Monday, February 18, 2008


The Scent of Apples

Henry David Thoreau, Wild Apples:
Early apples begin to be ripe about the first of August; but I think that none of them are so good to eat as some to smell. One is worth more to scent your handkerchief with than any perfume which they sell in the shops. The fragrance of some fruits is not to be forgotten, along with that of flowers.
The English word pomade, meaning "perfumed ointment for the hair," comes from French pommade, itself from Italian pomata, originally apple-scented hair oil (French pomme and Italian pomo mean apple). It is tempting to sneer at those nations for giving us this effeminate product, but my barber, when I was a boy, used to ask if I wanted any "smellum" applied after a haircut. He had several bottles of hair oil, but none smelling of apples, as I recall. My current barber doesn't carry smellum.

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