Favourite farming smells

Some industries are blessed with a rich range of occupational smells, some are sadly lacking in them.

Pity the poor IT technician who has to make do with the plasticky whiffs of new computers. Or the human resources manager for whom the odd waft of printer ink or canteen soup is all there is to stir the nasal hairs.

And of those industries rich in smells (imagine being a doctor, a refinery manager, a cheese taster or even a perfumier) can there be anything that musters the sheer range of pongs as farming?

Smells have the ability to transport you back across the years and plonk you down in a place and time you’d completely forgotten. My five favourites are:

1 Freshly-dispensed maize silage – fruity but with undertones of All Bran, bamboo and 1970s pipe tobacco.

2 The smell you get when you let excess air out of a tractor tyre – rubbery, but undercut by three-week old haddock and a hint of Airfix glue.

3 Hydraulic oil – quite sweet and with an unmistakeable echo of rum in the background but satisfying overall.

4 Milking parlours – sour milk, unfiltered Gauloises, unwashed French socks and diesel.

5. Soil through the back window of the tractor while you’re ploughing – bitter and truffly with the whiff of a chocolate digestive biscuit.

Tell us which farming smells you love or loathe at the forums

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