January Fragrance

I am going to tell you of my discovery of winter fragrances. Perhaps you can tell me of some discovery you have made that is equally as interesting. Late one January afternoon I was standing under the brow of a hill watching some lusty crows tacking against a brisk southwest wind. The ground was frozen and partially covered with snow. I was in a sheltered position, yet occasionally quite strong currents of air swept around me. It seemed that I could detect a sweet smell, a fragrance, just as the current which bore it passed on, leaving a lull. The crows gone, I gave this my full attention. There was no doubt about it. It was a delicate fragrance that seemed to follow the low currents of air. Also it was a familiar fragrance; but meeting it on a bleak January hillside, I did not recognize it it, just as we fail to recognize some acquaintances when we unexpectedly meet them away from some accustomed environments. I was on my way to make a call on a pair of long-billed marsh-wrens  whose acquaintance I had made in the early winter. I wanted to know if they were still keeping house down there in the flat land along the brook, and to keep up the friendship; but this new phenomenon, a sweet odor in the air on a frosty January day, claimed my full attention, and I abandoned my visit to the wrens and went in pursuit of the source of the fragrance.

It was only reasonable to believe that I would find it to the windward side; so I followed back against the wind, sniffing the air as busily and earnestly as a hound on a fox's trail. Only occasionally could I pick up the sweet odor, and never in the strong wind. I tried a lateral course with the wind, and finally concluded that I had found a path or current of air about thirty feet wide in which the fragrance was almost constant.
About four hundred yards further back I came to the ruins of a burned farmhouse; the ground, that had once been a garden, had the summer just past been covered with a rank growth of artemesia, commonly known as old man, or sweet fern. So this was the source of the January fragrance, the mysterious perfume bottle which the winds had uncorked. The winter blasts were breaking up the dried stalks and the fragrance was being wafted away just as naturally as if they had been June breezes. Since then I have observed this fragrance quite often in the winter. It is not necessary, however, that the stalks be broken to liberate the fragrance, for on still cold days it is quite noticeable in its immediate vicinity. 
Blue Bird, Volumes 2-4

There is another plant, the catnip, that furnishes a fragrance any month of the year. This plant is very hardy. It is not an uncommon sight to see the green leaves any winter month. These four winter fragrances I have mentioned are strong and can be detected by any one.

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There are, however, other odors of the out-of-doors that require an unusual keen sense of smell to detect and enjoy. Among them is the odor common to the woods—the forest odor. It is neither sweet nor spicy nor musty. Something about it suggests bitter. The only words that seem to fit are “fresh,” “clean.” The odor from shucks of corn is like a sweet mustiness and can be detected at long distances by keen olfactory nerves. The dried plants of life everlasting give off a bland odor. One often meets it in waste fields in midwinter. It would be interesting to our readers to hear from others on this subject of winter fragrances.

Blue Bird, Volumes 2-4

The pungent and unique scent of the bayberry, equally strong in leaf and berry, is to me one of the elements of the purity and sweetness of the air of our New England coast fields in autumn. It grows everywhere, green and cheerful, in sun-withered shore pastures, in poor bits of earth on our rocky coast, where it has few fellow field-tenants to crowd the ground. It is said that the highest efforts of memory are stimulated through our sense of smell, by the association of ideas with scents. That of bayberry, whenever I pass it, seems to awaken in me an hereditary memory, to recall a life of two centuries ago. I recall the autumns of trial and of promise in our early history, and the bayberry fields are peopled with children in Puritan garb, industriously gathering the tiny waxen fruit. Equally full of sentiment is the scent of my burning bayberry candles, which were made last autumn in an old colony town.
Home Life in Colonial Days
 By Alice Morse Earle

There are few persons who have a strong enough love of leaf scents, or interest in herbs, to make them willing to spend much time in working in an herb garden. The beauty and color of flowers would compensate them, but not the growth or scent of leafage. It is impossible to describe to one who does not feel by instinct "the lure of green things growing," the curious stimulation, the sense of intoxication, of delight, brought by working among such green-growing, sweet-scented things. The maker of this interesting garden felt this stimulation and delight; and at her city home on a bleak day in December we both revelled in holding and breathing in the scent of tiny sprays of Rue, Rosemary, and Balm which, still green, had been gathered from beneath fallen leaves and stalks in her country garden, as a tender and grateful attention of one herb lover to another. Thus did she prove Shakespeare's words true even on the shores of Lake Michigan : —
"Rosemary and Rue: these keep
Seeming and savor all the winter long."
Old Time Gardens, Newly Set Forth
 By Alice Morse Earle

The whole family gathered in large quantities from roadsides and pastures the oily bayberries, and from them the thrifty and capable wife made scores of candles for winter use, patiently filling and refilling her few moulds, or "dipping" the candles again and again until large enough to use. These pale-green bayberry tallow candles, when lighted in the early winter evening, sent forth a faint spicy fragrance — a true New England incense — that fairly perfumed and Orientalized the atmosphere of the parsonage kitchen. They were very saving, however, even of these homemade candles, blowing them out during the long family prayers.
The Sabbath in Puritan New England
 By Alice Morse Earle


