Sunday, May 07, 2006


The scent of the maquis

I'm off to Corsica for a few days on Wednesday, and I can't wait to get back. And one of the things I am most looking forward to is the scent of the Corsican maquis when get out of the aeroplane for the first time.

It's odd how your nose gets used to it. It hits you with its unique fragrance when you first arrive, but after you have been on the island for a few hours your body grows accustomed to the subtle aroma and you barely notice it. The other strange thing is its homogeneity across the island and across the seasons. Despite the fact that it is made up of the scents of numerous different plants, it has its own character which seems to stay pretty much the same from March to October. Maybe a person with a more sensitive nose than mine can detect the ebb and flow of the individual elements of myrtle, wild lavender, thyme, fennel, and the others that make up the melange. I certainly can't.

The main thing for me is its welcome. When I draw that first breath of intoxicating yet delicate scent, I know I'm back. That's enough for me - however, if you want to learn more about the plants that create it, check out

Enjoyed your commentary, it was like being back in Calvi. As we sit in rainy cold Seattle waiting for our next return to Corse all reminders are a respite.
Keep up the good work
Jim & Kirsten
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