Saturday, April 3, 2010

Do we have a smell?

My apologies for the lack of posts for the last few days for I was enjoying good food and to-die-for massages at the Land of Smiles. Each time I travel, I get reminded that I've never really associated Singapore with a smell, apart from the smell of my bedroom. Sydney has a distinctively nice smell, thanks to the high concentration of eucalyptol in the air and its close proximity to the ocean. On a nice sunny winter morning, the air is crisp and fresh like calone + mint. Summer in Sydney smells just like the favourite Aussie past-time - barbecues + sunscreen. In fact, an Eau de Sydney will probably be like this:

Top Notes(Winter): Calone, Eucalyptus
Heart Notes (Spring/Autumn): Waratah, Bluebell, Golden wattle, Lemon Myrtle
Base Notes (Summer): Burnt leaves accord, Coconut

Bangkok on the other hand has a distinct smell that stays all year round. It's a potent concotion of petrol, smog, the polluted stench of Chao Phraya river, spices and incense. No need to create a perfume for Bangkok though, it has already been done. It's called Kouros.

Unfortunately, Singapore is a plain Jane in this area. Apart from the asthma-causing seasonal haze, I cannot find a scent strong enough to associate Singapore with. Perhaps it is how sanitized we are, or perhaps our humidity is so high that it's almost like trying to smell under water. Maybe Singapore smells like an upmarket shopping mall: Leather + perfumes.

What does your city smell of? I'd love to know.


  1. How interesting! I don't think my city has a smell, but one can smell the seasons change in it. But if there is one thing that is always present in the air here, it is the smell of humidity (in the summer heavy and mixed with dust, in the spring fresh, airy and smelling of greenery, and in the winter, the snow can be smelled in it as well).

  2. Love this post! Right now, my city smells of ocean, pine wood and wet earth with a base note of grilled burgers. Nice blog!

  3. Josephine, your city smells amazing then!


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