Using all five senses in Suffolk

Published 9:00 pm Saturday, March 8, 2014

Reading a report in The Virginian-Pilot on Friday about Yankee Candle’s recent introduction of a collegiate line of candles that includes scents selected to represent Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary, I naturally wondered how the company could have missed the chance to do a line of fragrances based on community colleges.

If Paul D. Camp Community College had its own candle fragrance, what would it be?

Since the college got its start in Franklin during the days of the Union Camp paper mill, perhaps the odor of cooking paper pulp would be appropriate. Then again, maybe not.

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Better, I think, would be the smell of the soil when peanuts have just been dug. Or — in honor of the college’s continuing growth in Suffolk — the aroma of roasting coffee or peanuts.

For some reason, my sense of smell seems to get keener as I age, and I love the smells of Suffolk.

One of my very favorite things about working downtown, in fact, is stepping outside the office on a cool fall night and being carried to my car on the wafting fragrance of roasting peanuts. And I’ve warned friends traveling here along Route 58 that they should be careful about breathing too deeply the rich, delicious aroma of coffee near the Wilroy Road exit on a hot summer night. Inhale for a moment too long, and the smell can turn sickeningly landfill-y.

Aromas will be a topic in a future edition of Suffolk Living magazine. We’re in the midst of a series of editions dealing with the five senses, and if all goes well, we’ll consider Suffolk’s “nose” later this year.

Our current edition focuses on the sounds of the city, and I’ve just sent the March/April edition, whose theme is “Sights,” to the printer. Next up, we’ll tackle one of my other favorite senses — taste.

It should be delicious.