14 April 2009

15April- a fleeting thought on aromas
I was sitting at Cloud Nine Market the other day, as I tend to do, when a young woman happened to walk behind me as I sipped my beer and read a book. She looked at something and moved away and, in doing so, eddies of air carried her perfume to me and, for a moment, I was struck by a sudden imposition of emotion. It doesn't matter of whom or of when her aroma reminded me, but it sent me back to a time and place and company that stirred my soul. I sat in my chair and breathed in the last little wisps that were left in the air as I tried to place my emotions and I closed my eyes when the pieces fell into place.
Aromas are interesting. Whether it be people, places, or things there are times when an aroma is all you need to know. There are some wines whose smell take you to just the right place. Domaine Montille's Volnay does that to me. Hell, Grand Vin de Latour (when I'm lucky enough for someone to share a bottle with me) does that. Their bouquets takes my hand and rests their chins on my shoulder and make me feel like there's no where else I'd like to be. They make me feel understood. If something can smell so right, it must understand me.
This happens with people sometimes. That moment when the smell of the nape of a neck is enough to make a popping sensation in the chest and the little hairs on your arms tingle. That moment when you think you'd like a filter that smells like that person to help you get through the day.
In many ways, I judge wine and beer for a living. It is but a facet of my responsibilities but it is high up on what makes the job worthwhile, emotionally as well as financially. And I find that I respond very viscerally to aromas. Research has shown that, as a person's sense of smell diminishes, their libido diminishes as well. So...I wonder if people in this business of smell and taste (chefs, sommeliers, wine/beer/spirit reps) are possessed of a hightened sexuality.
When a person in this profession tells you that you smell good, does that mean more than a person whose senses aren't trained to extract as much as possible? If it's a matter of chemistry above cognizance, then it can be argued that training is meaningless. but if it's a combination of the two...
Honestly, I have no idea where I'm going with this. It's been one of those those long, albeit slow, days that can be more exhausting that a simply busy day.

I suppose I'm just reflecting on that moment of recognition when something's in the air. Whether it be how a person smells or how a wine or beer smells. Whether you're picking out marzipan in an eight year old hermitage blanc or if you're rubbing someone's shoulders and head and breathe in a deep, subtle, earthy perfume that goes right to your gut like an olfactory dog whistle.

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