Places, like people, have their own unique, individual and sometimes undeodorised smell. Doha also provides a mix of both pleasant and unpleasant odours… big smells and small smells.
Anyone driving along Wholesale Market Street cannot have failed to take in lungfuls of the overpowering smell of hundreds of sheep heading towards their finally journey to the dinner table.
There are a few locations in the city where you are suddenly assailed by the sulphide smell of a broken sewer. The couple of hundred metres after the old Rainbow roundabout always smelled bad.
Once in a while, the fragrance of petro-chemicals blows across the city, which I assume comes from the oil or gas installations. Near where I work, there is a very occasional unidentified smell which reminds me of a zoo, which I’d like to think it is the aroma of camels blowing in from the desert.
Our apartment block is home to a variety of nationalities. When I get home and park my car, the smell of garlic or curry will sometimes fill the basement car park as the wind circulates the cooking odours extracted from kitchens.
We have a little vapourising machine in our flat which we fill with water and an aromatic oil. For 5 or 6 hours it fills the apartment with the tang of Orange Blossom, Patchouli, or our current favourite Figs and Cloves. These machines are sold in many shapes and sizes with a huge range of artificial smells. I guess they are needed to mask the occasional drainy smells associated with Doha residential plumbing.
Whether it is the locally popular Oud or the overpriced international perfumes, Doha seems to have more than its fair share of shops selling fragrances. Then there is the Souq, where the wonderful smells of exotic spices fill the air.