Saturday, September 4, 2010

Smelling Denver

My nose is working overtime.  

Whenever we go to a different city (until now, I've only flown through Denver), my first thought is 'what does it smell like?'  I always find a souvenir perfume that captures the essence of the experience and keeps the scent of the city alive in my memory.

But before that happens, I endure the smells of traveling.  

Let's begin with the airplane.  Walking through first class seems claustrophobic enough.  By the time we get to our seats, I can't imagine how we're going to a) slither into them, b) place anything at all under the seat in front of us, or c) 'move freely about the cabin' upon reaching cruising altitude.

Plus, once seated, we are stuck with our new neighbors and any aroma they might bring on board.  The first thing I notice is whether or not the guy in front of me appears to have washed his hair in the last 24 hours.  This informs how the air flow valve above me is positioned. 

We are located in the second to the last row, right next to the lavatory, which sees plenty of action on this late morning flight.  Yes, I've read the children's book, "Everyone Poops."  If only it were titled, "Everyone Poops at Home."

Adjusting the air flow again.

At the Denver airport, after a very short flight, my nose can hardly keep up with the onslaught of sillage as we make our way to baggage claim.  In the elevators and, later, in the hotel bar, scents compete for attention (reconfirming that heavy florals do not mix well with food).

Last night, attending the Taste of Colorado festival, my food samples of falafel and roasted nuts match beautifully with the roast beef, beer and metallic base notes of the evening air.  

Early this morning, B-man and I walk the city together.  This is our tradition no matter where we go.  Downtown Denver smells like crisp, mountain air is trying to dominate, but is thwarted by the sweet and stale scent of mixed restaurant leftovers.  Not quite revolting, but sweaty, like a space that athletes have gathered - then abandoned - after finishing their football game.

Perfuming, one of the highlights of our trip, begins in earnest this afternoon.  First up, DSH Essense Studio.

Stay tuned.


  1. How interesting to associate a particular smell with a city - I don't think I have ever tried to do that. I am impressed by your very keen nose too - I only notice very pungent odours in the open air. I will try to keep my nostrils peeled in future when I am out and about... : - )

  2. Hi Flitter - my nose is always trolling for smells and it's a large part of how I experience the world.

    I will be interested to know what you pick up in your own city and in your travels.

  3. Josephine,
    The notes concerning your flight made me smile in recognition - why do we put ourselves through flights?
    On my last flight, the guy behind put his smelly trainer-wearing feet up on the back half of my armrest without figuring out that the resistance he met was my arm! Pungent wasn't the word for those trainers. And as I was delicately scented with orange blossom and jasmine fragrance, I couldn't avoid "parfum de sweaty trainers" unless I kept my nose in my cleavage, which behaviour would have seemed a little odd to anyone who could see me.
    So much for opting for subtle scent to avoid offending fellow air-travellers: next time I'll take a mini of nag champa and dowse the foul sewer that opts to pollute me:-)

    kidding though sorely tempted,

    regards, Anna in Edinburgh

  4. Anna, hello and welcome! Your smelly feet episode sounds typical of unexpected nose ambushes when traveling. What's worse is that the offenders appear oblivious to their own smell. It blows my mind.

    Glad to know this dilemma is shared by others.

    Thanks for your comment!



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