Scent of Jasmine in Prose and Poetry

In the summer the windows of the dining-room would generally be open, for they looked into a really lovely garden behind the house, and the scent of the jasmine that crept all around them would come in plentyfully. I wonder what the scent of jasmine did in Duncan Dempster's world. Perhaps it never got farther than the general ante-chamber of the sensorium. It often made his wife sad—she could not tell why. To him I daresay it smelt agreeable, but I can hardly believe it ever woke in him that dreamy sensation it gave her—of something she had not had enough of, she could not say what.
The gifts of the child Christ: and other tales
By George MacDonald

Where else in June are winds so exquisitely sweetened with the fragrance of Pinks and Honeysuckle, and where in July are the scents of Jasmine and Madonna-Lilies so heavily and deliciously blended? Will a time ever come, I wonder, when we shall arrange the perfumes of our flowers as carefully as we sort their colours.
Sea-coast gardens & gardening
By Frances Anne Bardswell

It was a gorgeous summer night, and the moon shone down on Jasmine Cottage, filling every nook and corner in the old garden with soft, mystical light. It was one of those still nights that we so often see in midsummer, so still that not a flower or blade of grass stirs, and it seems as if our very thoughts could be heard on the motionless air. One of those nights that seem to be throbbing with life, but a life that is intense in its silence as if Xaturo for awhile held her breath and listened. Vol. XXXV., No. 3-20.

We feel in communion with her, and we, too, wait and listen for something, we know not what exactly, but for an indefinite something. We seem to see Night stand with her finger upon her lips, and in a tone of expectancy whisper to her wondering subjects: "Wait! H-u-s-h!"

Jasmine Cottage nestled in the midst of a perfect confusion of flowers—flowers of every kind and color and odor. At the end of the garden was a little wooden gate, and a prim little path,bordered on both sides with box bushes, led up to the pretty piazza. The piazza and whole side of the cottage were one mass of pink roses, climbing to suit their own wild pleasure, around the posts, in and out the lattice shutters and through the eaves of the roof. The moon shone almost as bright as day, and the air was heavy with the scent of jasmine, from which the cottage derived its name. Floating through the open window came the gentle tinkling of an old piano. The moon shining through the window fell on the , face of a little lady sitting by the piano. She gazed up at the moon as she played. The face was exquisitely sweet and tender, and it was a very sentimental face, too, although the hair was gray and the eyes faded. Yes, the sentimental little lady was fifty years old, and yet she felt so very young that night! She had always lived in that little cottage, and for the last ten years had lived there all alone, with no companions but her dog and her tinkly piano.
Frank Leslie's popular monthly, Volume 35
edited by Frank Leslie

"Would that I might, do I exclaim in my turn," said his son; "hut I am simply going to prove to you, better than by words, that flowers are not to he considered as mere toys. I will not talk of the sighs of roses, caught and changed into attar-gul, nor the sweet scents of jasmine, and a score of other blossoms, prisoned in minute flagons, and making summer wherever their breath is suffered to escape. I will rather confound you at once by an argument into which is crushed the combined perfume of a world of flowers—and here it is—" and be placed in the hands of his father the small ivory box that bad been confided to him by the wife of the shawl-merchant.
The Select circulating library, Volume 13, Part 1
By Adam Waldie

"Account for it as you like, Vi, I both saw and felt that night; and every evening, just about twelve o'clock, I feel most perceptibly the breath of a soft summer wind sweeping over me, and the scent of the summer jasmine; it lasts for two or three minutes only, and then is gone. I cannot object to anything so harmless, but it is curious, and I cannot account for it. No matter what part of the room I am in, I feel and smell it just the same. There is nothing there scented with jasmine, and it is not there at any other time. Poor Meta had that room last year, and she was so fond of jasmine, sometimes I wonder"
Lotus, by the author of 'A new Marguerite'.
By Imo (pseud.)

The garden was one of those old-fashioned paradises which hardly exist any longer except as memories of our childhood: no finical separation between flower and kitchen garden there; no monotony of enjoyment for one sense to the exclusion of another; but a charming paradisiacal mingling of all that was pleasant to the eyes and good for food. The rich flower-border running along every walk, with its endless succession of spring flowers, anemones, auriculas, wall-flowers, sweet-williams, campanulas, snapdragons, and tiger-lilies, had its taller beauties, such as moss and Provence roses, varied with espalier apple-trees; the crimson of a carnation was carried out in the lurking crimson of the neighboring strawberry-beds; you gathered a moss-rose one moment and a bunch of currants the next; you were in a delicious fluctuation between the scent of jasmine and the juice of gooseberries. Then what a high wall at one end, flanked by a summer-house so lofty, that after ascending its long flight of steps you could see perfectly well there was no view worth looking at; what alcoves and gardenseats in all directions; and along one side, what a hedge, tall, and firm, and unbroken, like a green wall!
Scenes from clerical life
By George Eliot


O Winds that blow from the West!
Ye bring the bright blue weather here,
And sweep the sky-fields crystal clear—
Fresh Winds that blow from the West.

O Winds that blow from the East!
What isles of spices have ye known?
Across what gardens have ye blown
Sweet Winds that blow from the East?

O Winds that blow from the North!
Ye blow with such a forceful will,
Your breath is keen and bitter-chill—
Fierce Winds that blow from the North.

O Winds that blow from the South!
The scent of jasmine bowers ye bring,
From sunshine lands ye lure the Spring—
Soft Winds that blow from the South.

Of all the Winds that blow and blow,
Give us the Wind from out of the West;
It brings us vigor and strength and zest—
Glad Wind that blows from the West.

The fragrance of the jasmine is full of delicacy,
And a fairy, on smelling it, would be astonished.
So beautiful are the flowers of the yellow jasmine,
That whoever sees them immediately forgets everything else.
What shall I say of the state of its purity?
For it is such that the foot of the sight slips if it falls on it.*
The smell of the jasmine zambac is most pleasing,
And from one flower of it there is extraordinary fragrance;
Why, then, should not its blossom be held precious?
For its perfume is full of womanly qualities :t
In short, the odour of the jasmine is most sweet;
Why, then, should it not be pleasing to the soul?
By Sher ʻAli Jaʻfarī Afsos

'The comfort and luxury of such an apartment, especially at a sea-shore villa, can hardly be imagined. The soft breezes sweep across it, heavy with the fragrance of jasmine and gardenia, and through the swaying boughs of palm and mimosa there are glimpses of rugged mountains, their summits veiled in clouds, of purple sea with the white surf beating eternally against the reefs—whiter still in the yellow sunlight or the magical moonlight of the tropics.'
More tramps abroad
By Mark Twain

All Alexa's senses rejoiced—her sight in the breadth of that far sweep of sea; her hearing in the sounds of the spring; her smell in jasmine, acacia, and orange; her feeling in the warm sun, so that her touch lay lovingly on the old wall. There was tranquillity in the far-stretching azure; placidity in the dove-grey clouds that scarcely moved in the cerulean sky; healing in the warm sunshine, triumphant joy in the free bird's note, intoxication in the scent of all the blossoming things, balm in the breeze which bathed her face; and the time-weathered wall her arms lay along seemed to her a symbol of enduring strength—that of some ancient structure in the spiritual world made for her to lean upon.
The ambassadress
By William Wriothesley

The rain having ceased, temporarily, we are glad to be taken into the garden. It is too dark to see anything except the palms waving their graceful branches against the sky, but the smell of jasmine is wafted to us in the soft air, we crush geranium leaves beneath our feet as we walk, and their sharp sweet scent tells of hot summer days to come.

Wayfarers in the Libyan Desert
By Frances Gordon Alexander