Monday, July 02, 2012

Monkey Monday: Smells Like Canada

Fallen Maple Leaves

There was a CBC morning show called "Sounds Like Canada" which is no more, but along these lines, I'd like to dedicate Monkey Monday's post to what Canada smells like, to me. Well, the little bit of it that I had a chance to sniff.
Maple syrup of course comes to mind at first, and it's especially fragrant when incorporated into baking, or fudge, or better yet - tire sur le neiges (taffy on the snow), which is prepared in the dead of winter when the maple syrup harvest begins. They also sell it at farmers markets in Vancouver year around (although we're nowhere near maple-land). The scent is divine. It's amazing how much aroma there is this, with nothing else added. Not even vanilla.
And then there are forests. Endless coniferous forests of citrusy Douglas firs, crisp spruces, red cedars. Oh, and elderflowers, with their sweet berry-like aroma; and balsam poplar buds - honeyed and ever so slightly medicinal. Oh, and cotton trees, so thickly sweet you think someone is making cotton candy around the corner.
Other scents are sentimental and bizzare but only remind me of Canada, as nowhere else have I experienced them before visiting my dad's home in Quebec - musty basement, plus the Tide dryer sheets that are what America considers to smell "clean"; and the fungus-infested cylo, as well as nearly any wooden house in British Columbia, where the rain never stops. Wet woods and fungus was the first thing that greeted me arriving in Vancouver at the end of October 1998. You get used to it after a while, but it's not my favourite.

For those who missed it - our weekly giveaway is of Immortelle l'Amour mini; to qualify for the draw, please leave a comment either her or on the previous day's post about Canada Day. I will do the draw on Friday as usual. You may comment about what Canada smells like to you; or if you happened to experience perfumes by a Canadian perfumer (there are not too many of us, admittedly), than please share with us too and let's celebrate Canada Day for one more day (the banks are closed, so we might as well...).

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At July 03, 2012 7:46 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Living in Ontario, the smell of Canada to me is the smell of cottage country, Muskoka, Haliburton or the Kawathas. My cottage perfume would have waterlily, cedar, wood smoke and raspberry.

At July 04, 2012 12:04 AM, Anonymous Felicia S. said...

Outdoor Canadian smells would be dry grass, mud, river water, B.C. cedar trees. In terms of indoor smells, the Montreal Metro is a big favourite (I think you mentioned this in reference to Hanami?) : dust, the metallic smell, especially, and dollar pizza.

At July 04, 2012 7:16 AM, Anonymous Dot and Lil said...

Canadian smells!!! What a lovely topic. The smells of my city are such a big influence on me. Coffee roasting smells wafting around my neighborhood from Old Europe as they roast their own beans daily, a few blocks from me. And right next door to them, the smell of smoked meat and frying fries and vinegar from Schwartzs', that always carries so much further than I think it will. And petrichor, the smell of rain on the asphalt after a rain.

And yup, the smell of the valley at my cottage as we drive into it, all green grass and hay and ozone and moss, with a touch of linden and raspeberry.

I think this calls for a blog post of my own, I seem to have a lot to say about this! Thanks for the inspiration :)

And, I'm with you on the cabane à sucre/tire sur la neige springtime smells :) and cooking ham definitely enters along with it!!!

At July 04, 2012 8:38 AM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

Thanks for reminding me of raspberries! Loved the smell of fresh early summer rain in the Appalacians' and the first berries ripening. Your cottage smells amazing!

At July 04, 2012 8:40 AM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

The Canadian outdoors are so vast and subtly fragrant. Love the smell of Montreal. How, how much I miss it! Visiting there is long overdue.
I love the smell on the little islands in the river; and the botanical gardens are amazing. Even just stepping into the little boutiques of the Plateau, and the more mainstream shops on St. Catherine have a good smell :-)

At July 04, 2012 8:42 AM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

Dot and Lil -
I love your descriptions and hearing your experiences!
Please let us know when your post is ready :-)
You reminded me of Lynn Canyon - the smell of the pebbles and wet boulders in the rivers and creeks are cool, musty and mysterious.

At July 04, 2012 4:33 PM, Blogger mous said...

I've only been to the BC in Canada. Fou d`Absinthe from L' Artisan comes to mind-the glorious and endangered forest, as does Fils de Dieu du riz et des agrumes by Etat Libre d`Orange- I ate a lot of coconut sticky rice with the family I stayed with in Vancouver.

At July 06, 2012 12:53 AM, Anonymous Felicia S. said...

Hey dot and lil, we live in the *exact* same neighbourhood.


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