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What is that ever present fragrance that permeates England?

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Kip Bennett
Kip Bennett
Posts: 24
Joined: 24th Nov 2009
Location: USA
quotePosted at 17:26 on 14th August 2011

This question might best be answered by British who have left England and then returned. When my travel companion and I rented our car and left London towards East Sussex a fragrance that I had forgotten about from my last visit to England years ago made it's scent known and stayed with us for the entire 25 days. I'm very serious about this. I asked many English people about it and they didn't notice it, but both I and my companion were very aware of it, just as I had noticed it the last time I visited.

It's not flowery, or sea related. The closest thing I can compare it too might be the scent of chlorophyl, or perhaps moss or lichens. We loved it. I can't remember if I noticed it in the rest of Europe years ago, maybe in the north of The Netherlands, but it was definitely strong throughout England(Sussex, Cotswolds, Shropshire, Lake District, Yorkshire, and the very rare whiff of it could be found in Londond).

I realize this may seem odd, but I really would like to know if anyone has an answer.

Thanks

Kip 

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Krissy
Krissy
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Joined: 8th Jul 2008
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quotePosted at 18:26 on 14th August 2011
I'm curious to know what it is too!!
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Karen Lee
Karen Lee
Posts: 1558
Joined: 9th Mar 2011
Location: England
quotePosted at 19:18 on 14th August 2011
FRESH AIR..........Joking aside, can't say that i've noticed it, maybe because I'm used to it....any more ideas out there
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Sue H
Sue H
Posts: 8173
Joined: 29th Jun 2007
Location: USA
quotePosted at 02:15 on 15th August 2011

For me, it is the smell of wet earth and foliage. Its a deep, earthy scent that I've not smelt anywhere else I have lived (outside of England). 

When I come home (I live in the Nevada desert), I walk every day the country lanes, and the scent is almost ever present. Especially so after a good rain, or even a shower.

I'm wondering if its the same scent you are also experiencing, Kip.

And please let me tell you that I love your photographs here on POE. You capture so well the essence of our beautiful land.  



Edited by: Sue at:15th August 2011 14:44
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Kip Bennett
Kip Bennett
Posts: 24
Joined: 24th Nov 2009
Location: USA
quotePosted at 02:32 on 15th August 2011

Yes, Sue, I think that could be what I'm talking about! Deep and earthy but also with some sort of green something or other in the mix. Since you now live in the States you have probably noticed it even more when you return to England. 

"The essence of our beautiful land". Sue, there is no place as beautiful as your homeland. I have visited many other nations in Europe and the Carribean and no other place moves me the way England does. It didn't seem to matter where I was, though I do have my favorite places. Perhaps it's my ancestral voices calling.

The only negativity we experienced was in North Wales, and it wasn't really towards us, but there was a coldness in the pubs when some English people walked inside(they were from Liverpool). We noticed that the Welsh patrons immediately stopped speaking English and switched over to welsh. Why is this? It wasn't just that one incident, either. There seemed to be a strong antipathy towards anyone English. We me many Scottish and Irish people who loved England and the English. I certainly realize that an entire group of people cannot be judged based on a few observations, but I would at least like to know why some of them have this feeling. 

 

 

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Kip Bennett
Kip Bennett
Posts: 24
Joined: 24th Nov 2009
Location: USA
quotePosted at 02:42 on 15th August 2011

Maybe this should be in another thread(which one?) but I would like to point something else out that bothered me before I left. On the Fodors and Tripadvisor sights when I would post questions about the Cotswolds it was aggravating how many responses I got(often from Americans, strangely) saying that the area is too touristy. Too touristy? I was in Broadway and Bourton on the Water in July, and if 2 buses of elderly people constitute touristy then these Fodors posters have not been to many attractions in the states, or Blenheim Palace, or York Minster for that matter(none of which bothered me at all). I would like to ease any worries that another tourist who is planning on visiting the Cotswolds may have----it's not an issue! We got a table at lunchtime directly in front of the river(in Bourton) in 20 seconds. This strange rumor about overcrowding and too many tourists persists and was being voiced before I visited years ago as well. Plus, beautiful BEAUTIFUL Snowshill is 5 minutes aways from Broadway if one wants absolute silence(we stayed on a sheep farm a stroll from Snowshill called Sheepscombe).

 

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Brenda Harvey
Brenda Harvey
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Joined: 28th Mar 2011
Location: USA
quotePosted at 02:52 on 15th August 2011

Hi, Kip, and welcome to POE. I was interested in your comment about the Cotswold's being "too touristy." I've only been lucky enough to travel once to England last fall, but we stayed in Burford and I didn't find it touristy at all. I fell in love with it and can't wait to go back again. I found it very authentic and the people were lovely and friendly as well. I suppose it's all a matter of personal opinion, but I wouldn't hesitate recommending it.

Your photos are lovely and I really envy the road trip you were able to take throughout England. I'm from Pennsylvania so sort of a neighbor to you. My son and his family live in Westerville and Groveport, Ohio. Looking forward to seeing more photos as you post them. 

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Kip Bennett
Kip Bennett
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Joined: 24th Nov 2009
Location: USA
quotePosted at 02:59 on 15th August 2011

Thanks Brenda! Neighbor.  Exactly, they simply are not as crowded as so many people seem to believe. And your'e right, the people are truly warm and welcoming and very kind. We met so many people who had lived there their entire lives who said they would never want to leave. Can't blame them! But honestly it seemed that everyone we met in the entire country was like that. Our bed and breakfast hostesses would hug and kiss us goodbye, teary eyed, which then made me tear up. Like we had paid visits to old friends. God, just writing about it all makes me want to race back there.

Thanks again! 

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Brenda Harvey
Brenda Harvey
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Joined: 28th Mar 2011
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quotePosted at 03:08 on 15th August 2011
You're right. I had that same experience. The people at the Lamb Inn in Burford were like old friends by the time we left there. I related my trip experience on another thread on POE and mentioned how sweet everyone was in all the pubs, restaurants and shops. I found the same thing in London actually. Everyone was very kind and very patient with us. It was our first trip abroad so there were lots of things we weren't familiar with and everyone was very willing to help. I'm not sure that would be the case here although I would hope so. I would go back tomorrow if I could.
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Kip Bennett
Kip Bennett
Posts: 24
Joined: 24th Nov 2009
Location: USA
quotePosted at 03:24 on 15th August 2011

When did you go? I was there in July and  the average temperature was 68-72 degrees(Fahr) and then returned home to 95 degree Hell! You? Was it that hot in PA?

I'm so glad you had such a wonderful time on your first trip abroad, Brenda, and I think that speaks volumes not only about the people who were kind to you, but also how you were to them.  The fact that you chose Burford in the Cotswolds on your first trip abroad rather than the typical American version of going to the UK(London, bus trip to Bath, then train to Edinburgh). I can't tell you how many people I know who have followed that itinerary I just gave! I'm not criticizing, just comparing it to what you chose to do. Were you inspired by POE? 

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