Fragrant Quote for August 29th, 2012-The Grand Canyon of Arizona: Being a Book of Words from Many Pens By Atchison, Topeka, and Santa


Credit for Image of Grand Canyon by William Holmes

It is not the matchless immensity of it, I think, that overcomes you, but that your senses cannot quite encompass and analyze its unique and elusive quality. This great impassive thing that frightens you by its appalling immensity, that enthralls your imagination by the magic of its matchless beauty, that bewilders and mystifies your senses by the vague suggestion of fragrance and melody in its gorgeous purples, and by the vast, echoless silences of its Pompeiian reds and yellows, is inexorable and unresponsive to your puny emotions. That is what fills you with a nameless longing, a divine regret. That is what makes you sob unconsciously as you gaze off into the abysmal, chromatic splendors of the scene. Your soul hungers for a sympathy which the great spectacle is too impassive, too inexorable, to yield. The inexorable always affects us like that in our psychic moods. The generous mind receives always a sensation of diffused pain from any spectacle or any emotion that baflles complete expression, and the divine pathos of this is as undefinable, as inexorable, as resistless as death—and as lovely as the hope of life everlasting.

Is it the sympathy of one sense with another (it must be that) which beguiles the reason into belief that the colors in this ravishing, chromatic maze are endued with the magic of melody and odor? This is something not to be insisted on, nor denied; you feel it or (for you) it is not so. Of course if you are hopelessly sane you do not feel anything of the kind.

Nerolina(Melaleuca quinquinervia ct nerolidol) essential oil/Australia wild harvest

Nerolina(Melaleuca quinquinervia ct nerolidol) essential oil/Australia wild harvest

Nerolina essential oil is a clear white to pale yellow liquid displaying a soft, sweet, woody-floral odor with a delicate green-citrus, resinous undertone

In natural perfumery is used in precious woods accords, high class florals, colognes, chypre, apothecary blends, citrus bouquets

Research Links of Emerald Cypress(Callitris columellaris)

Research Links of Emerald Cypress(Callitris columellaris)

Wikipedia

Gymnosperm Database

Essential oil profile

Images

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs:

Noosa's native Plant

Chemistry of essential oil

Australian Callitris Forests

Emerald Cypress(Callitris columellaris) essential oil/Australia wild harvest

Emerald Cypress(Callitris columellaris) essential oil/Australia wild harvest

Emerald Cypress essential oil is a lovely emerald green viscous liquid displaying a fruity, balsamic, precious woods bouquet with a sweet resinous undertone.
The common name of the tree is White Cypress Pine/Coastal Cypress Pine but due to the unique green color of the distilled oil it is also called as Emerald Cypress or Victorian Emerald Cypress

In natural perfumery it is a fine addition to precious woods notes, fruit accords, incense bouquets, high class florals(as a fixative), colognes, chypre and fougere

Fragrant Quote for August 29th, 2012-I myself By Elizabeth Paschal O'Connor

Flowering Laburnum Image Credit

We left the Leygraaffs Hotel, and walked
toward the park, passing a group of charming old houses on
our right. I stopped on the bridge long enough to photo-
graph one mentally. The house, built of white stone, was
old, with green shutters, and it stood on a sort of round
mound of velvety grass carpeted with daisies and dandelions,
and chequered by broken blossoms. It was separated from
the street by a canal and connected with it by a fine iron
bridge. In front of the house were two giant horse-chestnuts
laden with blossoms. I never saw such tall ones, and the
trunks of the trees were all covered in ivy. At the left side
of the house an avenue of trees continued, pink horse-chestnuts, amethyst lilac trees, lavender lilac trees, and white lilac interspersed with flower-laden laburnums. When the breeze softly moved them they waved like plumes, and the fragrance of that delightful mass of superb colour was almost overpowering. The door of the house stood wide open with a hospitable smile, but there was no one in sight—only an old white and orange setter lying on the step blinking one eye at us, and almost snowed over by purple and white and yellow blossoms continually drifting down on him. It made him look like a babe in the wood. All one side of the house was completely covered by an old laburnum tree with the blossoms of a luxuriance great enough to make a blazing, waving cloth of gold.

Fragrant Quote for August 28th, 2012-The Nation, Volume 78/Scent of Corsica

Maquis of Corsica Image Credit



Not less beautiful than are these Inner forests, and far more cheerful, is the vegetation which clothes so profusely the lower hills and descends to the very edge of this sunny Southern sea. Corsica has of all the Mediterranean coasts the greatest abundance of scrub wood and undergrowth. Nothing is so characteristic of its scenery as are the masses of shrubs which form what the people call macchie or fin French) maquis. This shrub growth consists chiefly of heath, sometimes fifteen or twenty feet high, with a wealth of whitish or purplish flowers, of glossy arbutus, of lentisk with its reddish blossoms, and of two kinds of cistus—one with large blossoms of a brilliant pink, the other with somewhat smaller white flowers, resembling at a little distance the white roses of an English hedgerow. Other plants grow among the maquis, especially the aromatic rosemary with light blue, and the lavender with dark purple, flowers, as well as more than one kind of a broomlike shrub whose yellow blossoms light up the pale heath and the darker green of arbutus and ilex. It is these shrubs that give to Corsica that peculiar scent of which Napoleon used to talk at St. Helena as the feature of his birthland that most recalled it to him. as indeed it most dwells In the memory of those who know the Isle, for nothing takes a stronger hold on memory than odors. It is half pungent from the aromatic flowers, half sweet from the honeyed leaves of the cistus and the fainter scent of the heath blossoms. It comes out best under the sun; nor is anything more delicious than the whiffs of fragrance which the cool mountain breeze brings down along thebe slopes.

Curry Leaf(Murrya koenigii) essential oil

Credit for Curry Leaf/Murraya koenigii Image



Curry leaf essential is a transparent white to pale yellow liquid displaying a dry, fresh, punguent, green, spicy bouquet with a delicate herbaceous-sulferic undertone. After the initial impact of the pungent top note, the dryout phase displays a more delicate complex aromatic bouquet radiating the qualities of this special spice which is a cornerstone ingredient in South India cooking..

In natural perfumery the essential oil is used in culinary bouquets, incense creations, spice blends, green notes, colognes

Frangipani Absolute(Plumeria alba)/Comoros Islands

Credit Link for Frangipani Image

Frangipani Absolute(Plumeria alba)/Comoros Islands

Frangipani Absolute from Comoros Islands is an amber colored pourable liquid(most frangipani absolutes that I have encountered have been solid waxy masses which require heating before become pourable but due to the excellent extraction in France where the concrete from Comoros is converted into absolute more of the waxes are removed resulting in a liquid form of this lovely absolute)
The absolute displays a soft, elegant, tropical, floral bouquet with an suave fruity, balsamic undertone

In natural perfumery it is used as a perfume in itself due to is delicate but complex bouquet, but it is also a welcome addition to tropical bouquets, garland perfumes, high class florals

Fragrant Quote for August 27th, 2012-WHEN THE WILD GRAPE BLOSSOMS By Augusta Larned

Credit for Grape Image


The borderland of country life
By Augusta Larned

WHEN THE WILD GRAPE BLOSSOMS

When the adventurous Northmen approached our coasts, long before Columbus navigated the seas, they found a country covered with the luxuriant wild grape, and they called it Vinland. The wild grape of Vinland is still wild, and though driven from many parts of the country by cultivation, it still maintains itself in quiet nooks and corners.

It is not the grape Bacchus brought from India, with the juice of which he intoxicated the world, but a homely American product, native to the soil. It cannot be named as an enlivener of feasts, and bacchanals have never been celebrated in its honor. It does not even furnish the innocuous grape juice, and its highest mission is to serve as jelly or "sauce," the indispensable sweetener of rural life.

And yet to me it furnishes the best symbol of midsummer—a mystic plant that steals into a thickly embowered world, absorbing from the earth the quintessence of the fervid, passionate, full-grown season. It is a little plain flower the lady of the woods and fields wears upon her breast, but it enchants her senses with its rich and peculiar odor. There are not so many wild flowers when the world has the greatest breadth and amplitude of shade.

If you search in a dell of pines and firs that have made the ground barren, save for their own sheddings, you may find the Indian-pipe, that curious fungus organized in form of a flower, or, if you are wondrous lucky, may chance upon the lady's-slipper, perhaps more than one variety, as a reminder of the richness and glory of floral bloom that once filled our woods, but has now nearly disappeared. The Clethra, on high and dry ground, will send you its fruity odor, and in the marshy places or along river-banks the cardinal may blaze out like a gleam of fire. Solomon's seal, too, may hold up its spiky white blossom, and the marsh-mallow, the American variety, will, perchance, unfold its broad pink bosom to the sun. The wild rose is growing in fence corners and along hilly roadsides, and the meadow lily hangs its scarlet and yellow bells among the grasses. The Rudbeckia has begun to open its yellow star with purple center, and the very first sprays of goldenrod are balancing in the wind.