Nightfall and the afterglow: the woods dark on the horizon, the fields silvery with frost; the sky a revelation of the innumerable shining company that stands in the presence of the Lord of all the Earth. From horizon to zenith they stand—their wings touching—led by the flaming Cherubim. O Trappist tree dark-cowled before them—O host of purity! O type of sin!
Far through the quiet the scattered quail call. A light twinkles low in a space of clear sky near the horizon —Night's first star that brightens, brightens, calling out its brothers in service as the angels of the after-glow withdraw into heaven. The blur of dusk comes upon the fields. The sky line grows softer, and about it a faint roseate light lingers. The earth chill rises with a frosty odor. One last call of a quail like a flute-note heard in dreams, and Night has fallen.
Let me stand face to face with Night. She has but one voice now—the voice of silence. By and by she will speak with a thousand.
Let me stand face to face with the silence of night here in the Wintry fields when the sparrows are gone to rest, when men are safely housed from the cold, when on the thick tufts of broom-grass one may lie as on a bed—oh, the mystery of it all! This solid earth a point of light amid innumerable lights —a frost crystal on the fields of space—changing, changing, changing— a flower, a star, a shadow, a bubble on the ocean of God.
A Year Book of Kentucky Woods and Fields
 By Ingram Crockett

Irene and I stood quietly by feasting our eyes and our noses,—for the crisp winter air was laden with the spicy fragrance of hemlock, spruce, and fir,—while Uncle Rick selected (you see, that's what he meant by "picking things") the one sky-high tree for the Sunday-school, and the six smaller ones, together with yard upon yard of roping with which to decorate the church, and meanwhile the black sky gradually grew gray and then warmly rosy, the stars were all gone, the electric lights went out all at the same time, and the yellow gas-lights followed one by one, as patches of cold winter sunlight shone out on the Naval Hospital high up above us, while from the tall flag-staff directly in front of it the Stars and Stripes fluttered out, billowed, and then streamed gayly abroad upon the morning breeze.
The Unitarian Register, Volume 91



Musk(Botanical) Melange

The term "Musk" in an olfactory sense, is used to describe a category of perfume that is primarily created through a blending of various essences that create a fragrance that is "animalic,powdery, woody, spicy, ambery, sweet" in odor. It is a perfume, much like amber and ambergris, that is a product of the perfumers own creative vision of what musk might be like as genuine musk is a product that few people in modern times have encountered. Hence one find a wide range of perfumes and fragrances bearing the name of musk.

One of the reasons for having a  concentrated musk  essencein one's palette is that along with such  complex bases as ambergris and amber, it gives one a fine fixative that blends well with a wide range of aromatic materials and extends the olfactory life of perfume as a whole. Such complex bases are often used in percentages of up to 10% to anchor the other absolutes, co2 extracts, and essential oils
interacting with them. Along with the fixative effect of the base(musk, ambergris, amber) each such base makes an unique exhalting contribution to the blend.

Musk(Botanical) Melange is created by blending together tonka bean absolute, ambrette seed absolute, cinnamon bark essential oil, choya nakh and several other essences in a base of patchouli essential oil. It displays a balanced  soft, smoky animalic, ambery, powdery bouquet with a delicate sweet woody, spicy, coumarinc undertone. It can be enjoyed both on its own or as a fine fixative base in perfume blending.

autumn scents

THE fall now rapidly descends into that season of "wailing winds and naked woods" which preludes the winter snows. The fogs that have crept nightly from the river meadows up the hillsides, and folded the forests in moisture, have loosened the joints of the ripened leaves, and the faint rain of their dropping all through the nights has been a part of the inarticulate utterance of Nature. The querulous western winds have swept in buffeting gusts through the trees and hastened their dispossession, bearing "the gold of the ruined woodlands" in luminous showers to earth, there to rustle and hurry and heap themselves by the roadsides, along the forest edges, around the roots of the bushes in the meadow, or in the brook whose murmuring they smother as they clog its current. This is the end of the splendid pageant of the autumn hills, although there are many single trees as richly dyed as ever, and many that are still green. When the frost comes, these will be stripped also; and not much longer will last the peculiar wild flavor which pervades the forest air at this season, — the woodsy fragrance that is even more delicious than in the scent of spring.
The Saunterer
 By Charles Goodrich Whiting

The next day after " tapping," those of us large enough to wear the neck-yoke donned this badge of servitude and with its help brought pails of sap to the kettle, and the "boiling" began. As the evening shades gathered, how delicious was the odor of the sap steam permeating the woods farther than the shafts of firelight pierced the gloom! How weird and delightful was this night experience in the woods! and how cheerfully we swallowed the smoke which the contrary wind seemed ever to turn toward us! We poked the fire to send the sparks upward and now and then we added more sap from the barrel and removed the scum from the boiling liquid with a skimmer which was thrust into the cleft end of a stick to provide it with a sufficiently long handle. As the evening wore on we drew closer to each other as we told the stories of the Indians and the bears and panthers that had roamed these woods when our father was a little boy; and there came to each of us a disquieting suspicion that perhaps they were not all gone yet, for everything seemed possible in those nightshrouded woods; and our hearts suddenly jumped into our throats when nearby there sounded the tremulous, blood-curdling cry of the screech owl.
It was the most fun to gather the sap in the warmer mornings, when on the mounds the red squaw-berries were glistening through a frosty veil; then we looked critically at the tracks in the snow to see what visitors had come sniffing around our buckets. We felt nothing but scorn for him who could not translate correctly those hieroglyphics on the film of soft snow that made white again the soiled drifts. Rabbit, skunk, squirrel, mouse, muskrat, fox: we knew them all by their tracks.
After about three days of gathering and boiling the sap, came the "syruping down." During all that afternoon we added no more sap, and we watched carefully the tawny steaming mass in the kettle; and when it threatened to boil over we threw in a thin slice of fat pork which seemed to have some mysterious, calming influence. The odor grew more and more delicious, and finally the syrup was pronounced sufficiently thick. The kettle was swung off the logs and the syrup dripped through a cloth strainer into the carrying pail. Oh! the blackness of the material left on that strainer! but it was "clean woods-dirt" and never destroyed our faith in the maple sugar any more than did the belief that our friends were made of "dirt" destroy our friendship for them.
Cornell Nature-study Leaflets: Being a Selection, with Revision, from the ...
 By New York State College of Agriculture

