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Monday, June 15, 2009

Smells of Summer

There is something about summertime that reminds me of all of my favorite summer smells. I have always chosen summer to be my favorite time of year. I am not sure if it was because there was no school in summer, or we usually went on vacations or because I have a summer birthday. Whatever the reason, here are my top favorite smells of summer:

1. Sunscreen: I had never really used it until I was in high school (one time, in band camp...literally). I used to be a little jealous of my pale-faced friends who would complain of sunburn (the same way I used to be jealous of people who got to wear braces - the injustice!). The smell of sunscreen reminds of of swimming in our local lake in Athens, Georgia and church sleepaway camp and summertime spent outdoors from dawn til dusk. More recently, the Kid usually smells like sunscreen when she comes home from day care and I may have taken to smelling her coconut-scented, sunscreened skin surreptitiously (multiple times a day), like a dreadlocked 20-something at a Phish concert.

2. Honeysuckle: Nothing reminds me more of summer than this smell. It is a heavy, perfume-y smell that reminds me of growing up and learning from a neighbor kid how to pinch off the bottoms of the flower and lick the tiny drops of sweet nectar before the school bus came to pick us up on May mornings.

3. Frosty beverages in a fun glass. It doesn't really matter what you are drinking; once you have an umbrella, a shot of coconut rum and a slice of fruit on the rim, life is good again.

4. Grilling: You gotta love the smell (and sound) of a perfectly cooked hamburger (medium rare, for me) hitting a scorching hot grill. Toss on some grilled corn or (my recent favorite) grilled peaches and pineapple and you have a party.

5. Fresh basil: I know this doesn't seem like a classic summer smell, but I am absolutely OBSESSED with fresh basil. I have actually stuck my head in a plastic bag of fresh basil from the farmer's market, just to inhale that aroma. Of course, passersby would assume I am up to no good, but I am usually just taking advantage of that short period of time when really good, really fresh basil is available for salads, garnishes, sauces or just with some tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper for a summer meal.

What are your favorite summer smells?

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