I remember how once visiting a friend I discovered that her two-year-old son loved sniffing everything new. I brought him a book as a present and was surprised to see that he didn’t look at the pictures, didn’t touch the cover to feel its smooth surface, didn’t leaf fragile thin pages. He just opened the book in the middle to check the smell. That’s how he thought he would know it.
Later I watched him testing everything with his nose: freshly baked cookies, a bit of chocolate, a trace the pencil left on paper. It was great fun to meet such an unusual approach to things, and never again in my life I saw another kid who would do the same even though, I think, it would make sense.
Smell is the only thing in life you can’t avoid. If you don’t like the view from your window that offers an old brick wall or you hate the face of a person who sits in front of you in the bus you can close your eyes, and they’re gone.
If you can’t stand the music your neighbor upstairs listens to all day long you can put on headphones and listen to whatever calms you down or simply stick the earplugs into your ears and forget about the whole world.
But if some ugly smell hits your nose you can’t stop breathing. You can try to pinch your nostrils and prevent the air to come in hoping that the helpful wind will move the stinky curse away from you, but, alas, it’s just a hope, meanwhile you will keep breathing in. That’s where you have to be wise and choose places that promise you nothing but blue sky and the smells of pine-tree resin and freshly mown grass which to me stand for paradise.