2 min read

Friday Open Thread (with Scents & Surprises)

Friday Open Thread (with Scents & Surprises)

Dear Friends,

Yesterday, Stu and I went on a long, lovely river walk, and among the many beautiful things I saw were these flowers.

Close-up of Golden Currant, clusters of small, five-petaled golden flowers with pink-red centres growing off slender woody canes among green three-lobed leaves.

Thanks to PictureThis I know that this is called Golden Currant – and thanks to getting up close to sniff at it, I can tell you that its other name, Clove Currant, is very well deserved.

This reminded me of living in the south of Cornwall for a while and seeing gorse everywhere – mostly a thorny and dark green shrub, but in the early spring it explodes into bright yellow blossoms. It took me a few months of living there before I braved the thorns to get close enough to smell them – and was startled and delighted to find they smelled like coconut.

Consequently I started thinking of other times I've connected the sight of one thing with the smell or taste of another: Daphne flowers to Froot Loops, or the sudden understanding of what juniper berries taste like as a consequence of eating juniper-flavoured herring on a Swedish ferry and thinking "wait, this tastes like gin."

So I'm wondering – when has a scent surprised you, or taught you something new about the world?

Whether or not anything comes to mind, I can't really think about scents and experiences without also thinking of Nebula finalist Scents & Semiosis, which makes me feel warm golden calm in my heart whenever I recall its existence.

Wishing you an easeful weekend full of good things,


PS: just a quick reminder that Saturday evening I'm joining the anthropomorphization of opalescence – CSE Cooney – to help launch Nicole Kornher-Stace's magnificent new novel Firebreak. May 8 at 8PM EST, we'll be doing a DRAMATIC READING all together from the book, and talking about a whole bunch of things like folk who've been friends for over a decade are wont to do. We're also doing an audiobook giveaway! Sign up here to join us! It's free!

PPS: This is the first Friday Open Thread I'm sending through Ghost, which means you'll need to input your email – just this once! – in order to comment. It should hopefully only take a second and then never be thought of again.