The Perfume of the Forest

The Pitch for the Pitch;
Resins, Sap and Crushed Conifer

In the storm, the fragranced molecules of the woods come alive. A shower of pollens, wood dust,
and if the storm is fevered enough, conifers snap needles, deciduous trees shear branches and leaves, bark curls and takes to the wind, a layering of fragranced notes. If the storm is by the water, whether still fresh water, or saline crystals on the fly they all build a miasmic efflorescence of scent.

The Perfume of the Forest

Walking the forest in quietude, another layering of heat or cold, crushed soil — the smell of hot, cracked earth, acidic needles, leaves laid on leaves, compacted humus, scraped bark and heated pitch — each builds out another world of fragrance.

Try this, gather some pitch in the seeping from the injured point of
resinous tearing of a tree, like above;
it’s a gummy mass
that can come away with
a knife or curled away by hand.

The Perfume of the Forest

Build your fire,
gather an ember and set the pitch, tar on the coals [like in a bowl or copper tine.]
A white smoke, a dense incense will burst forth.
The crack of split wood,
the splinter of timber,
sawn, axe-cleaved rounds of
pine, the scent unfolds.



And it’s for you to consider what it means,
to your journey in memory, smoke, perfume,
meaning, context
and place.