They are not long, the days of wine and roses: / Out of a misty dream / Our path emerges for a while, then closes / Within a dream. — Ernest Dowson
I went for a walk yesterday with some friends, and we came unexpectedly across the beautiful Morcom Rose Garden. There were hundreds of varieties, from dusty pink to deep crimson to papaya-flesh orange. I don’t mind that they’re probably the world’s most popular flower; I adore roses. Maybe it’s because I was born on Valentine’s Day, but seeing a perfect rose makes me feel the way some people feel about little newborn puppies. I cup the blossoms in both hands and brush the silken petals against my face and breathe in the warm scent. I was doing just that, again and again, at the rose garden, when it occurred to me that aside from being a wonderful way to pass the afternoon, stopping to smell 100 different roses is great sensory practice and training for wine tasting!
Just like wines, every rose has a different fragrance, and it’s great fun to try to identify the smell. Among our olfactory finds yesterday: lemon pine-sol, peach tea, juicy orange, spicy chutney. Scent is one of our strongest memory conjurers, but it is possible to strengthen your scent memory even more with practice. Sniff a rose and figure out what that smell reminds you of. You’ve just fired up the same synapses that will help you identify notes of who-knows-what in a glass of wine. Another great way to train your nose is smell each one of the spices in your kitchen, taking the time to familiarize yourself with each one: the way it makes you feel, the memories it brings up. Then, the next time you smell cinnamon or black pepper in your wine, a more vivid picture will pop up in your mind and you’ll be able to better describe what you’ve just gotten a whiff of. You may even experience the memory before you identify the scent-stimulus as cinnamon!
I shall now bookend with another quotation.
Moses supposes his toeses are roses. But Moses supposes Erroneously. Moses he knowses his toeses aren’t roses. As Moses supposes his toeses to be. — You should know where this comes from