But none of these sum up for me the whole mystery and wonder of fully developed summer like the little, pale, insignificant wild grape bloom, for it seems to have a soul diffused through its breath, a lovely treasure of perfume that has been denied to richer blossoms. The senses minister to us each in its own way, but it is in the power of an odor to evoke memory with the greatest vividness. The scent of burning leaves in autumn, the rich ground smell of the newly plowed field, the first fresh breath of the new grass, can recreate scenes of the past with marvelous vividness. So the scent of the wild grape blossom is not a passing breath of fragrance, it seems to be some intimate portion of life once lived; wherever the wild grape is hidden in the green bowers of summer, it reveals itself by what may be called its inherent virtue. It reminds one of the rarest people and the most genuine, who make no display, are destitute of all showy graces, whose modest flower of life is pale and insignificant apparently, and yet how pure, how true, how fragrant of goodness, love, and fidelity!

Hidden virtue is the very essence of goodness that redeems the world and keeps it sweet and wholesome. It is the breath of innocence and purity, symbolized in the loveliest things of nature, that come not, we may be sure, by chance out of the dark recesses of the earth, but are special benefactions corresponding in their being to the spiritual gifts that render human nature sacred.

The great mystical philosopher who created the doctrine of correspondences looked with a revealing eye on the external world, seeing there a unity that threw not out from the soul history of man the largest sun blazing in the heavens, or the smallest leaf or flower growing upon the earth. We are forever feeling the significance of things by hints and intimations that leave us enchanted but bewildered, that flit by like birds upon the wing, in the half dusk of evening; so it is in the power of an odor to evoke sentiments that seem to hark back to some preexistent state of being.

Fragrant Quote for August 26th, 2012-The borderland of country life By Augusta Larned

Of all country delights there is none so refreshing, so blissful, so renewing as sleep. No wonder thousands of harassed, hot, perspiring city men make a journey of from twenty to forty miles daily, just to get a good night's rest in the pure country air, where the absolute quietude and peace soothes and heals exasperated nerves and weary brains.

Who would not celebrate these delicious cool nights, when little touches of freshness and fragrance fill the air, to make one dream of beds of thyme and old-fashioned gardens, scented with lavender and rosemary, and, oblivious of age, if you are old, carry you back to the days of childhood and youth? Mysteriously the moonbeams enter, gliding in with the odors of growing things, all the subtle influences the night liberates and sets afloat. The moonbeams steal through the curtains and quiver on the floor. Then softly, gently, you are lifted from your base in the reality of all familiar things in the room, the murmuring wind, the rustle of young leaves, the peeping of young birds uneasily in the nest, the flutter of an insect's wings against the pane, the piping of frogs. Something takes you up soundlessly and shoves your little bark into the unknown river of dreams.

The moon has not completed its journey when you awake. It hangs white and wan in the heavens. But the merry light of the spring morning shines in at your eastern window, and the bluebirds, robins, and song sparrows are all trilling together. You rub your eyes and say, "Ah, what a good, what a blessed sleep, watched over and guarded by the angel of the dark."

Fragrant Quote of August 25th, 2012-Green trails and upland pastures By Walter Prichard Eaton

Birch Forest Image Credit


And the smell of the forest that day! It is the smell of sweet, black humus, just exposed. It is the smell of dead Winter. It is the indescribable smell of pure ice water running over leaves. If you know it, you know it. If not, no description can bring the odour to your nostrils. It is the first and sweetest smell of Spring.

On such a day, too, the upland pastures, clear of the woods, have their own little ice-water brooks that run and spread and reunite over the dead grass, or plough tiny channels through the soil, the spongy, soft soil, free at last of frost on the surface and almost too yielding to the feet. The lone chestnuts or maples which sentinel such a pasture bear as yet no sign of life, though if you break a twig from the maple a crystal drop of sap will form, which you let fall on your tongue to taste its faint sweetness. But though the maples and chestnuts are bare as in Winter, looking over to the doming slope of birch forest across the ravine, where the sun hits it full and warm, you catch, or think you do, the frailest wraith of fuzzy colour in the treetops. It is as intangible as a dream; a cloud dusks the sun, and it is gone. Yet you are sure it is there, the birth-blush of the foliage. In the upland pasture, too, on such a day, a stone wall running east and west will present a curious contrast, for on the northern side will lie a snowdrift, still a foot or two deep, perhaps, with the snow darkened by the wind-blown particles of bark and litter deposited during the Winter, and melted into coarse texture like rock salt; while on the southern side, beneath the dead stalks of last year's mulleins, milkweed, and golden-rod, the ground will be quite dry for several feet out, and you are irresistibly drawn to lie down upon it, warm and sheltered, and get your first lazy feel of Mother Earth. Here, also, as you lie out of the wind on the south side of the wall, you will catch the first subtle ground smell of the Spring.

Like the two sides of the stone wall are the two sides of the sweet-pea trenches, dug the previous Autumn, and the two sides of the mound of excavated earth beside them. The south side of the trench, in shadow, is frozen solid, while the north side grows softer and mushier day by day. The side of the piled earth exposed to the sun is also soft, the dark side hard as ever. Day after day in March I have watched those trenches, testing with a pick or spade to see when I could begin to sow. Ultimately there comes a day when enough of the ice has melted out of the trench and enough of the excavated earth has become friable, to enable me to plant. Then the carefully soaked and chipped seeds are brought forth, the labelled stakes are prepared, and into ground that, after all, is still cold and wet and full of frozen lumps, go the precious promises of bloom. More than once I have covered the row and risen the next morning to find even the tops of the labels buried in snow. But once those sweet pea seeds are in the ground, we have ceased to think of Winter. Our faces are set forward toward the Spring.

ON MOUNTAIN HEIGHTS. (1904.)- Eliza A. Otis ...

Los picos de Europa Image Credit



ON MOUNTAIN HEIGHTS. (1904.)

0 mountains! 'mid your solemn silences,
With my heart filled with thoughtful reveries,
I love to wander, for ye speak to me,
And tell of power and awful majesty.

And then again like the dumb Sphynx ye rise,
Silent with all your hidden mysteries.
Ye know the past, but still ye will not tell
A word of its great history. Breezes swell
'Mid leaf-tongued trees that skirt thy canon's walls,

Answering to music of thy waterfalls.
Man dwells not here amid your lofty heights
That stand alone with God, watching the flight
Of Time, catching the music of the spheres,
Watching the sunrise as the Morning nears,
Beholding generations as they come and go,
E'en like a tidal wave's great overflow.

O God is here! So still, so calm, so high,
Ye are His temple, rising to the sky.
Above the world of sin, the world of care,
Your pillared domes do rest in upper air.
The fret and care of life is far away,
And here we hear God's great wind-organ play.

The waterfalls do thunder of His power,
The sunbeams sing of love, and fill each hour
With beauty. No sound of traffic's din we hear.
Peace, peace is round us, and we feel God near.

Fragrant Quote of August 24th, 2012-The works of Washington Irving... By Washington Irving

Nature's Art Gallery Image Credit

THOSE who pass their time immured in the smoke of the city, amid the rattling of carts, the brawling of the multitude, and the variety of discordant sounds that prey insensibly upon the nerves, and beget a weariness of the spirits, can alone understand and feel that expansion of the heart, that physical renovation which a citizen experiences when he steals forth from his dusty prison, to breathe the free air of heaven, and enjoy the clear face of nature. Who that has rambled by the side of one of our majestic rivers, at the hour of sunset, when the wildly romantic scenery around is softened and tinted by the voluptuous mist of evening ; when the bold and swelling outlines of the distant mountain seem melting into the glowing horizon, and a rich mantle of refulgence is thrown over the whole expanse of the heavens, but must have felt how abundant is nature in sources of pure enjoyment ; how luxuriant in all that can enliven the senses or delight the imagination. The jocund zephyr, full freighted with native fragrance, sues sweetly to the senses; the chirping of the thousand varieties of insects with which our woodlands abound forms a concert of simple melody ; even the barking of the farm dog, the lowing of the cattle, the tinkling of their bells, and the strokes of the woodman's axe from the opposite shore, seem to partake of the softness of the scene, and fall tunefully upon the ear ; while the voice of the villager, chanting some rustic ballad, swells from a distance, in the semblance of the very music of harmonious love.

