You could say home is a feeling; it's an urge to take off your shoes and sink onto the metal chairs outside - freezing in the winter, and leaving burnt marks on your thighs in the summer - or the feeling you should throw down your bags and start chattering about the test today, and the ungodly weather (it doesn't matter what the weather is, but it will always be ungodly).
Maybe it's the smell of beeswax, which doesn't hit me when I walk through the door - it slinks through the letterbox and the scent ambles down the path, following me everywhere so that when I picture home, I don't even need to try and imagine the smell.
If there were an essence of home, one you could bottle and sell in shops, it wouldn't be a carefully refined mixture. Much like my parents' cooking, there would be no concrete quantities. A dash of lego pieces all over the floor, just waiting for you to not see the bright red plastic and forever implant the feeling into your wounded foot, and a smidge of cornflakes - everyday for breakfast, a habit which I cannot give up, however my family rolls their eyes. A dribble of a horrendously green soft drink - Creme Soda - the colour of which is probably refined from poisons and chemicals from Neptune, and a generous dollop of noise and chaos, which barrels into you and knocks over strangers who haven't learned to balance in the sea of madness quite yet.
If you could bottle this essence, force it into a strangely small bottle and label it with French calligraphy, I wonder whether it would be bought. If the smell, of coconut - constantly clinging onto my hair from where I rub it into my head each week - and faded paper books bought in batches of twenty-four from charity shops, would appeal to customers. Whether they would spray the rainbow liquid and watch it dissipate into the air, leaving an almost oily sheen behind, or whether these scents make only me breathe in for a second, eyes closed to savour the moment, and smile softly.