Malta 1565 – Blood, Sweat, and Cumin

MaltaMy Hub has written a book about renaissance Malta, and since it is coming out this week, he looked at me and said, “Can you write a post about Malta?”

Of course I was willing to write a post about Malta, but since I write about smelling and gardening for smells, I needed some whiff, or huff, or some sort of olfactory in for me to write about.

The Hub’s book deals with some fairly hair-raising events which occurred 450 years ago (The Great Siege of Malta: The Epic Battle between the Ottoman Empire and the Knights of St John, Bruce Ware Allen, Fore Edge Books, there it is!), but not so much with agriculture on Malta. The island has traditionally been a source for world class honey (the Greeks referred to Malta as Melite, “honey sweet”), which would suggest a rich lode of blooming flowers – but for whatever reason, this has not translated into perfumery as it has in, say, Grasse.

The one unquestionable perfume contribution of Malta, however, is cumin.

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The Smell of Adventure

Green has to do with zeitgeists, I’m convinced.  If the spirit of the Age is strictly stay-at-home then green, the entire spectrum of it, will not appeal.  Nevertheless, green is the smell that comes swirling in when you open the casements ( if you have casements) – wild, unpredictable, an invitation to the great unknown;  in short, an incitement to move the itchy feet all of us have.  Only some periods of time, and some people take to this anarchic note which tends to whirl about you and beckon you out the window, dispensing with the perfunctory formality of the front door.

Well, I did say it was anarchic.

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