smells - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
The sweet smell of jasmine lingers in the air so that when I cross the threshold it's like a shot of adrenaline right to my heart. Silence crashes down around me. Even the fall leaves have ceased their scudding along the stone path. Then she steps out from behind the rice-paper room divider in her silly floral skirt and blouse almost covered by the peach cardigan. She smiles. I must be surrounded. She could have me killed right now but she won't. Where's the sport in that? So much more fun to have me loose my mind. But I won't. I won't. She steps nearer, the jasmine is now so heady it's almost poison, I want to hold my breath but this is not going to be quick. Mother's little visits never are.
There is something unsettling about the smell. It has a familiarity that is taking me way back past the life I have built with Josh, back to my life before. These memories are hard to access, like they are strung so thick with cobwebs it's hard to break through. But that's what happens when you take the life extenders, who you were fifty years ago seems like a different person altogether, just with a shared face and relatives. The scent is giving me images of a laboratory, a machine with a timer on the side and the door behind me is strung with red lasers. Security, that's interesting, what did I ever do that required such things? The technology is so old, could have been a hundred and fifty years ago or more. I should let it go and move on but I can't. It's less than a memory but so much more than a dream. I suck in the aroma and feel the colours enhance, the machines were silver and the tiles white. It doesn't help much. I take out a flask and trap some air, maybe Ed can analyze it.
Once the smells of the city were alien to me and their chaotic fragrance set me on edge. There was no tinge of earthy loam to the air, no fragrance of spring growth or heady warning when rain was due. The fumes from belching vehicles underpinned everything, but punching right out of it would be the spicy offerings of the street vendors, coming sharply into focus like a camera zoom and then ebbing away again; only to be replaced by the next vendor and the next. Now these are the smells of home every bit as much as the old ones were, perhaps less healthy but reassuring nonetheless.
The smell of the tobacco coats my everything; skin, hair, clothes, books. One "quick fag" to soothe her nerves and I'm off to school smelling like an ashtray. Every-time that smoke eddies my way I hold my breath. I don't want it in my lungs, how many times have I had that class on lung cancer? So as she calms my my heart races as fast as my mind. I can imagine my lungs blackening, my DNA mutating and of course the uniform I washed last night loosing it's freshly washed aroma. No-one will want to sit with me today, they'd rather sit three to a table than double up with me stinking like this.
It is quite something to notice that the all the tram cars seem new and clean in this city. The other day while coming back from Germany I climbed in one of those cars, it was an off-peak hour and as such I could slide myself in one of my favorite location for a car seat: near the window, facing the direction of travel. One or two stops later a man took the seat right in front of me, and then another man sat next to him. I didn't notice anything peculiar at that time but I was wondering why the second man got up and left his seat only after a minute he got there in the first place. And then it hit me: the foul, rotten smell emanating from the bloke who was sitting in front of me. This funky, ill-scented perfume was spreading the smell of feces, puke and stale sweat in a slow and penetrating way, entering pervasively my nostrils, overpowering my mind which started to conjure fiery images of corpses rotting in the dark pits of hell.
It didn't take me long to follow the steps of the other guy who didn't bother to stand that loathful scent for more that half a minute. I was then surrounded by a haze of doubt, could that foul smell be coming from me? Or more precisely coming from my shoes? It is one of the joy of living in this city, you're running the risk of walking in dog waste (or worse) on a regular basis. So I started to inspect the soles of my trusted hiking shoes and didn't notice anything particularly out of the ordinary, no filth capable of producing such a repellent and dreadful smell was stuck between the lugs of my soles.
I then proceeded to get out of the tram to embark on new urban olfactory experiences.
Putrid, rancid, odor, effluvium, stench, reek, foul, stomach churning, nauseating, chemical, rotting, decay, permeating every pore, undertone of bleach discernible below heavier scent of lemon furniture polish, potpourri, unnaturally clean, aroma of flowers, mildew, dampness, mold, wet leaves, wet dog fresh from the sea, unchecked body odor, fresh cut grass, fresh laundry.
perfume, lavishly applied aftershave, sweat, rancid body odor, cheesy, lavender, apple pie, roast beef, fresh cut grass, sweet meadow hay, manure
Unwashed clothes, sour smell of old age, stench, stomach churning.
Fishy, strong effluvium, sinister smell, clinical smell, disinfectant, discernable, heavy scent, amalgam of pot pourri and furniture polish, fresh laundry, chocolate, Mom's pasta sauce.
sweet smelling air, roses, pot pourri, chemical pot pourri, soap, lemon, baking bread.
malodorous, river water, sun warmed grass, stale, dusty, leaf loam, mothballs, cigarette smoke, floral, a transitory evocation of summer, malodorous yawn, halitosis, horribly familiar, wood smoke.