From the aromatic of Saturday night aftershave and Italian perfumes, my friends and I climbed the subway stairs up to the Footscray streets.
IMG_0683The redolence of Ethiopian and Vietnamese food is prevalent in the cold night air. My friends and I decide to follow a merry trail of intense spices and lime laced scents before settling on a late night snack. We jump the 96 tram to Middle Brighton, a seaside outpost, which is filled with tourists and two dollar pizza and kebab outlets. When you walk near the bakery, the pleasant smell comes swirling up your nose. The smelling starts at the back of the nose. Millions of sensory neurons are present in the tissues of olfactory epithelium. The receptors present I the cells are made up of protein substance which binds the odour molecules. The receptor acts as a lock and it opens when the odor reaches the nose. Around 450 olfactory receptors are present and it has been activated by different odors. The forces of odor molecules varies and they bind to the receptor in different strength. This is the reason for the interactions of some odor which seems to fit better than others. Online provides information about the molecular basis of odor recognition and the behaviour of endocrine responses. You can hop over to this web-site and learn about it. The salty air is crisp, full bodied, bitter and sweet all at once. The apple cider and smell of Cuban cigars drift in and out of jazz bars like a Tom Waits song.
We take a taxi-cab into the heart of Melbourne, to where the drizzle starts up, creating a pleasant, almost surreal scent as though the good Lord has cast his own fragrance over the whole world. We slip into a speakeasy for shelter from the rain. We cram onto the dance floor and groove to The Flaming Lips, bodies of tangy sweat and Long Island Ice Teas take us onto the last bus back home. I fall onto newfangled cotton Egyptian sheets, ignite a vanilla scented candle and open a Gabriel Garcia Mrquez novel, 100 Years of Solitude. The pages smell fresh like the new leather on my old Mercedes Benz. I drift into unconsciousness and begin to dream of the scents that I encountered during the evening. The world is littered with culturally significant aromas but we don’t really think about this until we diarize it in our olfactory bulb.