I like to watch the cows in winter crunching the succulent, fragrant millet, or feeding upon clover hay, or eating their corn fodder. Sometimes snow gets mingled with it from the stacks. But how they love it! How they toss it, and put their noses down into the wisps and stalks, and slash the great corn leaves about! The milking is generally attended to while they eat, and that, too, is always an interesting process—that is, to outsiders. Swish, swosh! swish, swosh! swish, swosh! goes the milk into the buckets, in a kind of rough purring rhythm.
Around an Old Homestead: A Book of Memories
 By Paul Griswold Huston

A townsman gets little joy from the scent of wood smoke, for he does not know how many varieties of smoke there are. But woodsmen know that there are many fragrances in the burning of wood. Dead wood is not like green, and pine is not like maple to our noses. Smoke in frosty air smells sweeter than smoke in summer. But whether it be the spicy perfume of chaparral, crackling sage and mesquite twigs from a Southern mesa, the rich odor of kindled pine, or the milder fragrance of oak logs, it is a symbol of all honorable things to the camper. Watching it rise in strands or puffs of blue and gray is like watching the whole history of the race. In the fading tissue of color I have seen altars and forges and hearths and pyres for the dead. I have seen Prometheus, dearest of Titans, and his children of this later age, still busy stealing for us holier flames than any that can be wedded with wood.
The Dingbat of Arcady
By Marguerite Ogden Bigelow Wilkinson


November
NATURE'S Indian summer richness and pageantry have made their exit. The blazing torches of the sumach smoulder and char in the frosty air, and the luminous leaves that gleamed like red coals but a few weeks ago crackle under our feet. A few sturdy oaks are yet full-clad, and their dark rich leaves seem to have toughened to leather in their obstinate resistance. Occasionally a beech bedecked in orange and amber leafery has defied the chill of November. The perfume of summer flowers is gone, and instead we have the rich aromatic fragrance of the pines and spruces and of the balsam fir with its resinous pungent sweetness, and the rich vigorous green of its spire-like tops towering over the spruces in the cathedral-like woods. A purple haze envelops the distant hills, and the air is ominous. The feathered songsters have left us, and the "caw" of the crow, the screech of the owl, the cry of wild geese, and the moaning of the wind are the music of November. It is the month of discords and of unresolved harmonies,— the swan-song of the year.
The New England Magazine, Volume 48


It is very sudden, this gray of dawn. It is as if some one turned a switch, paused for a moment only to see that the first turn had taken effect, then turned another which released the spring beneath the sun, after which it is all over. Daybreak I am convinced is a word coined between the tropics. No man born north of latitude forty would speak of day as breaking. There the dawn comes as leisurely as a matinee girl to breakfast; here it pops like popcorn. With the coming of day on this bank of the St. Johns the pungent odor of wood smoke cuts off the scent of the November blooming loquats. The smoke of a Southern pine fire is an aroma decorated with perfume. To me the smell of wood smoke of any kind is always delightful. It sniffs of campfires and the open road, of blankets beneath boughs and the long peace of the stars. The fire whence it comes may be guiltless of any outdoor hearth. It may be half-smothered among brick chimneys, built to cook porridge for life prisoners in a city jail, for all I know, but the smoke is free. It was born of the woods, where it gathered all spices to its bosom, and though the log crumbles to ashes in durance, the smoke is the spirit of freedom and can mean nothing else to him who has once smelled it in the wild. If I am ever a life prisoner, I hope they will not let me get scent of wood smoke. If they do, on that day I shall break jail or die in the attempt.
The wood burned here for breakfast fires is the Southern pitch pine, whose smoke seems to carry in its free pungency a finer spiciness than comes with the smoke of other woods. One born to it ought to be sure he is home again by the first whiff. It differs from that of white pine, fir or spruce, this long-leaf pine smoke, and I am sure that if you brought me magically from the Adirondacks or the Aroostook in my sleep and landed me in the barrens I should know my location, however dark the night, the very moment the wind blew the campfire smoke my way.
Every Southern backyard seems to hold the big, black, three-legged iron pot for boiling clothes, and I know not what other incantatory purposes. Beneath this, too, they burn an open fire of pitch wood, so often I may walk all day long with this subtle essence of freedom in my nostrils, a tonic to neutralize the languor that comes down river with the breeze out of the tropic heart of the peninsula. I walked south to meet this breeze this morning, with the morning sun on my left shoulder, the blue sea of the broad river stretching five or six miles beneath it to the haze of the distant bank. On my right was the ten-foot sand bluff of the bank and I waded with the aquatic cows, now knee-deep in shallows on a sandy bottom, now following their paths through margins of close-cropped water hyacinths, over mangrove roots and through the mud of marsh edges, and again along a dry bank of clean white sand. To know a river takes many expeditions, and one of these should surely be afoot along its shallows.
Florida Trails as Seen from Jacksonville to Key West and from November to ...
By Winthrop Packard

All along the borders of the swamp the witch-hazel is working out its peculiar and mysterious destiny. It is not this belated summer day, however, that has brought out its fragrant yellow blossoms. They unfolded just as cheerfully in the killing frost of three nights ago. Witchhazel nuts are ripe now, the witch-faced husks splitting open and showing the glossy black kernels within, about as big as an apple seed, shaped like the enticing black eyes of the witch herself.
All among these nuts grow the scrawny blooms, sending out a delicate fragrance which is as soft and fragile as that of
early spring flowers, — a refined and pleasing scent that brings a thought of far-away apple blossoms. Yet on this sunny day you may not catch this odor unless you put your face close to the flowers, for the vigor of the sun draws up the smell of tannin from all the dry leaves underfoot till the whole world seems a tea factory. Should the rustle of these leaves in the light autumn breeze be the silken swish of trailing Oriental garments, and slant-eyed people appear under pyramid hats and begin to gather them and pack them in chests marked with strange pencilings like those on the end of a red-winged blackbird's egg, I for one would not be surprised.

