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  • Jay Prosser

The scent of camphor

Whenever the chest is opened, the scent of camphor pulls me into another world. This is the past of my grandfather: a spice-trading Iraqi Jew. It is infused with the travels of my grandmother, the Chinese immigrant to Singapore.

Nutmeg-sweetness suffused with fresh, unsmoked tobacco. Head-clearing, tangy clove, along with warm, rich, winter cinnamon.


The scent of camphor is ancient and renewing; mysterious and unmistakeable.

It is an alchemy of impossibilities.

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