Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Internet is Useless in Certain Endeavours

Such as determining what a certain flower smells like, for instance. In perhaps my strangest search yet, I've been attempting to pinpoint and identify a specific floral scent that I always associate with my time in Los Angeles, and I'm finding that near impossible without "scratch and sniff" computer technology. Just when you think we've made great strides with technology, we discover new limits.

Any L.A. natives (or as close as one gets to being native in a city composed of transients) know the scent I'm thinking of? A light, floral smell that seems most potent in the winter months? I may have to start haunting florists to nail it down

11 comments:

scottsz said...

You could hunt down botanists or professors at the nearest university.

They might be able to answer questions via email (or at least narrow down your search to some specific kinds of plant)

The info you're looking for could be on some university server that isn't spidered by search engines...

Nils Nordstrand said...

In February and March, I always smell the Jasmine or "Star Jasmine" in bloom here in Southern California. It can be pretty pungent. By the time Summer rolls in, I don't notice it as much anymore. They are used quite a bit here for hedges and wall creeper plants.

Michael Curtis said...

In February and March, I always smell the Jasmine or "Star Jasmine" in bloom here in Southern California.

I had a suspicion it was jasmine I was thinking of, but wasn't sure. At least I have something to go on now when I go sniffing. Thanks, Nils.

Oh, and this is all roleplaying related, by the way so it's not nearly as strange a question as it might seem.

Anthony said...

It might also be honeysuckle; that's common here in some areas of LA, and some bloom as early as late winter.

(Hi, I'm new here. :) )

Michael Curtis said...

There's plenty of honeysuckle around here in the East, so I recognize the scent and it was a different one. Jasmine seems to be the more likely suspect. Thanks for the suggestion, however.

John Stephens said...

It's probably just as well there's no practical way to transmit smells over the Internet. The potential for misuse is... unpleasant to contemplate.

christian said...

I was going to say jasmine, too. That, or the smell of the chaparral, but that's not really floral.

JasonZavoda said...

I've been waiting for smell-o-vision ever since I saw it on Bugs Bunny.

Jeffro said...

I can't seem to figure out how to find this weird time travel themed album from the late seventies or early eighties. It sounded sorta like a string of generic movie type themes... and follows the adventures of an imaginary B-movie hero as he travels to the old west, a submarine, the roaring twenties, and a space cantina. It was cool and nerdy at the same time....

This is the one thing where Google has completely failed me.

Academician said...

It may specifically be night-blooming jasmine (cestrum nocturnum). There seems to be a lot of that in Socal.

Lord Auron said...

I remember when I lived back home (A variety of LA's suburbs between 1980 and 1999), there were a great deal of people that planted night-blooming jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum) all over the place to the point that you can find it as an invasive species in the hills. I remember it putting up quite a smell after the rains and during the winter. It might be something.

I could also suggest orange blossoms since they are very fragrant and a lot of people have old "heirloom" plants that are remnants of the original orchards of the area. The ones in my grandmother's yard smelled like cherries and galangal, so they can definitely be deceiving.