Still there? Okay, read away:
1. The rich smell of the sienna-colored earth: This one actually smells good. I almost understand why some pregnant women get cravings to eat dirt. It must be Grecian dirt.
2. The intoxicating perfume of night-blooming jasmine mixed with donkey dung: This combination is near and dear to my heart, being one of my strongest olfactory memories of Skopelos. Now, of course, donkeys are hard to find, which makes my nose even happier, as you can imagine. Jasmine will find you everywhere…even in the most unlikely places.
3. Diesel: This shouldn’t come as any surprise, since so many Greek vehicles run on diesel. The part that is surprising, to the extent of being disturbing, is that I actually miss this smell in sanitized California.
4. Cigarette smoke: This includes pungent freshly-lit to stale, and everything in-between.
5. Heavily-cologned men: Good or bad, depending on the cologne…and the man, of course.
6. Garbage and sewers: Especially common prior to elections (garbage strikes) and after big storms (No, I won’t elaborate.).
7. Garlic and oregano: Not only popular in Italy, these twins make an appearance in Greece as well. Garlic shows up in everything from mageritsa to tzatziki and skordalia (see previous blog posts here and here). At least garlic is good for your health. And oregano is not only a part of the traditional Greek salad, but dresses up fries and potato chips.
8. The wet salty sea: Close your eyes, take a deep breath…no! don’t do this at the harbor.
Dare I ask? What is your most memorable Greek Smell?