At such times I am conscious of the influence of nature upon the heart ; a hallowed calm is diffused over my senses; I cast my eyes around, and every object is serene, simple, and beautiful; no warring passion, no discordant string, there vibrates to the touch of ambition, self-interest, hatred, or revenge; I am at peace with the whole world, and hail all mankind as friends and brothers. Blissful moments! ye recall the careless days of my boyhood, when mere existence was happiness, when hope was certainly, this world a paradise, and every woman a ministering angel. Surely man was designed for a tenant of the universe, instead of being pent up in these dismal cages, these dens of strife, disease, and discord. 'We were created to range the fields, to sport among the groves, to build castles in the air, and have every one of them realized!

Research Links for Lemon Ironbark/Eucalyptus staigeriana

wikipedia

australian bushfood and native medicine forum

The volatile oils, Volume 3
By Eduard Gildemeister, Friedrich Hoffmann, Schimmel & Co. Aktiengesellschaft, Miltitz bei Leipzig


Mansfeld's Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops:

Journal of the Society of Chemical Industry, Volume 25
By Society of Chemical Industry (Great Britain)


Daileys fruit tree nursery

Research Links for Nerolina/Melaleuca quinquenvervia ssp. nerolidol

Melaleuca quinquenervia Image Credit

Melaleuca quinquenervia/Wikipedia

World agroforestry

Tea Tree: The Genus Melaleuca
edited by Ian Southwell, Robert Lowe


Distribution of Melaleuca in Australia

VOICES By Madison Julius Cawein

Frühling im Erzgebirge Image Credit

VOICES By Madison Julius Cawein

WHEN blood-root blooms and trillium flowers
Unclasp their stars to sun and rain,
My heart strikes hands with winds and showers
And wanders in the woods again.

0 urging impulse, born of spring,
That makes glad April of my soul,
No bird, however wild of wing,
Is more impatient of control.

Impetuous of pulse it beats
Within my blood and bears me hence;
Above the housetops and the streets
I hear its happy eloquence.

It tells me all that I would know,
Of birds and buds, of blooms and bees;
I seem to hear the blossoms blow,
And leaves unfolding on the trees.


I seem to hear the blue-bells ring
Faint purple peals of fragrance; and
The honey-throated poppies fling
Their golden laughter o'er the land.

It calls to me; it sings to me;
I hear its far voice night and day;
I can not choose but go when tree
And flower clamor, "Come, away!"

LITTLE LADY BLUE EYES-Bert W. Wenrich.

A Cloudy Day. Bluebonnets near San Antonio, Texas Image Credit



LITTLE LADY BLUE EYES.

Once upon a time there lived at the foot of a great mountain a beautiful little girl with such blue eyes that she was called Lady Blue Eyes. She was the only child of an old shepherd, and ofttimes she would go and watch her father tend his great herd of sheep that grazed on the mountain side.

One morning, when the sun shone so bright that the little buttercups sparkled like beautiful diamonds in the bright sunshine, and the red roses opened their mouths and drank the sweet fragrance from the air, little Lady Blue Eyes started up the mountain-path toward the old tree where she knew her father often sat and watched his sheep. She was singing softly to herself when she came to where the little buttercups grew in their innocence. Her gentle song entered their hearts. So soft and sweet was the music to their souls that they lifted their drooping heads and swayed to and fro, keeping perfect time with her song. Lady Blue Eyes stopped when she saw the buttercups dancing, and sang her song louder and sweeter, while the flowers nodded backward and forward until their little heads nearly touched the ground.

"O Lady Blue Eyes, teach us your song!" the flowers cried all in one voice, "and we will show you the land where the buttercups bloom."

So Lady Blue Eyes taught her song to the flowers, and they learned so fast that soon they knew the song by heart, and could sing it nearly as beautifully as Lady Blue Eyes herself. After they had learned the sweet song, the tallest of the flowers, in gratitude, gave Lady Blue Eyes a petal from her bloom and said:

"If you eat this petal, dear little child, you will see the land where the buttercups bloom."

Lady Blue Eyes thanked the flowers, and, taking her petal, started up the mountain-path softly singing her sweet song. When she came to where the wild roses grew, they, too, cried out in one joyful voice:

"O Lady Blue Eyes, teach us your song and we will show you the land where the red roses bloom."

So she taught her song to the red roses, and the most beautiful rose gave her a petal from his bloom, saying:

"If you eat this petal, dear little child, you will see the land where the red roses bloom."

She thanked the roses and went on her way up the mountainpath until she came to the old tree, but her father was not there, and his sheep were nowhere to be seen. Blue Eyes seated herself beneath the tree to wait until her father came, as she knew that he was superstitious, and believed that if he did not sit beneath the tree some time during the day that on the day following a sheep would die. So, every day for two years he had sat there and not a sheep had he lost. She laid the petal of the buttercup and the petal of the red rose in her 'kerchief and placed them carefully in her lap, not knowing which to eat first, so she said:

"The one I think of first I will eat."

She closed her eyes and rested her fair head against the trunk of the great tree to see which she would think of first; but while she was thinking a wicked fairy who lived in the tree crept out of her home and stole the petals, placing two evil ones in their place. In the mean time Lady Blue Eyes had thought, "I saw the buttercup first;" then she clapped her hands, crying, "I thought first of the buttercup, so I will eat it."

Little Lady Blue Eyes gently took the buttercup's petal from her handerchief and was about to place it in her mouth when a great rush of wind suddenly blew it from her hand, and the evil fairy's wicked petal went sailing high into the air, soon disappearing from sight.

Blue Eyes felt very sad when the petal was gone, but she did not know that a good fairy had made the wind blow the evil fairy's wicked charm from her hand. As little Lady Blue Eyes went to take the petal of the red rose from her 'kerchief, lo! a little fairy no larger than her finger stepped forth smiling.

"Lady Blue Eyes," said the good fairy, "you are so good, and have never harmed a fly nor robbed a flower of its pure sweet life. Your heart is as gentle as the coo of a dove. Your soul is as tender as a mother to her child. You are so good and kind that I will give you back the petals of the flowers."

"Oh, kind fairy," said little Lady Blue Eyes, "I have the petal of the red rose in my handkerchief." But lo! when she looked, the petal was gone.

The good fairy told her how the evil fairy had changed the petals into evil charms, and had she eaten them she would have been wicked and cruel ever afterward.

Lady Blue Eyes felt very sad at heart, but when the fairy had given her the two real petals, and told her that if she ate them the evil fairy would be compelled to leave the tree and wander aimlessly over the world, and that her father's sheep would never die should he miss sitting beneath the tree, and that she would see the land where the buttercups and the red roses bloomed, she again felt happy. The good little fairy bade her good-bye, and Blue Eyes ate the buttercup's petal and saw the land where the buttercup bloomed. Then she ate the red rose's petal and saw the land where the red rose bloomed.

Shortly after little Lady Blue Eyes had seen the two beautiful countries, where all things were good, her father returned from a long chase of getting his sheep together. She told him all she had seen, but he only laughed and said:

"You have dreamed, dear child, a sweet dream about God's beautiful country, where good little girls go when they die."

Bert W. Wenrich.

Fragrant Quote of August 23rd, 2012-Saint Anne of the Mountains: the story of a summer in a Canadian pilgrimage ... By Effie Molt Bignell

Twin Flower Image Credit




And all around us in every direction, now clustering under the trees, now venturing out into the half shady open, riots a delicate evergreen vine bearing braces of as exquisite flowers as one could wish to see. The namesake and best beloved of the Great Linnaeus —the twin flower—the Linnaeus borealis— whose vines carry it to the door of our lodge, and whose tiny blossoms sometimes peer inquiringly into our very dwelling, while their perfumed breath mingles with the fragrance of the balsam fir. Was ever combination of fragrance more luscious or more delicate than this?

"She clings with her little arms to the moss," said Linnaeus, when telling a friend of the ways of his favorite flower—"and seems to resist very gently if you force her from it. She has a complexion like the milkmaid; and oh! she is very, very sweet and agreeable."

In the moist regions at the entrance to our bush are entire fields of the wild blue flag, and the outlying meadows of which the opening near our hut permits us to gain glimpses, are gay and fragrant with clover and buttercups, and whitened with daisies. Hardy ferns, golden rod, Joe Pye weed and many other sturdy plants and flower folk line the roadside, while the blue vetch flings its tendrils over field and wayside flowers alike. Researches in the deeper woods gain for us visions of delicate, spirit-like ferns and of timid, shade—and moisture-loving plants and flowers. The pipe of peace and the moccasin plant (the pied de cheval, the latter is not unaptly termed by our villagers) being among our most highly prized trophies.

