‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The scent of pumpkins

Yesterday when I remembered my college French class (19th century literature - as if writing papers in English wasn't laborious enough) it made me think of Chandler Burr, who happened to be in that class with me. Of course he did brilliantly. I, on the other hand, was in the library furtively speed reading Le Rouge et Le Noir in English to try and keep up.

He has three agents and speaks 5 languages.

Meanwhile, I am sitting here in my damask apron waiting for the pumpkin butter to finishing cooking so I can put it in quilted jelly jars and give it to Lucy's teachers.

I sometimes see his articles or hear him on NPR. He sounds just like he did in college. In fact, if we had voted on such things in college, I think we would have voted him "Most Likely to Become the New York Times Scent Critic." It just seems so obvious.

In Chandler's interview on NPR he talked about cultural perspectives - how something the French think smells fresh reminds us of Johnson's Baby Powder and how we think patchouli smells exotic but someone from India (I'm so sorry if I'm misquoting, but I think I'm at least on the right continents) thinks it smells like mothballs. Because that's what it was used for, I believe he said. To keep bugs out of things that were being shipped - lovely, exotic things that smelled lovely and exotic when they arrived in our Johnson's Baby Powder bestrewn ports.

Now I am obviously not in a position to speak with authority on scents, but I can tell you that my house smells absolutely brilliant right now. It smells sweet and satisfying. It smells like someone is taking good care of her family. Someone who is looking forward to having pumpkin butter on toast tomorrow morning. With tea. Sitting in a patch of sun. Yes, it smells like all that (I went a little heavy on the allspice).

So, to each their own (even though I'm spectacularly jealous of the 5 language thing).


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