The blackbird himself is an Oriental mystic in disguise, and he marks the names of his children in Chinese characters round the big end of each egg. The next time you look into a blackbird's nest
you notice if this is not so.
If you wish the odor of the witchhazel blooms you must go to the swamp a morning after a showery night. Then the odor of the dead leaves will have been all washed out of the air, and the faint, fine fragrance of the latest flowers of the season flits daintily out to greet you as you fare down the path.
Yet, though flowers are rare on the third week in October and the pungency of dead leaves pervades the swamp, the upland pastures have a fine fragrance of their own, — a perfume so dainty and alluring that you look for its source in bewilderment, knowing that at this time of year no flowering shrub, no slenderblossoming vine, remains to float it down the wind.
Wood Wanderings
By Winthrop Packard

WITCH-HAZEL.
THE last lone aster in the wood has died,
And taken wings, and flown;
The sighing oaks, the evergreens' dark pride,
And shivering beeches, keep their leaves alone.

From the chill breath of late October's blast
That all the foliage seared,
Even the loyal gentian shrank at last,
And, gathering up her fringes, disappeared.
The wood is silent as an unswept lute;
Color and song have fled;
Only the brave black-alder's brilliant fruit Lights the sear deadness with its living red.
But what is this wild fragrance that pervades
The air like incense-smoke?
Pungent as spices blown in tropic shades,
Subtle as some enchanter might evoke.
Not like the scent of flower, nor drug, nor balm,
Nor resins from the East,
Yet trancing soul and sense in such a charm
As holds us when the thrush's song has ceased.
Mysterious, gradual, like the gathering dews,
And damp, sweet scents of night,
Whence is this strange aroma that imbues
The lone and leafless wood with new delight?
And while the questioner drinks, with parted lips,
The mystical draught — behold!
A wondrous bush, beplumed from root to tips
With crimped and curling bloom of shredded gold!
Not even the smallest leaf or hint of green
Is mingled with its sprays,
But every slender stem and twig is seen
Haloed with flickerings of yellow blaze.
What wizard, wise in spells of drugs and
gums,
With weird divining-rod
Conjures this luminous loveliness that comes
As if by magic from the frozen sod?
Fearless witch-hazel! braver than the oak
That dares not bloom till spring,
Thus to defy the frost's benumbing stroke
With challenge of November blossoming!
And yet it has an airy, delicate grace
Denied all other flowers,
And lights the gloom as some beloved face
Dawns on the dark of melancholy hours.
Miraculous shrub, that thus in frost and blight
Smilest all undismayed,
And scatterest from thy wands of golden light
A sudden sunshine in the chilly glade.
Sprite of New England forests, he was wise
Who gave thee thy quaint name,
As, threading wind-stripped woods, with
awed surprise
He first beheld thy waving fan of flame.
Elizabeth Akers-1895

Where is there a grander sight than a long moorland covered with bracken at the close of autumn ?—the foliage of the trees is not to be compared with that outspread land of crimson and gold. And there is such a forest smell about it too—that real country aroma, which we get a sniff of in villages where they have only wood-fires—for there is nothing else to compare with the smell of fern where it covers long leagues of wild moorland.
The Book of Days: A Miscellany of Popular Antiquities in ..., Volume 2
 edited by Robert Chambers

 

winter scents 2

Do you remember the apple hole in the garden or back of the house, Ben Bolt? In the fall, after the bins in the cellar had been well stocked, we excavated a circular pit in the warm mellow earth, and, covering the bottom with clean rye straw, emptied in basketful after basketful of hardy choice varieties, till there was a tent-shaped mound several feet high of shining variegated fruit. Then, wrapping it about with a thick layer of long rye straw, and tucking it up snug and warm, the mound was covered with a thin coating of earth, a flat stone on the top holding down the straw. As winter set in, another coating of earth was put upon it, with perhaps an overcoat of coarse dry stable manure, and the precious pile was left in silence and darkness till spring. No marmot, hibernating under ground in his nest of leaves and dry grass, more cosy and warm. No frost, no wet, but fragrant privacy and quiet. Then how the earth tempers and flavors the apples! It draws out all the acrid unripe qualities, and infuses into them a subtle refreshing taste of the soil. Some varieties perish, but the ranker, hardier kinds, like the northern spy, the greening, or the black apple, or the russet, or the pinnock, how they ripen and grow in grace, how the green becomes gold, and the bitter becomes sweet!
The Writings of John Burroughs: Winter sunshine
 By John Burroughs

The fire rests upon the broad hearth; the hearth rests upon a great substruction of stone, and the substruction rests upon the cellar. What supports the cellar I never knew, but the cellar supports the family. The cellar is the foundation of domestic comfort. Into its dark, cavernous recesses the child's imagination fearfully goes. Bogies guard the bins of choicest apples. I know not what comical sprites sit astride the ciderbarrels ranged along the walls. The feeble flicker of the tallow-candle does not at all dispel, but creates illusions, and magnifies all the rich possibilities of this underground treasurehouse. When the cellar-door is opened and the boy begins to descend into the thick darkness, it is always with a heart-beat as of one started upon some adventure. Who can forget the smell that comes through the opened door ;—a mingling of fresh earth, fruit exhaling delicious aroma, kitchen vegetables, the mouldy odor of barrels, a sort of ancestral air, —as if a door had been opened into an old romance. Do you like it? Not much. But then I would not exchange the remembrance of it for a good many odors and perfumes that I do like.
Scribners Monthly, Volume 2
 By Laura Winthrop Johnson

