Mattew Parris

Fragrant memories

The sweet smell of the past

Such a sweet smell Such a sweet smell
New year is a time for reflection and Matthew Parris has been doing just that. From Malawi in Central Africa he is recalling creosote in all its glory saying -

Scents of the past
Wherever we’ve been in Central Africa, the smell of creosote has been close. Banned by the EU, the dark, tar-scented wood preserver is no longer for sale in Britain, but in Africa the ever-present menace of white ants (termites) demands lashings of the stuff or else the pallid little creatures (which are killed by sunlight) extend their thin veins of earth-tubing up stakes, posts, planks, rafters — any wood they can get their mandibles into. It’s said that many African buildings stay standing only because the white ants hold hands.
But creosote repels them. Just as it attracts me. I simply adore the smell. I’ve been lying in bed at night breathing deeply its musky, tarry aroma, and remembering my childhood. Couldn’t a male fragrance be based on creosote? That and the rank aroma of EP 90 (gear oil), not unlike horse. I’ve even dreamt up a name for my new range of butch scents. Ambush

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