“As I walk towards the plane, towards my next adventure, the toxic fumes of petrol burn my nostrils and begin to give me a headache; but it’s these scents that also make me giddy with excitement as well as making me nervous. I have learnt to associate the smell with a new journey that is waiting for me just around the corner. Boarding that initial flight to Singapore was no exception. I could almost feel the adrenaline running through my veins as I took my seat on the plane, I was ready to face this whole new world!
In our discovery of Hong Kong’s perfumed places, it is a small Taoist temple that truly fits like an olfactory destination not to be missed. Located on the slopes of Victoria Peak, among the huge buildings of the city stands the traditional and discrete Man Mo Temple 文武庙.
Built in 1847 in colonial times by the Taoists, the Man Mo temple is the oldest in the city. Despite having been renovated several times, it still retains its original appearance and reminds visitors of Hong Kong from another time. Two deities are worshiped there: Man, the god of literature and Mo, the god of war.
“It is difficult to locate just one favorite scented travel memory since I have been traveling and living on a suitcase for the last 9 years or so. Hence, apart being extremely lucky and truly blessed, I have tons of olfactive souvenirs that are just as timeless and important as that memento you bring home from your last trip. Therefore, I gathered that one of my best scented travel memories probably comes from Provence, where we live now, but that is still so far from my native Mexico.
“‘That evening we called in at Zanzibar where the air was filled with the amazing spicy-sweet scent of cloves, and I stood by the rail gazing at the old Arab town and thinking what a lucky young fellow I was to be seeing all these marvellous places.’
This quote by Roland Dahl sums up my feelings during my three week trip to Zanzibar, a magical island where the fusion of Arab, African and European cultures has created a fascinating blend of architecture, cuisine and a buzzing mix of people that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.