Best Scent of 2006

The winner for the Best Scent of 2006 is the smell of damp Bay laurel leaves (Laurus nobilis) hanging over running water somewhere between the Nora and Matt Davis trails on Mt. Tamalpais. One comes to it after walking through a grove of Manzanita, leaving a dry place, turning a corner, and descending into a wet one.

It literally hangs in the shade and envelops everything in its mentholated thickness, invoking childhood memories of my dad's Bay Rum cologne, and a newly discovered dish, Bay Scented Chicken with Figs and Olives.

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