Fragrance Quote for May 30th, 2012- Old time gardens: newly set forth By Alice Morse Earle

Calycanthus floridus - sweet shrub
Fragrance Quote for May 30th, 2012-



Old time gardens: newly set forth
By Alice Morse Earle

I have often tried to define to myself the scent of the Calycanthus blooms; they have an aromatic fragrance somewhat like the ripest Pineapples of the tropics, but still richer; how I love to carry them in my hand, crushed and warm, occasionally holding them tight over my mouth and nose to fill myself with... their perfume. The leaves have a similar, but somewhat varied and sharper, scent, and the woody stems another; the latter I like to nibble. This flower has an element of mystery in it — that indescribable quality felt by children, and remembered by prosaic grown folk. Perhaps its curious dark reddish brown tint may have added part of the queerness, since the " Mourning Bride," similar in color, has a like mysterious association. 1 cannot explain these qualities to any one not a garden-bred child; and as given in the chapter entitled The Mystery of Flowers, they will appear to many, fanciful and unreal — but I have a fraternity who will understand, and who will know that it was this same undefinable quality that made a branch of Strawberry bush, or a handful of its stemless blooms, a gift significant of interest and intimacy; we would not willingly give Calycanthus blossoms to a child we did not like, or to a stranger.