WINTER IN OLD CHESTER COUNTY
Chester County's well-loved hills and her woods
and winding streams
Are lulled to rest by the winter winds and locked in winter
dreams;
A world of pure and gleaming white, — I love to think of
her so,
The dear home-land, the quaint old shire, enwrapt in the
silent snow.
And out on the wandering, winding stream, our pastoral
Brandy wine,
Where the sleepy August angler sat and dozed by his
drooping line,
The skaters glide with shout and song in the silvered
moonlit night,
By leafless willow and fragrant fir, and O 'tis a merry
sight!
And I can see the wood-fire's breath from many a chimney
rise
And melt into the filmy blue that sleeps along the skies,
And watch in the silent afternoon the sunset's dying flame
Fire all the western woods with light too beautiful to
name.
The spice and tang of the frosty air, the hoot of the
wizard owl,
The far-away bark of the lonely fox and the watch-dog's
mournful howl,
Our twilight walk by the desolate woods and over the
windy hill,
And the rabbit-tracks we found in the glade,
— O I can
recall them still!
The Collected Poems of John Russell Hayes
 By John Russell Hayes

WHITE MAGIC
WHEN Winter hushes for a time
The music of the sylvan brook,
And shuts its witchery of rhyme
In her white book,
The world is not yet dumb;
For in the snow-hung vines and trees
With their cold blossoms, icy clear,
Invisible the winds like bees
Swarm, and I hear
Their weird and wizard hum.
 Such is the magic wand she wields
That she can shape my fancy so
My dreams are all of fragrant fields
The wild bees know
In summer's golden noon;
And through the dull December hours
Mine is the month for which I long, —
The barren branch grows bright with flowers
Where the bees throng, —
White magic, —winter June!
The Poems of Frank Dempster Sherman
 By Frank Dempster Sherman
It was this intense fidelity of character that now kept her in her watch at the window, waiting for the two friends who were to make them four children on Christmas Eve. Once, indeed, as no figures were to be seen far or near out on the winter landscape, she turned softly into the room, and much against her will continued her search for the key that would unlock the doors connecting the library with the parlor — the dark and suddenly mysterious parlor where the Christmas Tree now stood.
There was a mingling of three odors in the library that forenoon. Into one wall an old white marble mantel-piece was built, decorated on each side with huge bunches of grapes — a votive offering by Bacchus, god of the inner fire, to Pluto, god of the outer fire. This mantel now held in its heart a crimson glow of anthracite coals; and the wintry smell of coal gas was comfortably pervasive. Making its summerlike way through the gas was the fragrance of rose geranium, some pots of which were blooming on a window-sill just inside the silvery landscapes of frost. A third and more powerful odor was that of a bruised evergreen, boughs of which had been crushed in handling, and the sap of which, oozing from the trunk, scattered far its wild balsam: the fragrance ever suggested the fir in the next room....
Next she went to another window where the geraniums were blooming, and looked on the sill: these geraniums were her mother's especial care, as everything in the house was her especial care; and Elizabeth had often watched her pouring water on the budding green of the plants as though the drops were bright tears: once she believed the bright drops were tears.
Then she passed on to the locked connecting doors between the library and the parlor, sniffing as she drew near the odor of the fir — sniffing it with sensitive nostril as a fawn on some wild mountain-side questions the breeze blowing from beds of inaccessible herbage. Every spring when the parlor was locked for cleaning and when children's feet and fingers must be kept from wet paint, she was used to see her mother lock these doors and lay the key along the edge of the carpet. It was not there now, however.

 The Doctor's Christmas Eve ...
 By James Lane Allen

"I remember, I remember
How my childhood fleeted by, —
The mirth of its December,
And the warmth of its July."
WHEN dusk closed in it would be Christmas eve. All day I had three points — a chair beside the kitchen table, a lookout melted through the frost on the front window, and the big sitting-room fireplace. All the perfumes of Araby floated from our kitchen that day. There was that delicious smell of baking flour from big snowy loaves of bread, light biscuit, golden coffee cake, and cinnamon rolls dripping a waxy mixture of sugar, butter, and spice, much better than the finest butterscotch ever brought from the city. There was the tempting odour of boiling ham and baking pies. The air was filled with the smell of more herbs and spices than I knew the names of, that went into mincemeat, fruit cake, plum pudding, and pies. There was a teasing fragrance in the spiced vinegar heating for pickles, a reminder of winesap and rambo in the boiling cider, while the newly opened bottles of grape juice filled the house with the tang of Concord and muscadine. It seemed to me I never got nicely fixed where I could take a sly dip in the cake dough or snipe a fat raisin from the mincemeat but Candace would say: "Don't you suppose the backlog is halfway down the lane?"
Laddie: A True Blue Story
 By Gene Stratton-Porter
I usually solve the mince-pie problem by making the mince meat early in November, for it is all the better for ripening and becoming mellow before it is used. Then, when
the preparations for Thanksgiving are under way, if the demand for mince pie becomes insistent, the wherewithal for its making is at hand, and no one need be disappointed. Not so, however, with the Christmas fruit cake, which is also made early and tucked away safely and carefully with a hard tart apple and a quince beside it, to keep it moist and give it additional fragrance and flavor. As soon as the first hard frost arrives and when the new raisins and currants and nuts make their tempting appearance in the markets and shops, the Christmas cake is baked.
The fruits and spices and other good things for it and the mince meat are usually purchased at one time, and then for a few days the kitchen is a busy, aromatic, merry place while the cake is being concocted.
The Ladies' Home Journal

