On Glenmore Rd, in Paddington, on the corner of Ormond St, there’s a tree. It hangs over a garden fence. I suppose, I must have walked down there quite a lot. I have a memory of picking frangipani flowers and putting them in the tray of the pram. It was a grey plastic tray. Silver cross – it had a tartan seat.

I was pushing my son David. He was between four and eight weeks old. It’s rare to have an experience that you know will be a memory – but not self consciously. It felt deep, I was affected deeply. I suppose it’s cause i grew up with frangipani around me, in Mauritius. Or perhaps it was like the smells I grew up with. Either way it connected me.

That’s what Sydney is for me January/February.


Frangipani, new babies head, flesh – there’s a sweetness but it’s an oiliness not sugar sweetness. A slight sharpness of jasmine. There’s a pavement too – a tiny bit of car exhaust. Only really tiny. And humidity that floats. Not vanilla.


Catherine du Peloux Menage