Fragrance Quote for February 2nd, 2012- The spell of France By Caroline Atwater Mason

The charm of Beaulieu was in the powerful headlands rising to the north; its lovely bay set in between the long peninsula of St. Jean and the great bluff of Cap Roux; in its olive groves and its flowers. The little town is clear-toned, fresh and full of colour; the olives are most beautiful and above all else we were delighted with the wealth of flowers, far beyond what we found at any other point of the Riviera.

Over the tall cream-tinted garden walls there poured like cascades, sheets of richest blossoms; purple and crimson of velvety clematis; vivid pink of the ivy geranium; the yellow of mimosa; the endless honey-pale profusion of Banksia roses, and of jasmine. In the garden of our pension grew and blossomed every rose I ever knew and many never before dreamed of. Heliotrope in enormous bushes, sweet peas, marigolds, iris, honeysuckle, — all things which make for intoxication of sense.

But a feature of Beaulieu which appealed to me, even more than the typical well-kept villa gardens, consisted in the many fields we found which had doubtless once been gardens, but had long since been left to run wild. In these, the grass, growing deep around occasional gnarled and mighty olives, would be thick sown with yellow or pink roses, blossoming as freely as buttercups; there would be sheets of white marguerites, and a tangle, in any corner, of mimosas and orange and lemon shrubs.. Rose geranium grew like a wayside weed, and here and there a purple iris would lift its queenly head, strayed off alone through the grass.

On our last evening in Beaulieu a crescent moon hung like silver in the western sky, with the evening star below it. The broad, glossy leaves of the palm trees caught rays like spilled silver, and in their shadows the creamy and crimson and golden roses shed opulent and heedless petals on the dewy grass. The wind had sunk to rest; the air was laden with fragrance and of indescribable softness. In an old olive orchard above the garden, nightingales sang. We owned the Riviera's charm.

Morning came. The sun shone from a crystal sea of a wholly new, an incredible blue; not sapphire nor turquoise, not sky blue, nor sea blue, but the blue of a blue-eyed baby's eyes. I lost my heart, that day to the passionate colour of these shores. The whispering pines of Cap St. Jean stood out to the west through soft crimson haze. The morning air was vital, pure and energizing. From every wall, and every cranny in every wall, poured out the lavish abundance of flowers, all rejoicing in this crystalline, rianle atmosphere; the atmosphere without mystery, without shadow, which belongs to the Cote d'Azur.
Fragrance Quote for February 2nd, 2012- The spell of France By Caroline Atwater Mason