Here you will find the penultimate entry in my seven day blog challenge- to write every day about a place or a thing that is linked with a scent memory.
It is really the wrong time of year to be photographing Hedera Helix at its most potent. English ivy flowers in September and October in the UK, so those are the months when my nose is most assaulted. I can recall the scent at any moment though, such is my hate/love for this dark and clingy creeper.
Ivy totally stinks. It smells fetid and dirty, like sheets left for days in the washing machine. It grew in abundance all over the high, red brick garden wall of my childhood home. When we first moved a big, ugly garage dominated the outdoor space, which my parents knocked down at the first opportunity, leaving behind a concrete slab perfect for riding a tricycle around on.
It must have been early autumn and I remember it had rained heavily. There were slugs and snails and fallen ivy blossom all over the concrete and I got in a right strop because I couldn’t ride my tricycle without squashing all the snails. I parked myself under the overhanging ivy and sulked. The smell under that canopy was intense and disgusting, I had never experienced anything like it. Damp, sweet, rotten, mulchy. Awful.
Even now the smells makes me feel a little angry. It’s just such an assault on the nose. As with everything scent related now though, I kind of love it because it smells so horrid.