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You thought that a Chinese city would be stuffy, stinky, full of exhaust fumes and generally speaking, not much by way of olfactory sensations, right? Wrong! Sometimes amidst all the pollution you’ll be surprised by a lovely, fresh, flowery smell. The osmanthus season is upon us! This small tree with humble-looking little blossoms makes for a welcome relief from the odours of burnt rubber and stinky tofu. And since describing a smell with words is quite useless, you’ll just have to take my word for it and forgive me if I grow a bit lyrical about that little thing that brings so much simple joy into the big-city life of this country girl.

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