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Meditations on Place: The Scent of Experience

What About the Smell of the Moon?

Meditations on Place: The Scent of Experience

To a recounting: 
A client, high perfumer Christi Meshell, pointed out a note on the Fragrance of the Moon.

That recalls an earlier conversation we had about the smell of guns, firepower and gun powder. It’s like the smell of any explosive, a gunshot. It is the percussive molecular burst of sulphur, saltpeter and charcoal, that aligns — as certain kinds of black tea — deep, dark, devilish.

D A N G E R O U S.

I know:
Turns out that the moon 
smells like gunpowder.

“All I can say is that everyone’s instant impression of the smell was that of spent gunpowder, not that it was ‘metallic’ or ‘acrid’. Spent gunpowder smell probably was much more implanted in our memories than other comparable odors,” said Apollo 17’s Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, a scientist-astronaut who walked the moon’s surface in December of 1972.
Schmitt said that he believed all the moonwalkers agreed and commented at the time that, when they took their helmets off, ‘fresh’ regolith (the scientific name for moon dirt) in the cabin air smelled like spent gunpowder.

I meditate about the scent of place.
When I think about places I’ve been and the scents revealed, I go off in the dream of places, scented.
Some that are tidal, like the perfume of the ocean that comes in off the early morning mists from Puget Sound.
The long call of the ocean, the roar of the sea — the far Pacific:

Meditations on Place: The Scent of Experience

The scent of the Palouse, high rain, pouring on the Plains.

Meditations on Place: The Scent of Experience

And some linger in the evanescence of regulation — they vanish.
Like the Ybor Cigar neighborhood of Tampa, FLA., from my college days,  now this scent shall be disappearing forever —
the waft of heated tropical rain, tobacco leaves sheared, old roughened and sharpened steel
and moistened bricks and concrete.
I go back to others:

Meditations on Place: The Scent of Experience

Ravens calling amidst the misted monasteries of the Himalaya.

Meditations on Place: The Scent of Experience

The first-up steam, inbound fog and the scent of the darkest of days, Manhattan.

Meditations on Place: The Scent of Experience

The dark forest, wet moss and bark,
dark dirt, freshly-lit by morning sun, Decatur Island.

Meditations on Place: The Scent of Experience

Rain, heated and slicked, Atlanta, GA.
You could meditate for a personal moment,
on the scent of place.
What comes to mind?

TIM | GIRVIN Queen Anne Studios