Scent Survey: Maggie Beer

Cook, Farmer, Food producer, Restaurateur, Author, Television Personality, Verjuice Expert.

How can you describe Maggie Beer? Perhaps by saying she’s exceptionally good at all that she does, whether it’s as strong proponent of using local, seasonal produce; as an advocate for improving the diets of the elderly in aged care; as the creator of cookbooks which are first-rate reads as well as practical guides; or as the maker of the only vanilla bean ice cream worth having in your icebox. These are some of the hundreds of reasons why Maggie was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2012, and has her own postage stamp. The Barossa Valley is Maggie’s home and it includes sprawling heritage orchards of apples, apricots and pears.

What did your childhood smell like?
So terrible it made me ill.

What scent has the power to stop you in your tracks and immediately transport you to a memory/moment/feeling?
The smell of golden syrup dumplings cooking.

What does/did your grandmother smell like?
Never got that close.

What does your kitchen smell like?
Warm and inviting.

What does happy smell like?
The smell of the sea.

What is your favourite smell?
Tomato plants as you brush past them … Or citrus flowers, or the scent of grass after rain; basil always; picking fresh thyme, tarragon or rosemary… Too many to mention!

What is your least favourite smell?
As a child, tripe cooking; three times boiled.

What fragrance do you wear?
Goats milk soap; or just sometimes Saskia Havekes’ ‘Grandiflora’.