Haying is over; the uplands were shorn of their blossoms a month ago, and the fragrance of the meadows has been stowed away upon the barnscaffolding for winter tid-bits for the cows and calves; and how eagerly will they reach out for the juicy blue-joint and herdsgrass as the farmer pushes the meadow-grass by their noses along the barn floor! What sweet breaths these coaxing cattle have as they stretch their necks over the low rail in mute appeal. But how eloquent was that appeal! I could never refuse it, and what good friends we were in those days! What friendships of barnyard and pasture-side we made as the huge forkfuls of yellow straw and corn-butts went out of the barn into its narrow, sunny yard, and under its sheds for the cattle to munch while they took their daily airing in the snowy, blustering winter weather. How warmly the midday sun shone out of the south when the melted snow along the roof of the barn came dripping down, hardening into long, shapely icicles as the afternoon grew, cooler, grayer, and shorter with the sundown!
Prose Pastorals
 By Herbert Milton Sylvester
Here are tall spruces roughly scarred by winter and summer storm, with pendent globules of rare amber-colored gum, and which have been daintily distilled by the summer heats out of rich, flowing saps, and which hang just out of reach above me. Its gathering is quite a business,
and is quite profitable to trapper and guide hereabouts. The lumbermen bring large quantities of this fruit of the spruce as they come down from the timber-slopes, and which readily finds a market at the druggist's, from whose plate-glass windows it looks out, not upon the pageantry of merrie June or the dreamy quiet of an Indian summer among the hills, but rather upon the pride and squalor of the town, and from whose sweet-scented cases, with all their aristocratic surroundings, it is sold to shop-girls, dyspeptics, and school-children.
O, the seductive charm of its aromatic quid in school-boy days! How many were the richly merited chastisements of leathern strap and birchen switch its clandestine yet delicious chewing brought upon our shoulders! What rare visions of youth are stored within its transparent depths: of staunch, glittering crusts, of clumsy snow-shoes and boyish awkwardness; of winter air and winter life, when the earth has begun its inclination toward the sun, bringing pleasant warmth and dripping eaves at high noon, and longer days; of fragrant woods, when boyhood has gone into the lowland spruces, when the March winds sing weird, crooning lullaby s amid their tops, and shake down upon one's shoulders huge flakes of snow which the last storm had lodged so thickly over their matted boughs, to search for amber jewels! What memories of irate pedagogue, of sunlight slanting down the narrow aisle, of loudly accentuated footstep, of sharply questioning eye, of pinioned chin and farprotruding tongue! Dead men tell no tales, and the bit of chewing-gum, secretly started on its way down the youthful gullet a moment before, is beyond the reach of the baffled schoolmaster, who can scarce conceal his chagrin. What boyish pranks were carried on behind the sloping tops of the old pine desks of the low-roofed brick school-house the master might imagine, but never discover. The aroma of the spruce brings back the tide of youth again, with all its adventure of winter sport and blush of summer days in field and wood.




  





Prose Pastorals
 By Herbert Milton Sylvest


THE WINTER MORNING. A SONNET.
Now, from his chilly chambers in the east,
Walks forth, close wrapped, the shivering Winter-day,
His torch just tinging the dun skies with gray,
And clouds and tempests beating round his breast.
The dusky air, by cutting cold possessed,
Makes the bright fire and pleasant room be loved ;
And Homer, from the window-seat removed,
Seems, more than ever, on the hearth caressed.
But soon the Morn's short reign is o'er : and tea
Smokes on the board ; and merry faces round
Inhale its grateful fragrance joyously,
While loud without the driving tempests sound.
That Nature courts no intimacy then,
We feel, and linger round our fellow- men.
Bion. The Oriental Herald, Volume 4

Emerging from the darkness, I was dazzled by the bright winter sunbeams pouring into one of the most brilliantly furnished rooms I had ever seen. On three sides it was fitted up with figured-velvet sofas, but the south side was entirely of glass, painted in gay garlands, forming part of a conservatory, which was filled with blossoming orange-trees and bright exotics, emitting a delicious fragrance. Three or four beautiful birds were expanding their plumage to the light, while a moveable marble fountain of perfumed water threw up its wreaths of living diamonds at the entrance. There was no fireplace; yet, notwithstanding the chilly season, the artificial temperature resembled May; and in the centre of the room stood a golden brazier, filled with burning scented woods. The velvet sofas were of light green, having gold flowers and tassels; a number of pink satin cushions piled near the window were worked in silver patterns; and one, of white satin edged with down, had what I concluded was a Turkish name embroidered in seed pearls. The walls, of white and gold, were panelled and inlaid in various arabesque devices: and, instead of the rough plafond too common in French houses, the ceiling was richly carved and ornamented in pale rose-colour and gold.
The Snowflake: a Christmas, New-year, and Birthday Gift, for MDCCCLII.

Where he is going the white snow is falling gently on the road, a cart full of sweet smelling roots is moving on velvet, the driver stops to exchange views with a farmer who has been feeding his sheep, within the humblest cottage the fire is burning clearly. With every mile northward the Glenman's heart lifts; and as he lands on his far-away little station, he draws a deep breath of the clean, wholesome air. It is a long walk through the snow, but there is a kindly, couthy smell from the woods, and at sight of the squares of light in his home, weariness departs from a Drumtochty man.
The Bookman, Volume 4