Fragrant Quote of August 22th, 2012-My woodland intimates By Mrs. Effie (Molt) Bignell

Credit for Mondlicht Image


How strange do even every-day, familiar woodland paths appear, when entered during the hours of the night! To the forest's midnight utterance may be applied what has been said of the voice of the pines: "It whispers to us of things we have never said and never can say—things that lie deeper than words, deeper than thought. Blessed are our ears if we hear, for the message is not to be understood by every comer, nor indeed by any except at happy moments. In this temple all hearing is given by inspiration, for which reason the language of [the forest] is inarticulate, as Jesus spoke in parables." *

At last I hear a faint murmur; the slightest of rustlings among the dead leaves that cling to the boughs of this old beech. Of all the summer trees of the grove only the oaks and the beeches still keep some of their foliage. The latter trees are
"very slow in unfolding their leaves" and " extremely loath to part with them; for that matter the beeches often hold their faded, ghostly, brownwhite leaves through the winter."

In sunset lights this old tree takes on a delicate pink flush, not unlike the faint bloom one sometimes sees on aged checks; but in the starlight the dead leaves have an almost spectral appearance.

Here you see the dim, faint outline of a bare tree from near whose base long, slender brier shoots rise. When I first saw the brier it was covered with leaf and bloom, and one long, fragrant, graceful arm—its skeleton still clings to the leafless maple—carried flowers far up the trunk of the tree, even into its very branches. Thus was hidden a great scar which days of Autumn despoiling bring to view; for a lightning dart once smote the beautiful tree and seamed its strong trunk. Then it was that the sweetbrier crept into the wounded heart and shared with it her leaf and bloom and fragrance. After many days much of the old vigor returned to the stricken tree and the wound was healed; but the scar remains.

Tree and brier sleep together now, but when the spring comes they will awake to old joys and new gladness. For again little lovers will hold their trysts among the branches of the maple; again will gentle winds caress it, and the warm sun kiss it, and soft showers bathe its leaves and moisten its roots; and once more the sweetbrier arms will conceal the scarred trunk, and the wounded tree shall blossom as the rose.

Fragrant Quote of August 21st, 2012-ISHBEL ABERDEEN BEYOND THE MARSHES

Cows in the Pasture Image Credit

Have you ever caught the scent of the clover as you were whirled away by the train beyond the city on a summer's day and sped through the rich pasture lands? And do you remember how you stepped forth at the first halting-place to secure a sprig of the sweet, homely flower that had spoken to you so eloquently in its own language, and now you pressed it in your book? Does not its perfume remain with you till this day? And every now and then a fragrance is wafted to our inner senses as we read some simple story which is to us as a breath of the clover bringing us a message of sweetness and beauty, and going straight to our hearts with the power that belongs to the secrets which lie hidden at our life's core.

And this sweet prairie idyll is surely one of those fragrant messages which lays its hold on us as we pause for a moment in the midst of our fevered lives and anxious thoughts, and step across the threshold of that chamber where we must needs put our shoes from off our feet, for the place whereon we stand is holy ground. And as we press on again to life's duties, may we bear with us something of the precious perfume diffused by plants which are divine in their origin and which must be divine in their influence.

Fragrant Quote of August 20th, 2012-The Persian Moonshee By Francis Gladwin

Credit for Shah Jahan on Peacock Throne



The ordinary diurnal arrangements of this immortal empire are conducted with such a degree of judgment, that the most acute observers are amazed in the contemplation thereof; it may therefore be conjectured to what a pitch is carried the pomp and splendour exhibited on grand occasions and festivals. One of the ornaments of the glorious surface of the immortal assembly, is the new year's throne*(the famed Peacock Throne carried away from India by Nadir Shah), which is so bedecked with brilliant stones and royal pearls, that the sky has never beheld stars so resplendent, nor the like thereof been heard of throughout the universe. On it was expended near a crore of rupees, equivalent to three hundred thousand tomans of Irack, or four crores Khany of Mawerulneher. Over the throne is erected a canopy resembling the empyrean one, embroidered with valuable pearls; and by the side of it are several other thrones and chairs of gold, with Sundalees* belonging to the Kowrkhaneh. There are also two umbrellas embroidered and fringed with large pearls; and the poles by which they are fixed over two chairs, inlaid with precious stones, are ornamented in the same manner. There are also inlaid stars, valued at seventy-five thousand rupees each, which are suspended at proper distances from each other: and the imperial throne is encompassed with rails of gold and silver. The censers for burning lignum-aloes, and incense pots, are inlaid and enamelled, from whence issues a fragrance that regales the senses of every one present. A pavilion of gold and silver tissue and brocade, elevated to the sky, is supported by pillars of silver, and silken tent-ropes; together with stately Khurgahs with walls of velvet, embroidery, and brocade, and canopies of rich silks. And according to what is suitable for different places, there are spread various kinds of large and small carpets, made of Carmanian Shawl wool, of the first quality. The royal person is perfumed with the choicest odours, such as essence of roses and essence of amber, diffusing a fragrance that exhilarates the senses of all who are present; and odoriferous Argujeh, being a composition of a variety of perfumes, brought into the enlightened presence in dishes and cups, inlaid, enamelled, and of gold, together with that species of beetle leaf called Mughee, and spice boxes of gold and silver, with silken strings, are bestowed on the attendants of the paradisiacal assembly.

Fragrant Quote for August 19th, 2012-Safar nameh: Persian pictures By Gertrude Lowthian Bell

Sa'di in a Rose garden, from a manuscript of the Gulistan (Rose garden) by Sa'di. Image Credit

Quite early in the morning we rode out to his garden. We had left Tehran, and moved up to one of the villages lying eight miles nearer the mountains on the edge of the belt of fertile country which stretches along their lower slopes. Our road that morning led us still further upwards through a green land full of wild - flowers, which seemed to us inexpressibly lovely after the bare and arid deserts about the town. The air was still fresh with the delicious freshness of the dawn; dew there was none, but a light, brisk wind, the sun's forerunner, had shaken the leaves and grass by the roadside and swept the dust from them, and dying, it had left some of its cool fragrance to linger till mid-day in shadowy places. We rode along dark winding paths, under sweet smelling walnut-trees, between the high mud walls of gardens, splashing through the tiny precious streams which came down to water fields, where, although it was only June, the high corn was already mellowing amidst a glory of purple vetch. The world was awake—it wakes early in the East. Laden donkeys passed us on their way to the town, veiled women riding astride on gaily caparisoned mules, white-turbaned priests, and cantering horsemen sitting loosely in their padded saddles. Ragged beggars and half-naked dervishes were encamped by the roadside, and as we passed implored alms or hurled imprecations, as their necessity or their fanaticism indicated.

At the foot of the mountains we stopped before a long wall, less ruinous than most— a bare mud wall, straight and uncompromising, with an arched doorway in the midst of it. At our knock the double panels of the door were flung open, disclosing a flight of steps. Up these we climbed, and stood at the top amazed by the unexpected beauty which greeted us. The garden ran straight up the hillside; so steep it was that the parallel lines of paths were little but flights of high narrow stairs—short flights broken by terraces on which flower - beds were laid out, gay with roses and nasturtiums and petunias. Between the two staircases, from the top of the hill to the bottom, ran a slope of smooth blue tiles, over which flowed cascades, broadening out on the terraces into tiny tanks and fountains where the water rose and fell all day long with a cool, refreshing sound, and a soft splashing of spray. We toiled up the stairs till we came to the topmost terrace, wider than the rest. Here the many-coloured carpet of flowers gave place to a noble grove of white lilies, which stood in full bloom under the hot sunlight, and the more the sun blazed the cooler and whiter shone the lilies, the sweeter and heavier grew their fragrance. Those gardens round Tehran to which we were accustomed had been so thickly planted with trees that no ray of light had reached the flower-beds, but here in the hills, where the heat was tempered by cool winds, there was light and air in abundance. On the further side of this radiant bodyguard was a pleasure-house—■ not a house of walls, but of windows and of shutters, which were all flung open, a house through which all the winds of heaven might pass unchallenged. There was a splashing fountain in the midst of it, and on all four sides deep recesses arched away to the wide window-frames. We entered, and flinging ourselves down on the cushions of one of these recesses, gazed out on the scene below us. First in the landscape came the glitter of the little garden; lower down the hillside the clustered walnuts and poplars which shaded the villages through which we had ridden; then the brown, vacant plain, with no atmosphere but the mist of dust, with no features but the serpentining lines of mounds which marked the underground course of a stream, bounded far away by a barren line of hills, verdureless and torrent scored, and beyond them more brown plains, fainter lines of barren hills to the edge of the far horizon. Midway across the first desert lay a wide patch of trees sheltering the gardens of Tehran. Down there in the town how the sun blazed! The air was a haze of heat and dust, and a perspiring humanity toiled, hurrying hither and thither, under the dark arches of the bazaar; but in the garden of the King of Merchants all day long cool winds blew from the gates of the hills, all day long the refreshing water rippled and sparkled, all day long the white lilies at our feet lay like a reflection of the snow-capped mountains above us.

