Smells in Uptown


I was walking and biking around different areas of New Orleans; the Garden District, the Irish Channel, Uptown, the French quarter. I kept smelling the sweetest smell in the air that would disappear shortly after I would stop to try to find its source. I knew it had to be a plant, so after a while every time I found that sweet delicious smell again I would stop and take a mental note of the plants I saw around me. I was trying to logically deduce which one was the culprit of the phantom smell but my method was ineffective. I started asking people, locals whom I thought would know, but none did. Finally, while on one of the various haunted tours of the city I went on, our guide told us she used to be in landscape an that she was somewhat of a horticulture expert. She told me it was called ‘Sweet Olive’, a tree that has small white flowers and olive colored leaves native to the area. I think it has become one of my favorite natural smells. You won’t catch a whiff on Bourbon st., but walk around other parts of the Quarter or the other areas I listed above and you’ll see, or rather, smell what I’m talking about. The picture above was taken at Tulane’s campus, where facing Broadway st. there is a line of them letting that delectable fragrance float around the place.


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