"Pity the man who does not know a good apple—and how many dot One in ten! No, not one in fifty. It may be red and showy and the Italian may have rubbed it till it shines, but it may be an apple only in form and in price. It is now midwinter. There are apples in storage in the cities and in the cellars of farmers. Go into one of these places. Get the odor—the cool, fresh, fruity smell. Pick out the highest priced parcel— even then the individual apples will probably be cheaper than those you buy on the street—and you run your hands over them as lightly as you would over the keys of a piano. Hold one in your hand, clasping your fingers over its plump rondure. Note its size and shape. See the slight blush on the cheek and the tones of green that run from bottom to top. Look in the ends. The stem is intact. There are no wormholes, no ugly blotches, no marks of rude fingers. Put it to your nose and inhale the fragrance. Hold ic at the hollow of your cheek. Now eat it. Do not cut it or slice it, but eat it. Feel the break and crack of its cool, crisp flesh, the flow of its sprightly juice, and get the aroma that lies at the very heart of it. At last you have eaten an apple.
"Strange that we are connoisseurs in tea and wine and pickles, and yet that apples are merely apples. Warm and wilted and polished, they lie in trays and rows on the stands, and we buy them. Probably half the people in the big cities buy their apples thus, one at a time here and there—Ben Davis, Baldwin, Pennock, anything that is bri ht and handsome. I sometimes think that city folk in furnace heated houses can never know what a really good apple is, no matter how good the grocer and the caterer may be. It is in the farmhouse with a real cellar— not abasement with heater and laundry and ash bins—that one gets apples. You sit in the "wing" beside a crackling fire-place or in a stove that is built for service rather than for ornament. The cellar is under the "upright." To reach it you go through the buttery, through the cellar door that has a cat hole in the lower front corner, and with lamp or lantern in hand yon go down the stairs into a subterranean world. Above ground the snow is scurrying around the house corners, but here is a dark and snug retreat, a retreat such as no real city house can have.
There is no smell of ashes and soapsuds, only the cool, soft odor of the moist ground and of the apples stored in boxes and barrels. From box to box you go—Northern Spies, Talman Sweets, Greenings, Roxbury Russets, Seek-no furthers, Rambos, Spitzenbergs, Grimes's Golden, Snow apples, None-such, Swaars, perhaps belated Kings and Fall Pippins— even Baldwins are not good enough for this company—and you take your pick.
Medical Mirror, Volume 14
 By Isaac Newton Love


Studies of Our Oaks and Maples By Edith R. Mosher

The Breath of the Year

The Breath of the Year — Some morning in early spring, when the snow still lies heavily on our hillsides, you have by chance opened a window and inhaled the first fragrance which tells you winter is over. ’
The pleasant chill in the air still binds all less ethereal odors in their winter prison-house. But late in April or early in May, when the hidden bonds have all been loosened, and even the fast-running brook calls out the fresh scent of the mossy stones in its channel, then, if you stand in an open meadow, and give yourself up freely to the full delight of the wakening earth, you will become aware that it is neither delicate blossom nor singing bird which adds the last enchantment to the moment, but the wonderful blending of every shy and vague scent in the world. You cannot rudely extricate one or another from the harmony.
The willows by the stream, in a green haze of unfolding buds, are shedding their yellow pollen even now, and the bees know it, though we may be too dull to guess the source of this heavenly sweetness.
The sweet-gale has already put forth its hundreds of little brown cones, which we often overlook in their unpretentious plainness, though we cannot brush by them so carelessly that they do not retaliate with reproachful fragrance. But even their flowers are worth looking at, particularly the tiny crimson tufts of pistils, which do not grow on the same plant with the sterile catkins. They remind us of the blossoms of their first cousin, the sweet-fern, whose sterile tassels are already in bloom, and add almost as much perfume to the air as their leaves do later in the season. A still nearer relative of the sweet-gale is the bayberry, but this has not yet opened, and it seems to me that its chief virtue lies in its leaves, though that may be because my own senses are obtuse.
Sassafras and benzoin are already in full flower, along the borders of the woods. Now why should good-sized trees bear such tiny blossoms? You will not find the flowers of either sassafras or benzoin unless you look for them. But everybody looks for sassafras for
the sake of the spicy bark and delectable leaves. The “ honey-yellow flowers ” of Benzoin odoriferum have given it not only both its botanical names, but the common ones of wild allspice and spice-bush. Who can tell us why Benjamin-bush and fever-bush have been added to its aliases?
If we are happy enough to be in the region of trailing arbutus, that enchanting odor, rising through the pine needles under our feet, dominates all others. We can find the blossoms by the sense of smell alone, as Tennyson can find wild English violets in the dark.
Mr. Higginson notices an “ indescribable fresh and earthy scent ” in the little hepatica, which is the earliest flower to welcome the spring, opening its blue eyes among the dead leaves lying on some sunny slope.
Still early in May, as we wander through the woods, we detect a bittersweet breath in the air, from the pendulous racemes of the white long-petalled flowers of the shadbush. When the breeze sweeps by, there is a snowstorm of blossoms on the ground beneath it, just as there is beneath the cherry-tree — its near relation — a little later. There are several of these rosaceous plants, whose clusters of white blossoms suggest each other, and whose odors all hint at the sound and healthy flavor of wild black cherry.
By this time the holy-grass is nodding its brown_ tassels in the meadow. You miss the full richness of its fragrance, perhaps, till after it is mowed. This is the grass which on saints’ days is appropriately strewn before church doors in the north of Europe. Why should it also be called Seneca grass, or indeed vanilla grass, for the odor is not like that of vanilla ?
The most pervading sweetness of our meadows in May and June comes from the sweet-scented vernal grass, whose internal structure allies it to the holy grass, though it is much less beautiful, bearing merely a stiff green spike, relieved a little, however, by its glistening feathery white stigmas when in full flower. Here, handsome is that handsome does, for nothing could be more inconspicuous than this “ flower of flowers,” and the lens reveals to us that even from a botanical point of view it is imperfect. Let George Mai'Donald or Mrs. Whitney deduce a moral.
And now the fragrance of unrolling ferns grows and grows upon the delighted sense, till all the woods are filled with the sweetness of the light fronds of the hay-scented fern. But the ferns are not fully opened before June, and there are other tones in the scale of May.
There is the healthful tonic (no pun was intended) of the bitter dandelion; the spiciness of the balm of Gilead, which can metamorphose a dusty street into Araby the blest ; and the richness of the lilac, which two poets so different as Walt Whitman and T. W. Parsons have given a place in the foundations of our consciousness.
What perfect words can I find for the loveliness of the white violet, which from every fine purple line upon its pure petals and every clear curve of its leaves to the shy sweetness of every breath is a marvel of simple beauty ? Some people do not know that our common purple violet has any fragrance, but the elect know it. When it grows under apple-trees, I have sometimes noticed that it is so “interpenetrated with the light and fragrance its neighbors shed.” that the breath of the apple-blossoms survives in it even after I have taken up the sod and carried it home.
Now, who knows the secret of the violet? A recent scientific writer has shown cause for the belief that. in virtue both of its color and its shape, it is one of the most highly organized of flowers; and Leonardo da Vinci was willing to bend the mighty genius which had mastered all the art and science of his time to the task of making those wonderful studies of the violet still to be seen in Venice. We all feel its mysterious kinship to other forms of beauty which Miss Larcom expresses in A Puzzle of Spring : —

