Scent Survey: Professor Tim Entwisle

Professor Tim Entwisle is the Director and Chief Executive of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.

He’s also the kind of scientist – and science communicator – who can cajole 20,000 people through the door of a green house to visit a single plant, which is what happened in 2012 when the garden’s first titan arum flowered. His CV includes time shaping the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust in Sydney. His blog, Talking Plants, is a must-read for all plant hunters.

What did your childhood smell like?
Basset hounds and mint are the two lingering smells. Both were fighting for attention at the back door of my childhood home in the country.

What scent has the power to stop you in your tracks and immediately transport you to a memory/moment/feeling?
Wattle blossom. It takes me back to holidays in the Grampians with my wife and kids.

What does/did your grandmother/mother/father smell like? (pick one or all)
Grandmother smelt like mothballs.

What does your kitchen smell like?
Usually chillies with a hint of citrus.

What does happy smell like?
 It can vary but rain after a long dry spell is pretty happy smelling.

What does your favourite place in the world smell like?
Gum trees and wattle blossoms. Anywhere in Australia. Although I do like the earthy rich smells of gardens in the UK.

What is your least favourite smell?
Besides the obvious (things that smell like the Titan Arum) I think wet dog (see above).

What does love smell like?