Acre is the smell of iodine and spices. Haifa is the smell of pine and wrinkled sheets. Moscow is the smell of vodka on ice. Cairo is the smell of mango and ginger. Beirut is the smell of the sun, sea, smoke, and lemons. Paris is the smell of fresh bread, cheese, and derivations of enchantment. Damascus is the smell of jasmine and dried fruit. Tunis is the smell of night musk and salt. Rabat is the smell of henna, incense, and honey....
Each somehow singular, that cities have their own distinct and discrete smells, weather, feeling, music and mood is something immediately discernible to anyone who travels around the cities of India; of Southeast Asia; of Europe where --despite close proximity, the cultures/spirits/aurae/airs/colors-- are so incredibly and beautifully different. Smells especially can so vividly evoke--or even "capture"-- the spirit of a city; so that, as Darwish goes on to say, A city that cannot be known by its smell is unreliable.
City and Mood: Dante Sighs
In this study of passion our other principle aim has been to evoke a Town, the Town as essential character, associated with states of mind, counselling, dissuading, inducing the hero to act. And in reality, this town of Bruges, on which our choice fell, does seem almost human. It establishes a powerful influence on all who stay there.
It molds them through its monuments and its bells.
Image by Corrine Vionnet