Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Autumn smells

This year I've dried enough mint to keep the whole parish in hot drinks for the forseeable future. The clothes pulley above the bath is hung with big bunches of lemon balm, for more tea, and tansy, which I hope will, once dry, help to deter the moths, mice and other vermin that seem intent on devouring our clothes. Cleaning the lounge involved shifting the onion, garlic and chanterelle harvest to the studio, so I am writing this accompanied by a somewhat pungent odour of future stews drying out under the window ready for the winter. On my desk there's a bowl of dried rose petals and a jam jar of sweet peas and honeysuckle. The place smells of romantic seventeenth century poetry.

Open the studio door and the fragrance takes a sharp lift. The heather and ling are at their peak. Pure purple perfume. And in the woods the autumn collapse has begun: bracken is bronzing, grass slumps, leaves drop and the great end of year rot is underway. The earth breathes out summer and smells magnificent. Autumn, the olfactory climax of the season. I love it.

Time for a walk, to follow my nose, aromatherapy for free.

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