Tuesday, May 29, 2012
THE SMELL OF POLLEN
Speaking of pollen, one of my memorable experiences from living in North Carolina was a thunderstorm that blew in while I was walking across campus. All of a sudden the wind started blowing hard, black clouds rolled in, and the whole sky took on an eerie yellow-greenish hue. There was a distinctive “Isotox” smell in the air. I thought, “OMG, it must be a tornado coming!”, but it wasn’t. It turned out that the local pine trees were putting out so much pollen that it had formed the equivalent of a dust storm, filling the air and forming a pollen cloud that rolled across the landscape. Bizarre.
Anyway, I suppose the bottom line is that if I wanted to make a pollen note for perfumery it would be a mixture of the minerally smell of fertilizer/pesticide and the sweet smell of beeswax. I hope no one would be allergic to it!
[Photo of bumblebee on Ajuga is mine; photos of pollen cells in honeycomb and pollen closeup are adapted from Wikimedia]