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'Thirteen Ways to Smell a Tree is a transportive olfactory journey through the forest that sets the sense tingling. Every chapter summons a new aroma: leaf litter and woodsmoke, pine resin and tannin, quinine and bay leaf - life in all its glorious complexity. David George Haskell is a knowledgeable, witty and erudite companion, who takes us by the hand and leads us through the world, reminding us to breathe it all in. This book is a breath of fresh air.' - Cal Flyn, author of Islands of Abandonment
Thirteen Ways to Smell a Tree takes you on a journey to connect with trees through the sense most aligned to our emotions and memories. Thirteen essays are included that explore the evocative scents of trees, from the smell of a book just printed as you first open its pages, to the calming scent of Linden blossom, to the ingredients of a particularly good gin & tonic:
In your hand: a highball glass, beaded with cool moisture.
In your nose: the aromatic embodiment of globalized trade. The spikey, herbal odour of European juniper berries. A tang of lime juice from a tree descended from wild progenitors in the foothills of the Himalayas. Bitter quinine, from the bark of the South American cinchona tree, spritzed into your nostrils by the pop of sparkling tonic water.
Take a sip, feel the aroma and taste three continents converge.
Each essay also contains a practice the reader is invited to experience. For example, taking a tree inventory of your own home, appreciating just how many things around us came from trees. And if you've ever hugged a tree when no one was looking, try breathing in the scents of different trees that live near you, the smell of pine after the rain, the refreshing, mind-clearing scent of a eucalyptus leaf crushed in your hand.