Nature’s perfume

There is absolutely no doubt that we are right in the very best time of spring – where ever you look, there are blossoms galore. Trees, shrubs and flowers are giving their all to attract bees, bumbles and other insects in order to get pollinated and reproduce.

But it is not just blossoms that are fragrant – get close enough to anything organic and you will find a smell, if sometimes only very faint. When was the last time you smelled soil, wood, leaves, grass? We sometimes need to crush leaves to release the fragrance.

Discover different smells

So, today, we are going in search of smells. We are so used to mainly utilising our sense of sight that trying to concentrate on one of the other senses can be a real revelation. It also helps us focus our minds and just being in the moment, so it is a great exercise to restore calm.

Here are some ideas. What can you discover?

  • Find a fragrant shrub, tree or flower (or anything else with a strong enough smell). Close your eyes and really try to take in the smell. Do you like it? How would you describe it? Does it remind you of anything you have smelled before? Does it evoke any memories?
  • Slowly walk around your garden without using your sight and try and find different smells – let your nose guide you. If you have another person with you, they can make sure that you are safe, walking alongside you and alerting you to any hazards. If you are on your own, just make sure there are no trip hazards in the way and that it is generally safe, and of course feel free to open your eyes whenever you need to – it is not a competition.
  • Find five different smells, then share them with others if you have anyone with you. For children – pretend to be in a museum of smells and you are the guide, showing visitors the most exquisite fragrances you have on display and find some glorious words to describe them.
  • Collect petals and other lovely smelling leaves etc. in a yogurt pot or similar, then add some water and mix it all up for a spring perfume (which can be bottled and sold in a ‘shop’).
  • Collect small amounts of petals, leaves, herbs etc. in different pots (one pot per ‘smell’). Close your eyes and try to identify which one is which. To make it harder, make pots up for each other so that you don’t know what is in them.

We hope you will enjoy these activities discovering nature’s wonderful smells. As always, please let us know how you get on and if you have some more ideas for ‘smelly’ activities – we would love to hear from you!

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