I’m eternally in the state of that infamous Beach Boys song, California Dreaming. Growing up there as a child has caused some scents to trigger my memory bank, here is my pick and mix of the best that send me all those good vibrations.
Lemon leaves- my mum used to make homemade lemonade from the tree in our garden, it was covered in lichen and a family of possums lived in it at night. At sunset my brother and I would watch the sun as it was a half an orange, a cake and finally a pancake until it disappeared into the sea, sitting beneath that tree.
Aldehydes- there is something that occurs when aldehydes are mixed with floral notes, for me it creates a sharp creaminess with a hint of powder. Something in this brings back the smell of sun tan lotion, emerging out of the cold salty steel blue sea and being wrapped in a brightly coloured towel by my mum on a Malibu beach that felt like our own hidden cove.
Freesia- we grew these in our garden, and their innocent sweetness still reminds me of the time I got told off for picking them all!
Agave / Green Sap- this one is hard to describe, for some people aloe vera and agave don’t smell of much but there was a strange low spreading succulent that grew on all the hills by our school (and indeed everywhere!) me and my friends used to break open the climbing green stems while we were hunting for blue bellied lizards and that fresh juicy green smell stays with me.
Green Oak- me and my brother trying to hug the huge redwood trees under a dark canopy of fir as my dad takes yet another picture, the smell of sap and bark, the crackling of wood chips beneath my sneakers. My adult palette loves these big woods with a hint of green, which has also developed into a passion for oaked Californian chardonnays, the drier and more like chewing on bark the better.



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