Country Fresh Chemicals

Peach trees growing in fresh country air, laden with fresh chemicals.

Peaches are heavily treated with pesticides because pests love them almost as much as humans do. Photo by Joanna Stołowicz on Unsplash

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about living in the country?

Daily Roadkill? The Inspiring Scenery? Chewin’ Tabaccy?

Well, one of the first things you probably notice when you get to the country is the fresh air.

As it should be.

I grew up in the country and, yes, I did get a lot of fresh air.

That part was great.

But it wasn’t fresh all the time. 

There were also other smells.

Less enticing, less enjoyable, toxic, acrid, offensive, chemical smells.

Let’s say they were the opposite of vetiver, a scent near and dear to my heart.

While growing up next to peach orchards was mostly delicious (for obvious reasons), the delicate fruit trees need to be fed a steady diet of pesticides because they are so prone to disease and the voracious appetites of various critters.

On a massive field of trees, the easiest way to deliver a blanket of pest-control is by spraying it via fly-over–aka a crop-duster (insert juvenile flatulence joke here).

But it’s really no laughing matter when a fine mist of god-knows-what kind of chemicals lands on your skin. For one thing, the smell is very offensive, similar to fire-ant killer. (Unfamiliar with that aroma as well? Consider yourself very lucky.)

I’m all too familiar with scent-induced headaches. 

So I’ve been sensitive to smells my whole life, especially the man-made, chemical smells that no human should have to endure. Like the perfume counter at Macy’s.

Which for years gave me raging headaches.

Can you relate?

After years of detoxing, I finally learned to embrace my sense of smell. I became determined to develop decent cooking skills (so that I could avoid the plastic-y smells of many processed foods). Then I spent some time behind the bar where I had access to the exotic and myriad smells and flavors of countless spirits.

And you know what I’ve learned?

I’ll take the smell of hay, jute, grass, and earth over Febreze any day.

Read about one of my favorite scents, Vetiver. It’s native to India, but has been a mainstay of New Orleans scentsibility for centuries.

Keep your nose clean!