finally discover I’ve learned to love it, as funny as that might sound. To me, it has become the equivalent of a drop of civet in a beautiful fragrance. Yes, the scent of the newly fertilized fields is the civet in the wonderful mélange of smells the gorgeous city I live in has to offer come spring. It mingles with the scent of the narcissi and daffodils along the banks of the Rhine, it mingles with the smell of freshly cut grass. Most importantly, it mingles with the smell of awakening that comes with bright blue skies and sunny afternoons. It makes my heart beat faster, like I’ve just fallen in love.
In love with life, my heart has been beating madly all week.
Are there any strange smells you enjoy? Enjoy the coming of spring, my dears! She’s finally here.
Perfume holds the power to enhance my mood and even change it. I can use it to highlight aspects of myself. It can make my heart swoop with joy and it can send me back in time by awakening distant memories. I want to share my love for perfume with you. Let's exchange our thoughts and share our experiences.