The Scent of Clean

Every day, when I wake, I take a deep breath of the clean air of my homeland, smell the peculiar, idiosyncratic scent of the Australian bush that even here, on the outskirts of town, floats through the rooms of my apartment.

It’s not a nose-twitching, follow that smell type of scent.  It’s not fragrant, like stepping into a garden, or odoriferous, like a tropical forest.  It doesn’t smell of eucalyptus, or wattle.  or tea tree oil.  Here, in this particular piece of paradise, it’s the scent of clean.  it’s a little astringent, herby almost, and fills me with a gladness I wasn’t expecting.  Every morning, and several times a day I smell it, consciously let it drift through me, like regarding a painting or a piece of the landscape, and dread the day I take it for granted and smell it no more.

So many interpretations of clean.



  1. Wonderful post, so evocative. Walking around Sydney Park sometimes the sun warms the air, or the rain cools it and these fragrances are released. And, driving north, out of the city, winding down the car window.

  2. That sounds wonderful! I love that smell you describe, although, I imagine it is quite different here than there. I think I notice it most just after a spring shower when all the winter crap has been washed away and it seem everything is bright and shiny new.

  3. Pingback: All it took was …. | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity

  4. Beautifully expressed Meredith! I remember that smell distinctly from when we lived in the Nilgiris. Sadly clean isn’t a word I can use to describe Chennai!! 🙂

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