Fragrant Quote for August 18th, 2012-Fairy nightcaps. By aunt Fanny By Frances Elizabeth Barrow

In Fairyland Image Credit


IT was Midsummer eve; .*. the moon in regal splendour proudly sailed above; the fair, lovely June flowers were sleeping, fanned by the wings of the tiny zephyrs floating past. A .spell of enchantment was upon every thing, for a deep stillness reigned around; the little brown cricket had ceased to chirp; the katydid no longer quarrelled in shrill tones with her neighbour; the wail of the sad whippoorwill was hushed; the rugged sides of old Crow Nest were rounded and softened in the silvery moonbeams, adown which the little brooklet sprang this night with a more lightsome leap and a sweeter song.

Charley lay sleeping in his room, his cheek resting on his hand, and his golden curls, lightly stirred by the soft west wind, were floating upon the pillow: a faint flush rested upon his sweet face, giving it a lovely, but, alas! deceptive hue of health; his lips were slightly apart, and now they were moving as if he were softly and slowly answering some question.

The window was wide open, and the room was bright with moonbeams; but now a softer, tenderer light shone through the apartments; the air was filled with delicious fragrance, and low sweet music was heard: afar off, a halo in the moonlight was seen; it came near and nearer; now it was close to the window, and one could plainly perceive that it was a shining band of fairies, floating on the moonbeams with their beautiful Queen at their head.

They stopped at the window, for the Queen, with a wave of her sceptre, gave them to understand that she would enter alone.

She was radiant to-night; a magnificent necklace of many-coloured stones cut from a rainbow, sparkled like a wreath of prismatic fire around her white and slender throat; her wings were fringed with small diamond dew-drops; her robe was fashioned of the royal purple velvet of the pansy; and her crown and sceptre flashed with precious gems.

"But, oh! her beauty was far beyond
Her sparkling jewels:" for the sweet loving expression that beamed from her eyes, and the smile that played about the corners of her beautiful mouth, mirrored the pure, unselfish, spotless nature of the Queen.

Fragrant Quote for August 17th, 2012-Notes from nature's garden By Frances Anne Bardswell

Credit for Image of Poplar Tree


The Black Poplar, Populus nigra, is among our greatest favourites, always one of the first in leaf and never more enjoyable than in early spring, when the opening leaf-buds of a vivid olive-green colour contrast strikingly with the dark tint of the bark, and give out a powerful and delicious scent. The whole neighbourhood of the trees is pervaded by fragrance that reminds everybody of something different, so it must be a very compound smell. To one it recalls incense, another is reminded of the West Indian Islands, and a third of the delicious aromatic smell of a chemist's shop, so far more refreshing than that of a perfumer's. Later on, the perfume is far less marked, but comes back in whiffs when the sun shines again after a shower of rain.

In a wind-storm, when in full leaf, these trees behave beautifully; they bend and toss and throw up their arms wildly, straining at the roots; but they keep their feet in spite of all the wind can do, and are none the worse for the tussle afterwards. We indulge in one short poem about the Poplar tree, for it is well deserved. It is by Margaret Campbell.

Oh the Poplar is a lady gay and fair
Who will find some quiet pleasure anywhere,
In soft chapter to the birds,
And her leaves like whispered words
Carry far her gentle speech upon the air.

Pass her early when the day is but begun
Shy, swift smiles are hers to greet the morning sun;
You may note them as you pass,
For the shadow on the grass
Dances daintily and catches every one.

Silver green her leaves are cool the summer long
As they twirl and pat and flutter small and strong;
But for Autumn rich and bold,
She will turn them all to gold
And they float like notes of music to his song.

Fragrant Quote for August 16th, 2012-Notes from nature's garden By Frances Anne Bardswell

In the Secret Garden.


Now is the time for enjoying the soft darkness of summer nights. In July the twilight was too long for us to see the stars except as twinkling shadows. August is the month for star-gazing, and this is how it is people are so much at home in the August heavens, and expect the Great Bear and Little Bear to be for ever as we see them then.

In the darkness of the summer garden how unfamiliar look the flowers we know by heart in daytime. The pinks and scarlets are not seen, only the blossoms that are white. It is as if the Judgment Day were here, when, as we hope, only fair souls will be visible and the rest will not exist. It is not alone the scent of flowers or trees and the late bloom of roses that makes the August night so strangely sweet; it is the mystery of the unseen, which is nearer to us when the ordinary becomes the invisible, just as through the darkness are best seen the stars.

But it is possible to live all through the bounteous summer without ever once entering into her true spirit. To know the summer as she really is, we must watch her busy with the homely sweetness of her daily work, unfolding, expanding, ripening; we must leave the houses made with hands and spend our days— aye, days and nights too—in the open. We must listen to the music of the winds and waves, and "count the daisies upon dappled fields."

Nature never tells her secrets to any but her closest friends; we must cling to her fast as the creeper to the wall Then at rare moments she will give us glimpses of her inner self and the invisible which she expresses, and which lies outside the limit of our space and time.

Fragrant Quote for August 15th, 2012-Notes from nature's garden By Frances Anne Bardswell

Galium odoratum/Sweet Woodruff Image Credit




Among our English wild flowers there are few more simple and unassuming than
sweet-woodruff. It has neither the colour glory of the poppy, nor the rich fragrance of the violet or meadow-sweet, yet somehow it wins its way to every heart. Other flowers are gathered and cast aside, but the woodruff is brought home and treasured.

Such a sympathetic little flower it is! We dry the leaves, and place them in our drawers, or press a whorl of them between the pages of a book; to do this neatly we shall have cut the stem quite close above and below the green circle of eight leaflets, which will leave an almost perfect star. Long afterwards these withered woodruff leaves, by their lingering fragrance of new-mown hay, will bring us back the memories of pleasant hours on sunny days; the sweet faint scent will cling to them as long as the star endures.

Fragrant Quote for August 14th, 2012-The rambles of an idler By Charles Conrad Abbott

Sunrise over Grassy Pond, Rindge, NH, USA Image Credit



There is much in Nature that defies language. A correct description is alike beyond the mathematician and the poet. An approach to it is all one can accomplish. The writer can but outline; the reader must fill in for himself. As an instance, the air we breathe, when it threatens to rain, is not just the same as in ordinary weather. It is equally acceptable to the lungs but we appreciate a difference while inhaling it. We can speak of electricity, ozone, oxygen, but we must breathe that subtle something then abroad to know what it all means. At such a time, too, there is not so bright a light as when the sun shines, yet the horizon is more distinct and intervening objects stand out as not before. An apparent contradiction, so far as mere words go, but it is true, nevertheless. No bird sings more loudly than when the sun shines, yet we can hear each note, just before the rain, more distinctly than in fair weather. "Words, mere words, again! The ring of every bird's note, the odor of every blossom, the effect on the eye of the peculiar light; in brief, the comprehensive impression of all surrounding us laughs at language.

Fragrant Quote for August 13th, 2012-Days out of doors, Volume 2 By Charles Conrad Abbott

Song thrush near Faringdon Folly Image Credit


But May is a month to be enjoyed, not coldly discussed, and enthusiasm should thrill to the very finger-tips of every one who, on the morning of the month's first day, hears the thrush, grosbeak, oriole, and a host of warblers as they greet the rising sun. And rest assured, dear startled reader, that unless you are astir before the sun is fairly above the horizon you will never know what bird-music really is. It is not alone the mingled voices of a dozen sweet songsters; for the melody needs the dewy dawn, the half-opened flowers, the odor-laden breeze that is languid from very sweetness, and a canopy of misty, rosy-tinted cloud, to blend them to a harmonious whole, and so faintly foreshadow what a perfected world may be.
Fragrant Quote for August 12th, 2012-Days out of doors, Volume 2 By Charles Conrad Abbott

Vetiver a Miracle Grass

Vetiver a Miracle Grass

Fragrant Quote for August 12th, 2012-Outings at odd times By Charles Conrad Abbott

Pennyroyal flower (Mentha pulegium) Image Credit



Wandering recently in and out the woods and fields, tramping aimlessly whithersoever fancy led me, I crushed with my feet, at last, a stem of pennyroyal. Catching the warm fragrance of its pungent oil, straightway the little loved present vanished. How true it is that many an odor, however faint, opens the closed doors of the past! Prosy and commonplace it may seem, but full many a time a whiff from the kitchen of some old farm-house, where I have stopped for a drink of water, recalls another farm-kitchen, redolent of marvelous gingerbread and pies, such as I have failed to find in recent years, and with their tempting spiciness went that subtle odor, from which indeed the whole house was never free, that of sweet smelling herbs. I am daily thankful that the herbs at least have not changed, as the years roll by. It is the same pennyroyal that my grandmother gathered; and think to what strange use she put it! Made pennyroyal puddings! Let them go down to posterity by name only.

