Fragrance Quote for January 7th, 2012 from The wonders of the Colorado Desert (southern California) its ..., Volume 1 By George Wharton James

There is a peculiar charm and surprise about the odors of the desert that needs comment. Each odor is vivid and distinct, and can readily be distinguished from its fellow. It is as if the pure atmosphere compelled a segregation of odors rather than a commingling of them. I remember one night walking along in the warm air of the virgin desert with the vivid odor of the creosote bush filling the nostrils. Suddenly we entered a stratum of cooler air. The creosote disappeared and that of growing alfalfa took its place. Fifty yards farther on there came the smell of burning wood — indicative of man's dwelling — then the odor of willows. It was not the variety that surprised but the clear vividness of each odor as set off from all others that arrested the attention.

And one may be on the desert a whole year and never have his senses assailed with the vile odors that are the peculiar property of cities. Decaying garbage, the musty smell of shut-in rooms, the awful air of closed-up churches, the polluted, "gassy," earth smells when the streets are dug into for repairs to gas-mains, etc., the thousand and one smells and stinks and abominations to the olfactory senses of civilization are never present on the desert. I am willing to endure the primitive conditions in order to be free from these apparently necessary adjuncts of our civilized life, for in the one are health and life and in the other are disease and death.

There is another phase, too, of the odors of the desert that must not be overlooked. Whatever the doctors or scientists say of them, there can be no question but that the odors distilled by the sun from the numberless sages and other desert plants have a distinctly soothing and healing influence upon all people suffering from pulmonary or bronchial difficulties. To be slowly suffocating through the cruel action of dread disease and then to come here and find relief, find the lungs beginning to expand again, the closed passages opening, the blood beginning to circulate again, this is to experience a delightful surprise. And it is one that never fails if the sufferer comes early enough and is willing to place himself wisely under these beneficent desert influences.
The wonders of the Colorado Desert (southern California) its ..., Volume 1
By George Wharton James