New Orleans air will set you free. Flare your nostrils and inhale when you walk down a New Orleans street and you’ll get a wallop of layered goodness that no bottled perfume can match. It’s a combination of Oo-la-laa and Va-vaa-voom. If New Orleans air could be packaged, it would be a best seller on the aphrodisiac market. The smell of New Orleans works better than Spanish fly. Maybe it’s because there are so many raw oysters all over the city. New Orleans smells good. New Orleans smells like people eat a lot of oysters.
People in New Orleans eat a lot of raw oysters. They eat a lot of cooked oysters. They eat a lot of oysters, period. Gulf oysters are the best kind. Gulf oysters are plump and meaty, slippery and tasty, just like this wonderful city in which they are swallowed whole.
Walk down a street in New Orleans and you will be assaulted, in the best and most caressing and affectionate way, by a cornucopia of scents. Every neighborhood has its own savor. Esplanade Avenue, for instance, smells like century-old oak trees and Creole history, old money turning into new endeavors. Depending on which intersection you’re on, Esplanade Avenue sports a waft of fried chicken, well-thumbed cookbooks, French cooking, authentic Spanish paella, the best hamburgers in the city, tropical rum drinks, old Creole recipes handed down from one generation to another to another to another up to today, and they’ll be passed on for decades and decades to come, apple fritters, home cooked meals (good home cooked meals that will make you salivate as you walk by), and there are flowers, flowers, flowers and herbs everywhere. New Orleans smells good.
If you aren’t used to living in the sub-tropics, New Orleans is going to put your schnozzola into overdrive. There is so much to smell that you’ll feel dizzy, overwhelmed and bewildered, blinkered in an olfactory maze of magnolia, peppermint, oleander, basil, garlic and sassafras, onion and seared bell pepper, rye whiskey and suet, cayenne and coriander, lemon, lime, lemon-lime, and almond slivers, butter and cream, olive oil and olive salad. In New Orleans, smells collide, and not just in the French Quarter. In the French Quarter, you’ll smell other things besides. Wherever you find yourself, New Orleans smells good.
For a the whole shebang of smells that await you on a New Orleans day, think about staying at the most interesting place to stay in America’s Most Interesting City: La Belle Esplanade. We run a boutique experience inn of five spacious suites for those who chose to make their New Orleans headquarters a place to savor the city on its own terms, not the terms they find sold in guidebooks. We look forward to meeting you.
À votre santé,
La Belle Esplanade
…where every morning begins with a curated breakfast salon.
Monday, December 19, 2016: Cold and dry. A good day for walking about, rousing one’s animal spirits, and stopping off for a cocktail at a neighborhood bar.