Aromatic

AROMATIC

“I smell something funny!”.

What on earth does that sentence mean? Does humour have distinct scent that some how makes you laugh uncontrollably? I often wonder how people originated expressions such as these. I’ll bet the person listening to that statement for the first time would have thought “what on earth  is he/she on about? How does something smell funny?”

“we should stop to smell the roses”

Again, another aromatic catch phrase I couldn’t relate to. I am not a fan of the Rose scent. Why not take time to smell the freshly cooked cookies from the bakery ? that makes more sense. If you smell too many flowers,  you’ll just get a headache and be left hungry 🙂

Alright enough joking around with the catch phrase aromatic analogies!
What does aromatic mean? If we look to Wiki (like I normally do) it says ‘Having a pleasant or distinctive smell’.  What is pleasant for one person, may not be so pleasant for another. There are smells I can not tolerate yet my partner loves. Distinctive is better description in my opinion to work from.

What is a distinctive smell?

Rain, precipitation falling from cloud in the sky. Does it smell? Some people say “I can smell the rain”. So does the H2O actually have a scent?……..No the answer is. Is there a distinct smell when rain falls though?…..Yes the answer is. That rain smell we pick up on is all to do with the birds and bees….Not those birds and bees….As it turns out, one of the more pleasant rain smells, the one we often notice in the wilderness, is actually caused by bacteria! Actinomycetes, a type of filamentous bacteria, grow in soil when conditions are damp and warm. When the soil dries out, the bacteria produces spores in the soil. The wetness and force of rainfall kick these tiny spores up into the air where the moisture after a rain acts as an aerosol (just like an aerosol air freshener). The moist air easily carries the spores to us so we breathe them in. These spores have a distinctive, earthy smell we often associate with rainfall.  Who would have thunk it ?

Some scents can carry warnings. Like a fire. You can smell a fire long before you can see the smoke. Some aromas trigger an emotion to cope with its presence. If you smell smoke, you look for fire. You smell anything burning, you instantly look for what is on fire. There are also chemical smells you can associate dangers with. Something’s just smell ‘bad’ or ‘dangerous’. Spoilt meat for instance. This also goes into the DNA stamp for everyone as well. With out being a meat expert, you get to know from a very early age, with out being taught, what smells healthy and what smells dangerous.  Some distinctive aromas just carry a smell of danger. Sometimes that scent can be illusive. Some foods that smell naturally pungent or ‘bad’ to some, may very well be edible and harmless. An example of this is the Durian. The edible flesh emits a distinctive odour that is strong and penetrating even when the husk is intact. Some people regard the durian as having a pleasantly sweet fragrance; others find the aroma overpowering and revolting. The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust, and has been described variously as rotten onions, turpentine and raw sewage. The persistence of its odour has led to the fruit’s banishment from certain hotels and public transportation in Southeast Asia. Did you get that? An aroma so offensive it had its butt kicked out of certain places and it doesn’t even have the ability wear antiperspirant hey? Discrimination of the foul smelling fruit maybe?

Either path you travel with ‘aromatic’, I’m sure it will be great challenge to capture something visually you relate to scent. Is it a spring meadow? A summer storm? A pretty rose? Or maybe its just a big rancid smelling Durian or some Parmesan cheese you love to keep in the corning of the fridge 🙂

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