Fragrance Quote for March 2nd, 2012- Woodland idyls By Willis Stanley Blatchley


Anaphalis margaritacea by Kurt Stüber

Fragrance Quote for March 2nd, 2012- Woodland idyls By Willis Stanley Blatchley

The first odor of the sweet white everlasting(Ganphalium obtusifolium) this day greeted my nostrils from the grassy slope of the pasture which I crossed when returning from my berry picking. As I travel along the country roads or wander through the woodlands from mid-July to October, I inhale many an odor, but none more pleasing than that which comes to me from this Compositse. There is nothing like it in my category of smells. Once known it is never forgotten and each season I greet it with ever growing delight. If there is any other odor which it recalls, it is that of the earth, earthy on the first days of the great awakening. Then the moistened leaves and mold give up from many a woodland surface the quintessence of herbs and grass and flowers long since dead and forgotten. But the odor of the everlasting is that of a living thing which I can gather and put into my pocket where for months it will exhale its fragrance.

A plant twelve to eighteen inches in height, it flourishes best in poor soil on the sunny slopes of old fields and pastures. There through the months of summer is its odor distilled, reaching perfection only in autumn after the hoar frost has lent its leaven for a perfect ripeness. Not especially showy or attractive is the plant, but loose branching, growing in small clumps, with alternate linear sessile leaves and a corymb of cone-shaped whitish heads. The stems and under side of leaves are clothed with a dense hoary white appressed pubescence and this, together with the odor, should make it easily known. Where the plant is plentiful this odor penetrates the air for rods around, and is often borne to the traveler, by whom it is welcomed though its source be to him unknown. What a combination of chemical atoms, what perfect union of C. and H. and O. and other elements, must there be for its production! What a hidden secret must this herb possess that it is enabled to produce and exhale such a unique, pleasing and life inspiring fragrance!