I have no sense of smell. It's not a permanent thing, just something that has settled in for a long (very long) stay. It has to with the chronic sinusitis I developed about 10 years ago and which has been hard to puzzle out and fix. My best guess is that it's related to food allergies - I started to be able to smell again when I was on a diet that included no gluten, no dairy, no sugar and no caffeine. It was great to be able to breathe again, but man, that was a hard diet to stick to.
When I realized a couple of days ago that this spring marks the 10th anniversary of my loss of smell I started to reflect on what that means. On what I'm missing. Good smells: coffee brewing in the early morning, woodsmoke in the air on a frosty winter night, the smell of wet cedar in the greenhouse. Flowers, a damp dog, freshly chopped rosemary, laundry dried on the line. Bad smells: kitty litter boxes, compost piles that need turning, roofs being tarred. Exhaust from the chain saw.
I've come to the conclusion that even though it is sometimes convenient not to be able to smell (when visiting an outhouse, for example), I am missing out on a lot, especially now that we live out here in the country. When I step out onto the verandah in the morning my nose should be assaulted by all the scents of a damp, green spring. When I cultivate the soil in the vegetable garden I want the smell of the earth to accompany the feel of moist, crumbling soil in my hands. Crushed creeping thyme underfoot in the perennial garden, the grass in the clearing baking under the hot summer sun, hyacinths in the spring. And lilacs - how I miss the smell of lilacs!
So I've decided to mark this 10th anniversary by doing my darnedest to get back on that gluten, sugar, dairy and caffeine-free diet. If past experience is any indication it will take about 3 months before I notice any difference, but if I start today that means I should be able to enjoy the first armful of basil from the greenhouse in early July in a whole new way.
Stay tuned. I'll tell you just how wonderful it smells.