HIMALAYAN SECRET SCENTS
By Siri Kudaravalli,
Certified Natural Perfumer, owner of the brand Xila Apothic and student in Olfaction Training
Based on one exercise in the Olfaction Training Course, my inspiration for the week is from the Mighty Himalayan Mountains in India.
My travels to these Majestic and Sacred Mountains reconnected me to nature. The aroma of pine trees, teak and cedar woods, Birch, Junipers, and indigenous shrubs was enchanting. The same soil smelled different at differently times of the day. Morning dew brought out a different aroma in the soil compared to the afternoon's sun-baked soil.
The stillness of the mountains, the silence and solitude surrounding it calmed my mind and this inner peace sensitised and connected me to smells that would have normally eluded my olfactory sense – of clouds, fog, dew, various smells emanating at different altitudes of the Himalayas ranging anywhere between 1000 to 6000 meters, based on the climatic conditions, soil, water, rocks, flora and fauna.
Some areas had the smell of fresh rain, some grassy, some smoky, some woody, some floral, some fruity, some metallic and that of the local animals at various heights – cows, wild yaks, Himalayan tahrs, marmots, wild dogs and musk deers.
The various lakes at different heights also had their own distinctive smells based on the glaciers they were fed from and the hyperlocal flora & fauna surrounding them.
The trip was a feast to all my senses, but this time I was more attuned to the Olfactory one and discovered novel and wonderful smells. I was thoroughly rejuvenated and enriched by the whole experience and have a new appreciation for the splendid smells the mountains have to offer, which I will delightfully capture in my Creations.