On our visit to Bangladesh I was excited to find out there was now a bay-leaf tree growing in my grandfather’s garden. I always thought bay leaves were fantastic and my parents have always popped dried ones in when cooking any dish, but I’d never before had the experience of inhaling the essence of a fresh bay leaf or seeing a bay tree.
Fresh bay leaves cannot normally be smelled through rubbing; you’d have to tear the leaf to break open its essential oil capsules – as though its scent is a secret. The greenness of a fresh bay-leaf’s essence is divine – it’s a very balancing, calming, refreshing, radiant and dreamy green. It inspired in me the vision of being in the midst of a vast, free field on a golden day, with a liberating distance brushed with lime-trees and herb-bushes.