Fragrant Quote for August 11th, 2012-The rainbow trail: a romance By Zane Grey

Baum (Juniperus osteosperma) in Canyonlands-Nationalpark in Utah Image Credit
The day was bright and warm, with air so clear it magnified objects he knew to be far away. The ascent was gradual; there were many narrow flats connected by steps; and the grass grew thicker and longer. At noon Shefford halted under the first cedar-tree, a lonely, dwarfed shrub that seemed to have had a hard life. From this point the rise of ground was more perceptible, and straggling cedars led the eye on to a purple slope that merged into green of pifion and pine. Could that purple be the sage Venters had so feelingly described, or was it merely the purple of deceiving distance? Whatever it might be, it gave Shefford a thrill and made him think of the strange, shy, and lovely woman Venters had won out here in this purple-sage country.

He calculated that he had ridden thirty miles the day before and had already traveled ten miles today, and therefore could hope to be in the pass before night. Shefford resumed his journey with too much energy and enthusiasm to think of being tired. And he discovered presently that the straggling cedars and the slope beyond were much closer than he had judged them to be. He reached the sage to find it gray instead of purple. Yet it was always purple a little way ahead, and if he half shut his eyes it was purple near at hand. He was surprised to find that he could not breathe freely, or it seemed so, and soon made the discovery that the sweet, pungent, penetrating fragrance of sage and cedar had this strange effect upon him. This was an exceedingly dry and odorous forest, where every open space between the clumps of cedars was choked with luxuriant sage. The pinions were higher up on the mesa, and the pines still higher. Shefford appeared to lose himself. There were no trails; the black mesa on the right and the wall of stone on the left could not be seen; but he pushed on with what was either singular confidence or rash impulse. And he did not know whether that slope was long or short.

Fragrant Quote for August 10th, 2012-Railway review, Volume 59 edited by Walter Mason Camp

The Curecanti Needle in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River, Colorado. Image Credit



On the eastern side there are three large tributary canyons, from north to south, as follows: Black canyon, Bull Elk canyon, already mentioned, and Devil canyon, which connects with the main Big Horn canyon at the southern or upper end. Coming in from the west there is one large tributary canyon known as Dry Head, which joins the main canyon about a mile above the Horse Shoe curve. All of these tributary canyons are deep, rugged and very beautiful, and each of them carries a stream of clear and cold mountain water well filled with trout of large size. The Big Horn river itself, with its drainage area of 21,000 square miles, as is well known, is formed in part by tributaries from an alluvial country and is at times a very murky stream.

Mr. W. W. Gail, editor of the Billings Gazette, has eloquently pictured the scenic features as follows: "One needs but a glimpse of it to realize that here nature has designed a masterpiece of scenic art, here attained most nearly to perfection in the handicraft from which mankind derives joy and inspiration. Rugged beyond description, replete with delicate tints which merge and mingle upon precipitous cliffs, and jutting crags that seem to pierce the very sky, twisting and turning incessantly as it cuts its way through walls, the shadows of which play in constant change upon the sparkling surface of the stream, the canyon reveals new wonders and delights at every turn: and its lure calls one on and on into the primeval fastnesses in the depths of which bear and wolf and mountain lion still live in almost undisturbed seclusion, and in whose crystal streams huge mountain trout sport like 'naiads of the wand'ring brooks.' And though far above, where a narrow strip of blue shows between the lofty walls, the air may be awhirl, within the deep recesses of the gorge the atmosphere is still and quiet, and with the rippling music of the river the gentle canyon breezes carry the fragrance of cedar and wild flowers and the coolness of the stream in a mingled lullaby of sound and sense."

Fragrant Quote for August 9th, 2012-Old Plymouth trails By Winthrop Packard

Winter_Forest_with_a_Brook Image Credit

Fragrant Quote for August 9th, 2012-Old Plymouth trails By Winthrop Packard

The brook tells me more of nature than it does of man, perhaps because it has known man for so short a time, though I should say shows rather than tells. A hundred forms of life live in it and on it, while through the air above float a thousand more, or the evidences of them. Down stream come the scents of the flowers in bloom above. Just a week or two ago the dominant odor among these was the sticky sweetness of the azalea. It is an odor that breathes of laziness. Only the hot, damp breath of the swamp carries it and lulls to languor and "to sensuous dreams. Mid-August is near and though here and there a belated azalea bloom still glows white in the dusk of the swamp its odor seems to have no power to ride the wind. Instead a cleaner, finer perfume dances in rhythmic motion down the dell, swaying in sprightly time to the under rhythm of the brook's tone, a scent that seems to laugh as it greets you, yet in no wise losing its inherent, gentle dignity. The wild clematis is the fairest maiden of the woodland. She, I am convinced, knows all the brook says and loves to listen to it, twining her arms about the alder shrubs, bending low till her 'Starry eyes are mirrored in the dimpled surface beneath her, and always sending this teasing, dainty perfume out upon the breeze that it may call to her new friends. Long ago the Greeks named the Clematis Virgin's Bower, but our wild variety is more than that. It is the virgin.

Fragrant Quote for August 8th, 2012-White mountain trails: tales of the trails to the summit of mount Washington ... By Winthrop Packard

View of The Lions from the Hollyburn Mountain Trail, Cypress Provincial Park, British Columbia Image Credit
Fragrant Quote for August 8th, 2012-White mountain trails: tales of the trails to the summit of mount Washington ... By Winthrop Packard

In places the river-side banks are white with stars of Houstonia and the lilac alpine violets nod from slender stems nearby. Down the high cliffs the mountain avens climbs and sets its golden blooms in the most inaccessible places, flowers from the low valleys and the alpine heights thus mingling and making the deep ravine sweet with fragrance and wild beauty. The rough cliffs loom upward to frowning heights on three sides, but on their dizziest gray pinnacles the fearless wild flowers root and garland their crags, clinging in crevices from summit to base. With equal courage the alders have climbed them till they can peer at the very summit of the high mountain across the windswept alpine garden.

Fragrant Quote for August 7th, 2012-Wild pastures By Winthrop Packard

Fragrant Quote for August 7th, 2012

A blind man who knows the pasture should know what part of it he is in and the pasture people that are about him of a June morning simply by the use of his other senses. The birds he would know by sound, the shrubs and trees by smell. Each has its distinctive set of odors differing with differing circumstances, but never varying under the same conditions. The barberry fruit when fully ripe, especially if the frost has mellowed it, has a faint, pleasant, vinous smell which, with the crimson beauty of the clustered berries, might well tempt our grandmothers to make barberry sauce, however much the men folk might declare that it was but shoe-pegs and molasses.

The blossoms are equally beautiful in their pendant yellow racemes which seem to flood the bush with golden light, but the odor of the blossoms, though the first sniff is sweet, has an after touch which is not pleasant. Crush the leaves as you pass and you shall get a smell as of cheap vinegar with something of the back kick of a table d'hote claret. Crush the leaves of the swamp azalea and get a strawberrymusk flavor that is faint but delightful.

Sniff as you shoulder your way through the high blueberry bushes and you may note that the crushed leaves have a certain vinous odor like one of the flavors of a good salad. The blossoms of the high-bush blackberry, whose thorns tear your hands, have a faint and endearing smell as of June roses that are so far away that you get just a whiff of them in a dream. The azalea that a month later will make the moist air swoon with sticky sweetness now gives out from its leaves something that reminds you of wild strawberries that you tasted years ago. It is as delicate and as reminiscent as that.

