My house gets musty sometimes. I have a cement floor and my house has no foundation so the damp seeps in when it pleases. Scented candles are hard to find in Paraguay. I spray air freshener when I think of it. Most of the time my doors and window are open, so the smell is blown to the wild outside. But also, it is only sometimes that my house smells and one gets used to it quickly and forgets.

I’ve thought about incense before, but I haven’t found a smell I like. I’m also very sensitive to smoke, any and all kinds. I haven’t had the motivation to really look for a nice incense.

One day the señora friend who lives close to me stopped by on her way home and invited me over for lunch. She must have thought my house smelled because she gave me a stick of incense toward the end of my visit. I smelled it and found it to be surprisingly pleasant.

I told her that it smelled good and explained how it was hard to find good incense. She reached over and showed me the front of the incense box. The box was green with a drawing of Jesus and his heart with light rays radiating from it. “It says the sacred heart of Jesus, right?” she asked. She didn’t have her glasses.

“Yes,” I said.

“That’s why,” she said. ”Of course it smells good.”