Petrichor; (ˈpɛtrɪˌkɔː) noun. A sweet smell that is produced when rain falls on parched earth. (Collins Dictionary)https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/petrichor
Long muddy walks. That's what February has become synonymous with. Rosie, my faithful cockapoo appreciates these long muddy walks, and it was as I was walking through the woods along the River Clyde the other day that I decided to stop for a second and take in everything around me.
Sounds, scents, sights. The dripping of the raindrops on the leaves. The rushing of the river and the nearby waterfall. The distant quack of a duck. The air was fresh, the sharp scent of rain mixed with leaves, soil and wood. Petrichor. I love that smell.
And that's what I love about Scottish candlemakers, their endless creativity in bottling unique Scottish scents and letting their candles light up our lives and spark our memories.
It's funny how upon entering a country house in Spain thousands of miles away from my granny's house, I was instantly transported back there. The smell was instantly recognisable. I love how smell can do that. Soaps, perfumes, candles, food, outdoor smells, house smells, animal smells, in fact, any kind of smell can transport us back to a memory.
That's why the smell of rain or, petrichor, always transports me back to my summer holidays on the west coast of Scotland. As well as the long balmy sun-soaked days (which I swear there were much more of back then!) there were lots of rainy days too and it's this smell of rain on earth that takes me back.
We'd be cooped up in the caravan, gazing out the window praying for the rain to stop. Long games of cards, chess or scrabble were played as the rain pounded on the tin roof, and then suddenly there was a break in the weather, the sun glinted in through the window as the clouds cleared and we opened the door and made a dash for it.
The sense of peace that came about was overwhelming. Just the dripping of the rain from the leaves, nothing else, and that sharp scent of rain-freshened air. Perhaps the reason this olfactory memory is so strong is down to the anticipation I held to get outside again. There were beaches to be explored, rope swings to be swung on, acres of grassy hills to run up and down, games cut short by the rain to be continued and friends to be seen.
A holiday in Scotland isn't complete without a few days of rain, and far from letting the rain dampen our fun, it was a chance to see and smell the landscape in a different way. So many long walks were taken in our trusty cagoules as we'd shelter under trees waiting for the shower to pass. In fact, "it's just a passing shower," became a catchphrase. At the end of these walks, we were always rewarded with a milkshake in the cafe. In fact, this was a highlight of the holiday, such was the simplicity of childhood in the 80s.
And now, after a long muddy walk with Rosie, I still reward myself, but instead of a strawberry milkshake, it's with a steaming mug of coffee or if it's a particularly cold day, a hot chocolate with a wee dash of cream, accompanied by a good book, and a lit Scottish hand-poured candle.
As I write this, I've got Rosie at my feet waiting patiently for a walk and today it's going to be one of those really muddy walks as the rain hasn't stopped. I'm looking forward to returning and sinking into my book with a hot coffee and today I'll be lighting a Fireside candle from lovescottishcandles, a subtle warm scent that will no doubt become a future memory of the joy of settling in for the afternoon on cold, damp February days.