Gold was the plenitude of the scents. Among the hill farmers, almost all fruits apart from the apple are referred to as “plums”. Cherries, greengages, mirabelle plums, peaches, apricots… The veins of their squashy flesh glimmers richly in the light and their secretions, alike the human skin flows, possesses a bouncy smarmy scent, reflecting golden hues.
Other golden odors were: the fried onion which embraced almost every cooked meal in a heavy perfume; honey, the epitome of liquid gold… The rum in which the grains from the “cake of the dead” were soaked; the egg yolks stirred with sugar and smeared on the Easter dry and flat figurines; the vinegar. There was the plum brandy which smelled like the apotheosis of all “plums”…
The green scent led me to the heated exhalation of the soil, just after the last ice. The earth, where i used to mold my female characters had shades between the fresh meat color and coal black.
The earth is a dark and humid gut populated by colonies of annelids and fluorescent gastropods emanating sweet steams of vanilla and cinnamon, cloves, cumin, baked poppy, saffron and ginger incenses from the Sunday cakes, mixed with the smell of wet brick and the stench of the moist fur… Red was taking shape not through the color of blood but through its vibrations. Blood meant the army of stinging fire ants which would leave sour traces on the skin.
Red was back then, in the earliest fiber of the memory, the overwrought breath of the horses and the irate beat of the orthodox wooden music tools; red would erupt from exhaustion and revulsion; it would emanate in its harrowing shades from the hidden carnage of the newborn cats and from the animal corpses found after attacks of nocturnal predators. The smell of earth and red could be found between the most atrocious stench and the bounty of incenses. It was in the eyes of the dead rats. It was in the madness of the priests. This scent species unifies the ghastly cry to the violent eruption of life.
(© Transl. from French, Luiza Mogosanu, L´intime à l´oeuvre. La peau des 100 odeurs, PAF, 2013)
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