The scent that lingered on…

All homes have a distinctive smell.

When we entered the house we now call our home in Amsterdam for the first time, a faint smell of Jasmine had lingered about in the air. I formed a strong association between that smell and this house. We don’t know for how long the house was on the market, but whatever the duration, it spent a lot of time staying completely shut. As we moved in, other smells begin to fight with the Jasmine frgrance sticks’ totalitarian rule. Aroma of Indian spices and curries mingled with smells of floor cleaner. The faint smells of our soaps hobnobbed with the equally understated smells of our deodorants. Within two months, that distinctive Amsterdam home’ smell had been replaced with the smell of nothing and everything at once. The wife still found the Jasmine smell overwhelming and replaced the Jasmine-scented fragrence sticks with Rose. It didn’t change anything for me and Rose smell never quite took hold like Jasmine did.

From her recent trip to India, the wife brought along a small supply of Mysore Sandal soap. The scent of sandalwood oil in these soaps is mild and pleasant but it never leaves the bathroom.

We were in Rome for a short vacation and for the first time in over six months the house was locked for five days at a stretch. When we came back yesterday, it is that smell of sandal from the half-used soap that had taken over the house. I like it but I know that it doesn’t stand a chance against our cacophony of odours, aromas and smells…

PS The obligatory postcard from Rome:


November 17, 2011