Coastal smells. This tangent came to mind when I was in a shop today trying to choose which scented candle to buy – boardwalk, coastal breeze or pacific lime? Although I ended up with boardwalk, as I love vanilla, it really got me thinking… what really does my coast smell like (as the names of the scented candles stimulated my thoughts about coastal smells). Does my coast really have a distinct smell? What memories are triggered when I smell the scent of my coast? How does the scent of my coast compare with other coasts?
So, I started to do a little research into this once I got home and incredibly came across a blog about personal odour, which the blogger actually maps different smells throughout his day. I didn’t know this was possible, because everyone has a different sensitivity to smell. For instance, my best friend is constantly commenting on smells that I can’t smell and actually smells everything – literally.
Anyway, this is what makes this tangent such a coastal tangent, as there will be distinct differences between everyone’s own perceptions about the smell of their coast – whoah there’s another layer to add to the distinct, diverse elements of coastal ownership. I’m hilarious or just a bit weird and obsessed with coasts – though I think this is true to some extent.
As for my coast, is there really a distinct smell? For me, as I run along The Broadwater most days, my lungs are rebirthed and cleansed with fresh, salty southerlies. The smell of fish sometimes blankets the air when fishers are about casting a line or two, and on wet days the salty breeze can seem denser and on windy days even thicker. On hot sunny days, sunscreen almost masks any coastal smell, though this triggers distinct memories – sunscreen and summer.
What memories are triggered when I smell my coast? Many hours, days, weeks, months and years, hitting the pavement exercising, leisurely walks, moon gazing, swimming and stalking the growth and recession of the foreshore dunes. Yes, I have a secret dune garden I adore.
How does the smell of my coast compare with other coasts? Randomly, I distinctly remember the smell of Batemans Bay, as the smell of many fish and chip shops creates this deeply embedded picture perfect seaside coastal township postcard vision in my mind. Recalling sniffing the air, the waft of hot canola oil, potato chips and freshly cooked fish, in my opinion was evermore part of the coastal smell then the breezy, natural seaside senses. Comparing such senses, the fishy breeze of Batemans Bay is unmistakably different to my coast, which distinctly maps reasons why – Batemans Bay is a fishing village while The Broadwater is Gold Coast’s best local-residential secret.
When I really think about coastal smells, the distinctiveness of my coastal smell builds this sense of belonging, hence, ownership for the area. I’ve lived along this stretch of coast for most my life. I met my first love in this area, seen many sunrises and sunsets and enjoyed majestic sun-filled days, picnics and ice creams. In conversation, hand-in-hand, or patiently people watching, when I do stop to smell my coast I feel at ease, content and home.
What really does your coast smell like?
Does it really have a distinct smell?
What memories are triggered when you smell the scent of your coast?
How does the scent of your coast compare with other coasts?
There’s another coastal tangent to get you thinking about the make-up of your coast.