I read a blog by a fellow author-Mae Clair the other day, and had to agree with her, as like her, my work level drops in summer. It’s not because I’m a sun worshiper as I burn if I sit out in full sun, even with partial sun I tend to go lobster red and worse get a polymorphic light rash. However, saying that, as long as I am in the shade I love long summer days that drop into flower scented evenings.

Summer is such a sweet season and in the UK all too brief and ephemeral. This is the peak time to taste all of my favourite fruits, strawberry, cherry, plum, gooseberry, blackcurrant as well as peaches and pears. I have a small apple tree in the garden and watching the tiny fruits grow rounder and riper as the season progresses is fascinating. The other things I have to buy, but it’s a treat to get them from the market that stocks locally grown fresh produce.

So, other than doing a spot of strenuous gardening where does the sweat come into this post?

Along with other pleasures in the warm sunny days, the enjoyable fragrances of summer are usually a delight to the senses. There is something about them that holds a visceral pleasure. For me the reaction to the distinct smell of newly mown grass is instant, the evening scent of lilies makes me close my eyes, and I luxuriate in both fragrances. I believe the aroma from the warm skin of a lover belongs in the same category. I guess most of you will know the difference between this and being stuck anywhere where the windows don’t open or there is no air-con on a hot August day.

Body smell is something most of us in the twenty-first century dilute by frequent washing and mask with fragranced products, but at a basic level each of us has an individual aroma. Research has shown an infant can identify the natural body fragrance of their mother within one day of being born. The T-Shirt experiment conducted in the 1990’s also offers some interesting insights into the power of body aroma.

 At its most primal level, smell is one of the first things we respond to in finding someone attractive at the beginning of a relationship. Some say we sniff out our best potential mate. As the partnership progresses I believe the memory of the smell is embedded along with the association of desire and love.

Napoleon once wrote to Josephine.

“I will return to Paris tomorrow evening. Don’t wash.”

I wonder if she did or not?

Has anyone used or read of the sense of smell as part of the bonding process in a romance?