What's an evocative journey for you?
Is it something that engages all your senses?
Is it one that makes you return to the photographic images again and again? Recount its stories to your friends endlessly?
When Indiblogger and Godrej Aer asked us here to talk about my evocative travel experience to help them create the first crowd-inspired fragrances, I decided to just scan my mind for the fragrances I remembered from various places and not go into the details of the trip logistics - because what was evocative for me was the sights and smells and that's what I remember even days after th trip has ended... :)
I have been to many mountain ranges because I love the feeling of being protected by those tall natural structures around me! My most memorable trip to the mountains has to be to the majestic Himalayas, where we drove to Manali taking a spiral path up the gorgeous hills. Being constantly aware of the danger added to the thrill of this journey. Being out there, admiring nature's beauty hidden in those rocks and mountains, greeting simple mountain people on the way whenever we stopped for a break, eating homely food and taking in the sights and smells - all of it is forever etched in my mind. Here are some of vivid recollection of fragrances that I remember from my hill journeys:
- The fresh smell of mountain streams that originate from so many places. I associate this stream water with freshness and pureness so this fresh aquatic smell always arouses a sense of trust in me.
- The earthy smell of the rocks. This smell of earth, gravel and ground takes me back to my childhood where I had the luxury of playing in the open unlike the unfortunate children of today who are stuck in high-rise apartments and video games
- The freshly washed leaves of the hill trees. They always smell of mist and dew, being high up there in the altitude their smell is not like city trees - tired and pollute, rather they smell free, leafy and wholesome.
I am a beach bum. Though I don't know how to swim, I can sit for hours on a beach with a book and a martini! My best trip to a hill was predictably to Goa. I love the madness of North Goa and the calmness of South Goa. On this particular trip that I lovingly remember, we spent days in South Goa, just listening to the waves, looking at children playing, eating sea food, drinking beer and taking in the luscious aromas all around us! My senses are constantly invited by a range of fragrances around me...
- The salty scent of surf. The sea waves coming close to you and going far away have this amazing salty smell that you can smell from far away. I'm so surprised that none of the perfumes or room fresheners I have used has ever captures this wonderful salty smell of the surf!
- The smell of pebbles and shells on the sea. It is infused with the smell of sea and yet retains its own distinct smell, each time you try to bend and collect them you can take in the aroma of playful shells
- The smell of sand becoming gradually wet as sand comes in closer and closer with high tide. If you have build castles in the sand by the sea, you would know the wonderful aroma of the sand and how the dry and the wet sand are totally distinct smelling because the way the sea water adds its touches to them
My city, my home
I live in a city. No matter how much I detest the crowd, pollution and selfishness that comes with a city, it is my current reality. There are tonnes of smells that I am assaulted with daily, and some of them have become an essential part of my existence as they are what I associate with 'home'! Here's what I mean:
- The fresh breakfast smell of Bangalore. If you're walking on the roads, you will smell the best of breakfast items coming from most cafes, like masala dosa, steaming idlis, poori, upma - all mixed with the richness of filter coffee. Without these familiar smells my mornings never feel complete.
- After the lovely Bangalore monsoons, the tress look clean and the ground smells awesome - earthy, washed and inviting! I'm yet to meet a person who doesn't love the smell of freshly washed mud/ sand!
- The market smells arrest your senses. I can clearly tell you what a unique smell feels like - though it doesn't have a single unique ingredient! It is the smell of freshly died fabric mixed with the smell of freshly opened leather of shoes mixed with the smell of pizzas being baked somewhere - this is the market right next to my house with mostly clothing and shoe stores along with some cafes :)
Do share your fragrant memories with me :)
(Some images are from pixabay)