Under your foot the sweet-fern breathes a resin that is "like pious incense from a censer old," the bayberry sniffs of the wax of altar candles lighted at high mass in fairy land, and over by the brook the sweet-gale gives a finer fragrance even than these. There are but three members of this family, — the Myrica or Sweet-Gale family, — yet it is one that the pasture could least afford to miss. The fragrance of their spirits descends like a benediction on all about them, and I have a fancy that it is steadily influencing the lives of the other pasture folk. I know that the low-bush black huckleberry, the kind of the sweet, glossy black fruit that crisps under your teeth because of the seeds in it, grows right amongst sweet-fern whenever it can. Now if you crush the leaves of the lowbush black huckleberry you shall get from them a faint ghost of resinous aroma which is very like that of the sweet-fern. Thus do sweet lives pass their fragrance on to those about them.

Many of these familiar odors had come to me during the night as I half slept and half listened to the vocal duel between the thrush and the whip-poorwill, but as I sprang to my feet at sunrise from my dent in the pasture moss I got a whiff of another which seemed more subtly elusive, more faintly fine than these, perhaps because, though I seemed to recognize it, I could not name it.

Many things I could name as I have named them here, but this escaped me. It had in it some of that real fragrance, a joy without alloy, which you get in late July or August from the clethra, the white alder which lines the brook and the pond shore with its beautiful clusters of odoriferous white spikes.



But by no stretch of the imagination could I bring the white alder to bloom in early June. Moreover, it had only a suggestion of that in its purity of fragrance. There was more to this. There was a spicy, teasing titillation that made me think of bubbles in a tall glass, and it is a wonder that that thought did not name it for me, but it did n't.

The sun was tipping the dew-wet bush tops with opal scintillations that soak you to the skin as you shoulder through them, but that did not matter; I was dressed for it, and so on I went, taking continual shower-baths cheerfully, but always with that teasing, alluring scent in my nostrils. Now and then I lost it; often it was confused and overridden by other stronger odors. Once I forgot it.

Fragrant Quote for August 6th, 2012-Literary pilgrimages of a naturalist By Winthrop Packard


Haystacks on the Newburyport Marshes Image Credit




When the east wind blows in on this lovely country of pasture, field and woodland it brings the roar of the sea and the smell of it. The breakers that smash against the boulder-strewn base of Third Cliff send the call of the wide spaces of the earth into the secluded glades, and match the lure of their odors against the fragrance of the woods. And here between the two lies the level stretch of the salt marsh, the noman's land, the Tom Tiddler's ground, which the sea may seize but never quite possess, which the country may invade but never overrun. The marsh is a little border world of itself, with its own plants, its own birds, even its own air. It infuses into the cool rich breath of the sea a tonic fragrance of its own, and there is a rich harmony in the coloring of its wide levels that more than matches any beauty that the land or the sea has to give. Colors drawn from the weeds of the deep sea caves and the clear depths of cool brine, olives and browns and greens, keen grays and soft blues, are in the marsh, shaded and toned to an individuality of their own, as tonic to the eye as its ozonic odors are to the sense of smell.

Fragrant Quote for August 5th, 2012-Old Plymouth trails By Winthrop Packard

North Sea coast Image Credit



Yet howsoever vivid the life or astounding by its multiplicity it is not impressions of these that linger long after one has come up from the bottom of the ebb. It is rather that here one has breathed the air of the deep life laboratory of the world, that into his lungs and pores and all through his marrow has thrilled a breath of that subtle essence, that life renewing principle which Fernando de Soto sought in the fountain of youth which he thought bubbled from Florida sands but which in reality foamed beneath his furrowing keel as he ploughed the sea in search of it. It is the same thrill which the wilting west wind steeps from the salt marsh as it comes across, some baffling and alluring ether distilled from under-sea caverns where cool green mermen tend emerald fires. The scent of it levitates from the wash of every wave and if you will watch with pure eyes and clear sight you may of moonlight nights see white-bodied mermaids flashing through the combers to drink of it. No wonder these are immortal.

Nor can you take from the things of the sea this life-giving essence, 'once they have attained it through growth during immersion in its depths, though perchance, as Emerson sang, "they left their beauty on the shore, with the sun and the sand and the wild uproar." The shell on the mantel shelf of the mariner's inland home may be unsightly and out of place. But put your ear to it. Out of the common noises of the day,.it weaves for you the song of the deep tides, the murmur of ocean caves and the croon of the breakers on the outer reef, and dull indeed is your inner ear if you cannot hear these things, and at the sound see the perfect curl of green waves and smell that cool fragrance which comes only from their breaking.

To the marshes in summer come the farmers from far inland, making holiday for themselves while they work. They cut the short salt hay that seems so stiff and tough, that is so soft and velvety, in fact, and pile it on their wains and take it home to the cattle that like it better than any English hay that they can cut from the carefully tilled home fields. Indeed the cattle ought to like this hay. It is soft as the autumn rowen, and mixed with all the delicate, fragrant herbs of the marsh. The tang of the sea salt is in it, and no man knows what delicate essence borne far on the wandering tides to the flavoring of its fibre. No matter how long you may leave this hay in the mow you have but to stir it to get the soft rich flavor of the sea and breathe a little of that salty vigor which seems to go to the seasoning of the best of life. I have an idea the cattle love it for this too, and as they chew its cud inherited memory stirs within them, and they roam the marshes with the aurochs and tingle with the savage joy of freedom.

Out along the rocks to seaward at low tide go the mossers and with long rakes rip the carragheen from its hold and load their dories with its golden-brown masses. Then they bring it ashore and spread it out in the sun as the farmers do their hay, that it may dry and bleach. Just as the salt hay, touched for a brief happy hour at each tide with the cool strength of the sea, retains the flavor of it always, so the Irish moss that grows in the depths and is hardly awash at the lowest of the ebb, overflows with it and is so bursting with this fragrance of the unknown that no change that comes to it can drive it out. When the wind is off-shore and you may not scent the sea, when the sun bakes the hot sand and dries the blood so that it seems as if the only way to prolong life is to wade out neck deep in the surges and there stay until the wind comes from the east again, you have but to go to the leeward of these piles of bleaching carragheen to find it giving forth the same cooling fragrance which the tides have made a part of its structure. You may take this moss home with you and cook it, but the heat of your fire will no more destroy its essence than did the heat of the sun, and in your first mouthful of the produce, which may in appearance give no hint of its origin, you taste the cool sea depths and feel yourself nourished as if with some vital principle.

Fragrant Quote for August 4th, 2012-The writings of John Muir, Volume 8 By John Muir

Mount Shasta Image Credit



Yet, strange to say, there are days even here somewhat dull-looking, when the mountain seems uncommunicative, sending out no appreciable invitation, as if not at home. At such times its height seems much less, as if, crouching and weary, it were taking rest. But Shasta is always at home to those who love her, and is ever in a thrill of enthusiastic activity — burning fires within, grinding glaciers without, and fountains ever flowing. Every crystal dances responsive to the touches of the sun, and currents of sap in the growing cells of all the vegetation are ever in a vital whirl and rush, and though many feet and wings are folded, how many are astir! And the wandering winds, how busy they are, and what a breadth of sound and motion they make, glinting and bubbling about the crags of the summit, sifting through the woods, feeling their way from grove to grove, ruffling the loose hair on the shoulders of the bears, fanning and rocking young birds in their cradles, making a trumpet of every corolla, and carrying their fragrance around the world.

In unsettled weather, when storms are growing, the mountain looms immensely higher, and its miles of height become apparent to all, especially in the gloom of the gathering clouds, or when the storm is done and they are rolling away, torn on the edges and melting while in the sunshine. Slight rain-storms are likely to be encountered in a trip round the mountain, but one may easily find shelter beneath wellthatched trees that shed the rain like a roof. Then the shining of the wet leaves is delightful, and the steamy fragrance, and the burst of bird-song from a multitude of thrushes and finches and warblers that have nests in the chaparral.

The nights, too, are delightful, watching with Shasta beneath the great starry dome. A thousand thousand voices are heard, but so finely blended they seem a part of the night itself, and make a deeper silence. And how grandly do the great logs and branches of your campfire give forth the heat and light that dming their long century-lives they have so slowly gathered from the sun, storing it away in beautiful dotted cells and beads of amber gum! The neighboring trees look into the charmed circle as if the noon of another day had come, familiar flowers and grasses that chance to be near seem far more beautiful and impressive than by day, and as the dead trees give forth their light all the other riches of their lives seem to be set free and with the rejoicing flames rise again to the sky. In setting out from Strawberry Valley, by bearing off to the northwestward a few miles you may see

"... beneath dim aisles, in odorous beds, The slight Linruea hang its twin-born heads, And [bless] the monument of the man of flowers, Which breathes his sweet fame through the northern bowers."

