I know they say that of all the five senses, smell is most closely linked to memory. I can be thinking about God knows what and a certain smell will bring me to a very different place in my head.
One of my favorites is honeysuckle. When I was growing up in Georgia there was quite a bit of honeysuckle growing around my house (and fields of blackberry bushes but I'll save that for another post). Where I live now it's not as common but I still smell it from time to time and whenever or wherever I am I'm immediately transported back to Douglasville, GA and I get to be 10 years old again.
This is all something of a prelude to mentioning the mind altering capabilities of tarragon. No matter how fowl the mood take a strong whiff of some fresh tarragon and everything will be OK. Suddenly life is good. It's an amazing herb smelling faintly of anise.
Last night's dinner was pork stew with fennel, leeks and prunes. If this sounds strange I suggest you come over to my house and I'll fix you a bowl. It's amazing and it was finished off with a healthy dash of minced fresh tarragon.