Braving the fragrance of time past

Today I visited an old house that I loved as a kid- smarter, cleaner and more comfortable now. The walls have no damp stains or flaking paint, the carpets are full and rich, it is well lit. The spaces are the same (though appearing smaller).
But it used to smell – like a symphony.
The glazed entance lobby, catching the year round sun, no longer greets the visitor with baked wellington, stiffening raingear, heavy varnish bubbled on old clothes stands, oil based linoleum.
The hall proffers no gift of furniture wax and pot plants.
The stair cupboard embaces no-one with rough-sawn pine and drying flowers.
The basement fails to chill the skin with kiss of cool damp working through distempered granite.
No thinning carpets give off dry vapours shed from ageing fabrics.
While the loose boards are pinned and silent in the corridor braved in darkness- as a test.


2 thoughts on “Braving the fragrance of time past

  1. B says:

    When I did aromatherapy I remember how scent would immediately transport people back to those early memories. Juniper in one instance took this person immediately back to her youth In Africa. I remember furniture polish too. Perhaps we polish less these days? note to self. Polish chest of drawers.

    • I was surprised at how familiar spaces are defined by distinct odours: without them they are only superficially recognisable.
      Good luck with your chest -er furniture-wise that is.
      Choose a good beeswax based polish. As you work on the wood, you will also be feeding the identity of precious personal territory.

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