Several years ago I was stuck in the Namibian Swakopmund on the Skeleton Coast. My plane - a small weather-dependent "Cessna" - did not arrive because of the weather: at night a thick fog, typical of the local summer, came from the Atlantic and covered the whole city with a dense, like damp felt, shroud. Not only I got lost in it - the coast is littered with old shipwrecks, stranded in the darkness. Finding the right street in Swakopmund, when he is swimming in sea milk, is another task: firstly, you still need to understand why you need to go anywhere in this strange, unlike anything city. Secondly, one is supposed to rely mainly on the sense of smell: maybe the warm cinnamon spirit of the morning baking will sooner or later take you to some bakery on the main street (there are two of them in Swakopmund). The bakeries in the city open almost before darkas in 19th century Germany - the legacy of a disciplined metropolis.
© GroblerduPreez / istockphoto.com
German colonists founded Swakopmund in 1892, copying the settlement from their own Baltic resorts: from some angles, the city resembles some Sassnitz on the clean and tidy island of Rügen. Here are the same lighthouses, similar to New Year's crackers with a serpentine road, the same beer-barteners with the floors slippery from spilled beer, the same broken lawns in front of the whitewashed houses. Everything is the same, only on one side of the Atlantic, and on the other - Namib, the most ancient desert on the planet. And another smell. On Rügen it smells of milk for sunburn, the smoke of the nearest fish smokehouses, sea buckthorn tea - all these are understandable, cozy aromas of the European coast, long-term cohabitation of man with tamed nature. Swakopmund is a completely different matter: a week ago, five kilometers from the city, a dead whale was washed ashore, and today it smells likeas if the ocean had indigestion. The aroma is not the most appetizing, but at exactly noon, all the locals close shops and shops and go to lunch. I walk too: there is a good restaurant at the end of the pier, immersed in fog Jetty 1905, local landmark. He refers to the department of land only conditionally - if it has already cleared up in the city, then here, in the middle of the ocean, it is still hazy and cool.
As big as a killer whale, the waitress offers a “schnitzel of the day” - from kudu, a beautiful antelope, which I had worn out half a film in the desert a week earlier. Kudu is good, says Amelia (this is how a badge on a sloping, wavy shoulder certifies her), not greasy, only dryish. But I take an example from the neighbors who ordered monstrous-sized oysters that matured in the dark, icy waters of the Benguela Current. It begins at the Cape of Good Hope, goes north and turns back at the Namib Desert, lifting cold water from the depths to the surface. Local oysters pass forty liters per hour through themselves, and from the merger with the ocean, not only salt, oxygen and plankton are left in them, but also grains of the bottom darkness, fragments of the ancient cold. These mollusks smell quite differently - as if they were lifted from the bottom following amphoras and a gilded wooden woman from the bow of a Roman galley. If you go out with such an oyster, on a pier cut off from the world by a strip of impenetrable fog, and wash it down with a breath of salty air, it will work out very well.
I even have a perfume that partly repeats this smell of a living, open sea - Sale Marino of the Austrian brand WinerBlut, a cold extract from Solaris. With them, I stop acute bouts of blues when the hand itself crawls to the mouse to book a ticket to Namibia.
6 postcards from summer
© press service
1) Romanza, Masque Milano
Summer in the countryside, gathered by Christian Kanali with a great love for modern artisan perfumery. Romanza has well-calibrated roughness, "ugliness": here and rotten hay, and fresh manure, and a swampy meadow with yellow flowers, from which all hands are covered with pollen, and indelible grass stains on jeans. The best fragrance in the brand's portfolio.
2) Lumen Esce, Nomenclature
Wild violets: slightly metallic green leaves (synthetic violettin), cool ground at the edge of a pine forest (patchouli), herbal bitterness of a blade of grass in the mouth.
3) Aurelia, Giardino Benessere
Giardino Benessere is another brand of the founders of the Tiziana Terenzi brand. All the fragrances in the collection are based on simple accords, understandable and comfortable to wear (the brand name is translated from Italian as “Garden of Prosperity”) and recognizable - at least for Italians. So in Aurelia, every Roman will identify the smell of the capital's gardens - pine trees, cedars and laurels with an undercoat of aromatic herbs.
4) No. 8 Apéro, Lengling
Summer at the Biennale: parties in the middle of the Rialto market, northern white cocktails, glossy yacht wood. The lobby of the hotel palazzo smells like powder and big money.
5) La Chasse Aux Papillons, L'Artisan Parfumeur
Summer, when all the friends got married and all the friends got married: a selfie against the background of a flower arch, the bride straightens the jasmine in her hair, a disheveled white bouquet flies into her hands. Heels get stuck in the ground, but you need to get to the tent - champagne is poured inside.
6) "Blackcurrant and Mint", Brocard
Summer at the dacha: my grandmother handed over a watering can and sent to water the currants. Around the bush there is a whole biosphere - green leaves smell something spicy, sour, small "specks", which we still do not know how to correctly call an ovary, are acrid, ripe berries are dark and slightly oily. So the watering can started rolling to the side, and blue juice was flowing down my hands.>