Picking
Lavender Picking!

It has been a tense couple of days here in the United Kingdom, what with last week’s referendum and subsequent decision to leave the EU. I understand that this is a divisive issue so I’m not going to go into the politics of the situation and whether the right decision was made or not (democracy has spoken), but I will say that the mood of the country is not jubilant, far from it in fact. There’s a lot of uncertainty at the moment and the whole campaign has been peppered with ugliness. So yes, things aren’t exactly ‘Great’ in Britain at the moment.

Feeling a bit fed up, Nigel (Mr. Candy) suggested that we cheer ourselves up by spending some time around beautiful things. This, I thought, was a spiffy idea so I offered up the suggestion of Hitchin Lavender Farm. Nigel agreed and off we went. Now, Hitchin is a small market town just up the road from us on the outskirts of Hertfordshire. Like all places in the Home Counties it’s so scenic it almost hurts and the lavender farm that sits just outside it really is an idyllic English beauty spot like no other.

For a small fee, one can load up a bag of fresh lavender, straight from the bush, as well as some wild flowers too. There’s nothing more pleasant than a summer stroll through rolling fields of lavender blooms. The flowers grow in highways that stretch as far as the eye can see with each lane filling the air with the beautiful smell of lavender soap and caramelised sugar on the breeze. Bumble bees the size of small dirigibles hum as the wind billows. It’s a restorative experience and we had a lot of fun, especially in the gift shop at the end (I splurged). We now have more lavender than we will ever need…

#ScentedStories - Amsterdam
#ScentedStories – Amsterdam

We live in an incredibly fragrant world. The sights and sounds we encounter every day are accompanied by a layer of smell that adds texture, colour and depth. Without this fragrant fourth dimension, our experiences of the planet would be less vivid, and certainly less enjoyable. I therefore, think it’s vital that we stop to smell the roses, as it were, and appreciate the joys that the smells around us, both pleasant and unpleasant (and occasionally revolting, gross and repugnant), bring. Even in our busiest moments, we should take stock of the wonderfully fragrant world we live in.

A few weeks back, I paid a nostalgic visit to the British seaside town of Aldeburgh with my family and to honour the sentimental, and smelly, significance of this particular place, I documented the sights and smells of the trip on my Instagram account, and then later collated them on this blog. A new series, ‘Scented Stories’, was born and over the coming months I intend to further explore this fragrant little place we call Earth with additional instalments that look at the specific scents of interesting places. I encourage you, dear readers, to share your experiences too.

For this latest instalment, I took a spontaneous mini-break to the land of clogs, legalised cannabis, Gouda cheese and trams, so many trams. If you haven’t guessed it yet, I am of course referring to the fascinating city of Amsterdam. So with my iPhone and passport packed, and my husband by my side, I took a short hop across the North Sea for a three day exploration of a picturesque, and laid-back city unlike any another. Below you will find my #ScentedStories snaps, including fragrant captions, as well as some standard holiday selfies, and glamour shots for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

#ScentedStories
#ScentedStories

My favourite medium of Social Media is Instagram, so it will be no surprise that my Instagram account (you can follow me here, BTW) is filled with many, many pictures of my favourite things, specifically a variety of images related to perfume, food and my family. You can say a lot with a simple picture and I personally find it to be a fantastic way to represent the spirit, or essence of a fragrance by pairing it with a piece of art, or a carefully-selected background. I’m a bit in love with Instagram, if I’m being honest with you, whether I be using it to flirt with perfume photography or simply stroking my ego with a cheeky, but essential selfie…

One thing I’d like to start doing via my favourite medium is record some of my everyday scented experiences using photography and a smelly commentary. I’m calling the series ‘Scented Stories’, or ‘#ScentedStories’ for the social media savvy amongst us, and I’d like to invite you along with me to explore the smellier things in life. Photos and captions will initially be posted on my Instagram and then collated in a blog post here. But this isn’t just about me (not everything can be, I know…) and I’d like to hear/see your #ScentedStories too! So, tell me about the interesting smells you come across and share your photographs, comment away, and let’s traverse this wonderfully, and beautifully fragrant world together.

For my first Scented Story I have documented a recent trip to that most wonderful of places – the British seaside. When we were kids, my father would take my siblings and me to a small town in Suffolk called Aldeburgh. Unlike many seaside towns, Aldeburgh is quaint, laid back and fairly untourist-y, but it does have all of the things one expects from such a place, namely; a beach with painful pebbles (murder for the feet, let’s face it), plentiful ice cream, tacky gift shops and, most importantly, killer fish and chips. To rekindle fun times spent by the coast, we (as in my siblings, father, step-mother, husband and I) have started taking semi-regular trips back to Aldeburgh with my nephew and below the jump is just a small photo essay, complete with scented commentary, of this year’s trip. Enjoy!