Fragrant Quote for August 3rd, 2012-The Mountains of California by John Muir

Passing_Storm_over_the_Sierra_Nevada Image credit
Fragrant Quote for August 3rd, 2012-The Mountains of California by John Muir

Storms are fine speakers, and tell all they know, but their voices of lightning, torrent, and rushing wind are much less numerous than the nameless still, small voices too low for human ears; and because we are poor listeners we fail to catch much that is fairly within reach. Our best rains are heard mostly on roofs, and winds in chimneys; and when by choice or compulsion we are pushed into the heart of a storm, the confusion made by cumbersome equipments and nervous haste and mean fear, prevent our hearing any other than the loudest expressions. Yet we may draw enjoyment from storm sounds that are beyond hearing, and storm movements we cannot see. The sublime whirl of planets around their suns is as silent as raindrops oozing in the dark among the roots of plants. In this great storm, as in every other, there were tones and gestures inexpressibly gentle manifested in the midst of what is called violence and fury, but easily recognized by all who look and listen for them. The rain brought out the colors of the woods with delightful freshness, the rich brown of the bark .of the trees and the fallen burs and leaves and dead ferns; the grays of rocks and lichens; the light purple of swelling buds, and the warm yellow greens of the libocedrus and mosses. The air was steaming with delightful fragrance, not rising and wafting past in separate masses, but diffused through all the atmosphere. Pine woods are always fragrant, but most so in spring when the young tassels are opening and in warm weather when the various gums and balsams are softened by the sun. The wind was now chafing their innumerable needles and the warm rain was steeping them. Monardella grows here in large beds in the openings, and there is plenty of laurel in dells and manzanita on the hillsides, and the rosy, fragrant chamoebatia carpets the ground almost everywhere. These, with the gums and balsams of the woods, form the main local fragrance-fountains of the storm. The ascending clouds of aroma wind-rolled and rain-washed became pure like light and traveled with the wind as part of it. Toward the middle of the afternoon the main flood cloud lifted along its western border revealing a beautiful section of the Sacramento Valley some twenty or thirty miles away, brilliantly sun-lighted and glistering with rain-sheets as if paved with silver. Soon afterward a jagged bluff-like cloud with a sheer face appeared over the valley of the Yuba, dark-colored and roughened with numerous furrows like some huge lava-table. The blue Coast Range was seen stretching along the sky like a beveled wall, and the somber, craggy Marysville Buttes rose impressively out of the flooded plain like islands out of the sea. Then the rain began to abate and I sauntered down through the dripping bushes reveling in the universal vigor and freshness that inspired all the life about me. How clean and unworn and immortal the woods seemed to be!—the lofty cedars in full bloom laden with golden pollen and their washed plumes shining; the pines rocking gently and settling back into rest, and the evening sunbeams spangling on the broad leaves of the madronos, their tracery of yellow boughs relieved against dusky thickets of Chestnut Oak; liverworts, lycopodiums, ferns were exulting in glorious revival, and every moss that had ever lived seemed to be coming crowding back from the dead to clothe each trunk and stone in living green. The steaming ground seemed fairly to throb and tingle with life; smilax, fritillaria, saxifrage, and young violets were pushing up as if already conscious of the summer glory, and innumerable green and yellow buds were peeping and smiling everywhere.

Fragrant Quote for August 2nd, 2012-Alaska Days by John Muir

Alaska ANWR Canning River Image Credit
Fragrant Quote for August 2nd, 2012

Gliding along the swift-flowing river, the views change with bewildering rapidity. Wonderful, too, are the changes dependent on the seasons and the weather. In spring, when the snow is melting fast, you enjoy the countless rejoicing waterfalls; the gentle breathing of warm winds; the colors of the young leaves and flowers when the bees are busy and wafts of fragrance are drifting hither and thither from miles of wild roses, clover, and honeysuckle; the swaths of birch and willow on the lower slopes following the melting of the winter avalanche snow-banks; the bossy cumuli swelling in white and purple piles above the highest peaks; gray rain-clouds wreathing the outstanding brows and battlements of the walls; and the breaking-forth of the sun after the rain; the shining of the leaves and streams and crystal architecture of the glaciers; the rising of fresh fragrance; the song of the happy birds; and the serene color-grandeur of the morning and evening sky. In summer you find the groves and gardens in full dress; glaciers melting rapidly under sunshine and rain; waterfalls in all their glory; the river rejoicing in its strength; young birds trying their wings; bears enjoying salmon and berries; all the life of the canon brimming full like the streams. In autumn comes rest, as if the year's work were done. The rich, hazy sunshine streaming over the cliffs calls forth the last of the gentians and goldenrods; the groves and thickets and meadows bloom again as their leaves change to red and yellow petals; the rocks also, and the glaciers, seem to bloom like the plants in the mellow golden light. And so goes the song, change succeeding change in sublime harmony through all the wonderful seasons and weather.

Fragrant Quote for August 1st, 2012

: California Redwoods Image Credit



Fragrant Quote for August 1st, 2012-The Writings of John Muir: My first summer in the Sierra
By John Muir

July 21. Sketching on the Dome — no rain; clouds at noon about quarter filled the sky, casting shadows with fine effect on the white mountains at the heads of the streams, and a soothing cover over the gardens during the warm hours.

Saw a common house-fly and a grasshopper and a brown bear. The fly and grasshopper paid me a merry visit on the top of the Dome, and I paid a visit to the bear in the middle of a small garden meadow between the Dome and the camp where he was standing alert among the flowers as if willing to be seen to advantage. I had not gone more than half a mile from camp this morning, when Carlo, who was trotting on a few yards ahead of me, came to a sudden, cautious standstill. Down went tail and ears, and forward went his knowing nose, while he seemed to be saying, "Ha, what's this? A bear, I guess." Then a cautious advance of a few steps, setting his feet down softly like a hunting cat, and questioning the air as to the scent he had caught until all doubt vanished. Then he came back to me, looked me in the face, and with his speaking eyes reported a bear near by; then led on softly, careful, like an experienced hunter, not to make the slightest noise, and frequently looking back as if whispering, "Yes, it's a bear; come and I'll show you." Presently we came to where the sunbeams were streaming through between the purple shafts of the firs, which showed that we were nearing an open spot, and here Carlo came behind me, evidently sure that the bear was very near. So I crept to a low ridge of moraine boulders on the edge of a narrow garden meadow, and in this meadow I felt pretty sure the bear must be. I was anxious to get a good look at the sturdy mountaineer without alarming him; so drawing myself up noiselessly back of one of the largest of the trees I peered past its bulging buttresses, exposing only a part of my head,

and there stood neighbor Bruin within a stone's throw, his hips covered by tall grass and flowers, and his front feet on the trunk of a fir that had fallen out into the meadow, which raised his head so high that he seemed to be standing erect. He had not yet seen me, but was looking and listening attentively, showing that in some way he was aware of our approach. I watched his gestures and tried to make the most of my opportunity to learn what I could about him, fearing he would catch sight of me and run away. For I had been told that this sort of bear, the cinnamon, always ran from his bad brother man, never showing fight unless wounded or in defense of young. He made a telling picture standing alert in the sunny forest garden. How well he played his part, harmonizing in bulk and color and shaggy hair with the trunks of the trees and lush vegetation, as natural a feature as any other in the landscape. After examin-* ing at leisure, noting the sharp muzzle thrust inquiringly forward, the long shaggy hair on his broad chest, the stiff, erect ears nearly buried in hair, and the slow, heavy way he moved his head, I thought I should like to see his gait in running, so I made a sudden rush at him, shouting and swinging my hat to frighten him, expecting to see him make haste to get away. But to my dismay he did not run or show any sign of running. On the contrary, he stood his ground ready to fight and defend himself, lowered his head, thrust it forward, and looked sharply and fiercely at me. Then I suddenly began to fear that upon me would fall the work of running; but I was afraid to run, and therefore, like the bear, held my ground. We stood staring at each other in solemn silence within a dozen yards or thereabouts, while I fervently hoped that the power of the human eye over wild beasts would prove as great as it is said to be. How long our awfully strenuous interview lasted, I don't know; but at length in the slow fullness of time he pulled his huge paws down off the log, and with magnificent deliberation turned and walked leisurely up the meadow, stopping frequently to look back over his shoulder to see whether I was pursuing him, then moving on again, evidently neither fearing me very much nor trusting me. He was probably about five hundred pounds in weight, a broad, rusty bundle of ungovernable wildness, a happy fellow whose lines have fallen in pleasant places. The flowery glade in which I saw him so well, framed like a picture, is one of the best of all I have yet discovered, a conservatory of Nature's precious plant people. Tall lilies were swinging their bells over that bear's back, with geraniums, larkspurs, columbines, and daisies brushing against his sides. A place for angels, one would say, instead of bears.