Sidewalk cafe in Paris
A sidewalk cafe in Paris

We can get places faster than ever these days. As rapid as travel has become during my career, though, nothing can transport me to a favorite place faster than a remembered fragrance.

Sometimes it’s the smell of spices in a restaurant, conjuring up visions of that wonderful sidewalk cafe in Athen’s famous Plaka market, or even just the smell of early morning outside. When the temperature is just right, I’m back on a sidewalk in Paris, heading for morning lattes and croissants at the Patisserie.

Travel enriches our lives in so many ways.

Today’s journey was delivered in the form of spring blooms. I was perusing the colorful aisles of a garden center when my nose was assailed by the incomparable fragrance of blooming Hyacinths. Then, just like that, I was back in that little antique shop in Windsor, outside of London.

It was still cool and grey outside, but inside there was coffee brewing and a friendly shopkeeper ready to visit and show his wares. I smelled the flowers as soon as I walked in the door;on the counter of that jumble-filled, dusty shop was this beautiful old pot filled with blooming Hyacinths.

I leaned down to take a sniff and fell in love. That particular fragrance is like nothing else.

Hyacinths in Windsor
Hyacinths in Windsor

I leaned down to take a sniff and fell in love. That particular fragrance is like nothing else. It’s rare, coming only once a year to our Texas climate, and it quickly leaves us as the flower fades. But every time I smell it again, I am back in Windsor, in that wonderful shop. And I’m happy. It’s the cheapest vacation known to man.

Travel enriches our lives in so many ways. Not much is said about enriching your nose, but I’m telling you today. Get your nose out there in the world. Smell the food and the spices and the weather and the greenery and the flowers and sometimes, the people! You’ll be transported back each time you experience that fragrance again.

One of those Hyacinths came home with me to sit on my desk. No passport required for this journey.

Having a great time, wish you were here.
Vickie

One Whiff, and I’m There Again