There are two fragrances that I particularly love. The smell of a braai, and the smell of jasmine. Here is why.
I am a South African through and through, and so like so many of us, I have such positive associations to the smell of a braai. Braais speak of meat, flavor, sunshine, family and friends. I can smell a braai a few kilometers away, and like Pavlov’s dog start salivating.
This gets a bit more complicated. I am really ignorant when it comes to flowers. Our shop is next to a florist, and for the last five years, whenever I have popped in they have attempted to educate me with regard to their selection. The truth is this; I am really not that interested. When we move our shop upstairs I will be able to look down on their shop, but I still do not hold out much hope for a sudden turnaround in interests. I like muscles and angles, running shoes and bike gears, swimming pools and watching athletes develop.
However, I love jasmine flowers. My love for them formed at about 15 years of age. I had taken up running the previous year, and a friend suggested that we throw in some hill work to get ourselves stronger. And so on one of our runs we purposely chose the steepest downhill in order to find some steep uphills in the area. We found the perfect road. At the bottom of it was a huge jasmine bush that pumped out its fragrance. The smell of jasmine become associated with the following:
– Being outdoors and experiencing the warmth of Johannesburg.
– Being fit and getting fitter.
– The satisfaction of a hill conquered.
– The nervous anticipation of the next hill repeat.
– The sheer exhilaration of being alive, free and healthy enough to enjoy running.
Now, years later, a faint whiff of jasmine brings all those memories back. I end up running slightly faster when just a hint of jasmine hits my nose.
Here ‘s to a wonderful summer, filled with lots of running and all that is associated with being outdoors.