Monday, August 5, 2013

The Nameless Delight That Gently Beckons the Senses

Chemists Have Tried,
But They Cannot Reproduce This Scent
Bring the Outdoors In
For Sweet Dreams

In a few minutes, I’ll slip beneath the sun-and-air-dried bed linens.
Earlier today, I lifted the sheets from the wicker basket, unfolded one, shook out its length and width, and then tucked its corners and edges onto my bed. Air, sunlight, blue skies, butterflies, and flowers wafted through the room, bringing the best of the outdoors in.
Chemists and perfume makers have tried, oh, have they tried, in vain to reproduce this scent, this nameless delight that calls gently to the senses and announces in a quiet tone: This bedding was dried in the sun, the breeze, the outdoors.
Manufacturers have devoted thousands and thousands of dollars of research and development to copying that scent. They use names reminiscent of white linen, spring breezes, sun-kissed air, but they cannot capture this scent. They cannot reproduce it. They cannot bottle it. It’s not for sale. “They” say it “smells like . . . ,” but it doesn’t.
To delight in the scents of the day, to bring the outside in, you must go outside. The only way to bring the sweet scent of the outdoors inside is to go and get it. The small effort required to peg the sheets and pillowcases on the line is well worth the reward of doing so. A few moments of standing in the sun and feeling the heat and breeze on your skin will later translate to a nighttime of bliss. You lie back, pull the sheet to your chin, breathe in the delight, and note the calming of your senses. Sweet dreams, indeed.

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