My nose for wood

wooden floors are not for sissies

I knew it had to happen...
For the past 15 years the house had been crying out loud, drowning me in guilt whenever I stepped onto the dull brown patches, the painfully deep scratch marks and the mysterious bobbly dents.

It’s not that I did not want silky golden floors. I am insanely in love with wood. Wood is more than dull brown –drowned tree trunks. It is the colour of gold, honey, fire, pink roses, pepper corns, blood, yellow grass, espresso, grey clouds – anything but one colour. Extremely inhomogeneous, it is part of nature, part of life.

I wanted to get the wooden floors, sanded, sealed and dusted. But where would we put all our earthly possessions if we were to clear the floors?

Our house, described by Hubby as a town house on steroids, had been packed with heavy heirlooms (all solid wood, including several blackwood pieces that weigh tons!).

doc l my nose for wood

These exclude our priceless paintings and computers that are as allergic to dust as many of the house occupants.

But in each person’s life, comes a weak moment, especially when discussing obstacles with floor experts. We could do the project in stages; emptying two rooms at a time. We would survive between the packed furniture in different rooms for a week.

I was soon conjuring up fragrances of freshly cut wood, crushed pine leaves, lemony and spicy. Wood is like good wine and I have always had a rosy nose for this porous fibre. Apparently some trees smell like dog poo, but I still have to come across those.


The anticipation of the sweet, nutty wood scent that would fill the house, as well as visions of gleaming flawless floors sparked me into action, packing and calling everyone in my vicinity to help lift and move stuff.

The sharp, lingering smell of the first sanded floor was certainly as good as I imagined in my dreams. I was reminded of good solid values and walks in the forest after the rain. I inhaled the intense woody resinous smell – for five days.

Now I am done! It is not the saw dust in my food - we have an open plan kitchen – sort off. I have almost made peace with the dusty grits under my hands, feet and teeth.

The problem is my nose. I am no longer content with inhaling saw dust morning, night and noon. My throat tickles, my eyes itch and my sinuses are blocked. I have been trapped in one room for three hours, waiting for the sealer to dry in the room next door.

Freedom comes at last. I open the door and the rich, yellow floor next door comes alive with a mild citrus-like, green fragrance. It is brisk, woody and invigorating. My soul soars to heaven. I have been strengthened and purified. Enough to last me for the rest of my life.