Back when the world was still real, most of the San Fernando Valley was covered by citrus groves and my grandparents, Frank and Esther Dunnington, lived in Van Nuys.
Driving from the ranch in the Mojave Desert to Van Nuys, we'd use Highway 14 and Sepulveda Boulevard. For miles, Sepulveda ran through those groves. In the spring, the perfume of the blossoms was intoxicating.
Today, the Valley is a textbook example of blight comprised of strip malls and slums, an example of how completely screwed up Los Angeles is. But we have several citrus trees in our back yard, including an ancient grapefruit tree that is now blossoming. I spend most afternoons sitting out there with a book.
The perfume is absolutely delicious. Reminds me so what of what the Valley used to smell like. The only thing better, I think, is Laura's Arpège.