How do the seasons smell in the Dordogne?
e were brought up in a city and every time we went to the countryside or to the beach, which was at least once a week, our parents always told us to use our noses. The salty smells of the sea and the piney-citrusy smell in the forests.
Our olfactory sense, our ability to smell, has a convincing role in the evolution of the human environment, in the way of social behaviour and of preparing food. Smelling is linked to taste and appetite in the same way emotions relate to, for instance, art. On the markets here in the Dordogne and the Charente, people don’t just buy a lemon, they first smell the lemon, to be sure it’s ripe enough.
Whatever the season, the Dordogne offers something different with each season and there is never a bad time to come to this colourful, beautiful part of France.
Autumn is stunning and its scent is magical. The light changes and the rolling hills of trees with brown-orange leaves, look striking in the reddish autumn sunsets. The smell of walnuts and the different mushrooms on the markets and the sweet scent of harvesting, the smell of hickory and ash from the wood burners. And what about the fresh smell that comes in with someone who has been outdoors?
The wintery clean and fresh smell is all around in the Dordogne. The smell of the black truffles, pine needles and wood smoke. Also, the warm and citrusy scents of mulled wine, the hot cocoa and the Périgord waffles.
Spring is a delightful time of year and is associated with the fresh smells of herbs, rich earth, leafy green, the vibrant mix of blooming flowers and cut grass, which by the way, can make us happier and it reduces stress. On the markets, the smell of sweet new peas, asparagus, wild garlic and green dandelion leaves.
Summers have long sunny and warm days with the smell of rosemary, sage, thyme and verbena or the smell of your favourite drinks with lime, mint or cucumber. On the markets, the smell of multitude of fruits like strawberries and apples, and vegetables like artichokes and leeks, will tickle your nose and will inspire you!
Why don’t you follow your nose and discover the different season smells of the Dordogne?
Pimm + Marcel