Fragrant Quote for May 31st, 2012-A Garden of Herbs By Eleanour Sinclair Rohde

Samarès Manor, Saint Clement, Jersey, May 2011

Fragrant Quote for May 31st, 2012-A Garden of Herbs
By Eleanour Sinclair Rohde

Artificial scents have had a long enough reign in England, and perhaps we shall be wise enough to return to the simple old home-made rose, lavender, jasmine and other sweet waters, the pomanders and scented wash-balls of our greatgreat-grandmothers. And is not a garden full of fragrant herbs a perpetual delight? Are any bought scents so delicious and exhilarating as wild thyme, marjoram and rosemary? There is something so clean and wholesome in them that one feels the old herbalists were right when they said that to smell these herbs continually would keep any one in perfect health. They are so full of sunshine and sweetness that it seems there can be no tonic like them, and it is curious how appreciative invalids are of sweet-scented herbs. Flower scents are often too heavy for them, but a bunch of fragrant herbs seems a perpetual joy. In London, where one can buy all the costliest and most beautiful flowers in or out of season, does anything bring a breath of the country air so perfectly as a boxful of lavender? "There are few better places for the study of scents," says Mrs. Bardswell, " than the herb garden. Here fragrance depends more on the leaves of plants than on the flowers. One secret is soon discovered. It is the value of leaf-scents. Flower-scents are evanescent; leaf-odours are permanent. On the other hand, leaf-odours though ready when sought, do not force themselves upon us, as it were, like flower-scents, which we must smell whether we will or no. Leaf-scents have to be coaxed out by touching, bruising or pressing; but there they are. After all, that is the great point, and long after the summer flower-scents have departed we can enjoy the perfumes of the sweet leaved Herbs and plants such as Rosemary, Bay and Thyme. Even when withered in the depth of winter, how full of fragrance are the natural Herb gardens of the south of Europe, where one walks over stretches of dry Thyme and Lavender, every step crushing out their sweetness."