“ For the bluebird’s warbled note
Violet odors hither flung,
And the violet curved her throat
Just as if she sat and sung.”

By the time the apple-blossoms have fallen, the air is pulsating with the balm of June. The buttercups have come before this, to be sure. but now they make a veritable “ field o’ the cloth o'gold,” with their “ million, million drops of gold among the green.” Did anybody ever try to make an attar-of-buttercups? This essence is entirely unique, and there is a softness in it which positively affects the senses like a gentle touch. But let no one try to imprison it in phials. It belongs to the wide country meadow and roadside.
Early in June the pretty false Solomon’s seal lifts its tufts of white blossoms above its shining green leaves. At the same moment the brilliant pink arethusa raises its beautiful head among the grasses in the swamp.
By this time the little pink heads of the mitchella are peeping through their handsome leaves, like an echo of our beloved trailing arbutus. which has still another echo by the end of June, when

“ Beneath dim aisles, in odorous beds,
The slight linneae hangs its twin-born head.”

And yet how much of the sweetness of these dainty things is due to that of the pines among which they grow, and which seem to enfold their slight perfumes in a kind of deep embracing fragrance! At the edge of the wood, the sweet-brier rose is now in bloom, and, for my part. I am a firm believer in the fragrance of other wild roses, let who will say nay. The strawberries in the meadows now appeal to us with color. form, odor, and rich juiciness at once. The lindens have opened their intoxicating blossoms, the grapevines fill the air with balm, the locust flowers contribute their spicy breath, the young hay lies on the lawns, and everywhere “ the south wind comes o’er gardens, and the flowers that kissed it are betrayed.”
Then, there are the clover fields. The very ponds are blooming with waterlilies, rightly named Nymphea odorata. And now the hillsides are magnificent with their wealth of mountain laurel, in whose aroma there is a hint of the ripening strength of the year. We shall get very few ethereal odors after this, in spite of the enchantment of July and August. We shall have the invigorating freshness of spearmint and peppermint and many more of their household ; but having once grasped a “ good that is good to eat,” we seem henceforth to be shut out of the sanctum sanctormn. of Nature. Middle age has come, and the illusions of youth can no longer throw a veil over our “too, too solid flesh.”
Now begins the direful reign of Roman wormwood, which drives half our countrymen mad. Then comes the over» powering Mayweed, and if we are so unfortunate as to live at the West, now is the time when the dysodia, or fetid marigold, makes life a burden. I confess there is something in the pungent yarrow and even in the more pungent tansy which satisfies certain longings of the olfactory nerve; but in spite of that the days of romance are surely over.
Over? Not while the wild bean twines around the bushes in the underwood, with its burden of perfumed purple blossoms; nor while the white clethra (sweet pepperbush) opens its clustering flowers in every dell. There is a fragrance about the horn-bean, too; but few people seem to know it.
The compositae now almost have the field to themselves; though the pretty but inconspicuous blue curls and the mock pennyroyal add an appreciable flavor of mint to the clear September
air, especially when we carelessly crush them under our feet.
There is a strong family likeness between the odors of flowers belonging to the same order, as well as in other characteristics. This is sometimes startling, and suggests large questions.

“ Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies, —
Hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower ; but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.”

The vast composite family so illustrates this relationship of scent that we may almost describe the September air as the fragrance of the compositae. The Solidago odora is not the only goldenrod which contributes to the bouquet of this wine. All of us who love to be outdoors know when the air is full of the golden-rod, though we could not tell how we know. The purple asters blend imperceptibly with it, and the white everlastings, with their pearly, papery rays. Of course, the more obtrusive members of the family, yarrow and May weed and tansy, still hold their ground.
The thistles have a sweetish odor of their own, quite unlike that of their relatives, but the texture of their blossoms also differs from that of most of the other autumn compositae. Generally in September there is a certain pleasant vigor in the odors abroad in the air, which has little of the positive sweetness of earlier days, and which is due to the great mass of composite flowers in blossom. The sweetness which does mingle with this vigor comes from the ripening fruit, and is as different from that of spring as a shining red apple is different from a bough of apple blossoms.
In October, our thoughts are concentrated on the wealth of color. We hear no more birds, we gather no more fragrant flowers. Yet if some day we should lose the cool. slight breath of the
gorgeous leaves in our hands, or the fragrance of those we are treading upon, we should certainly miss the final charm of our ramble, though we might not know why; for this beauty of the old age of the year is as ethereal and impalpable as that of the spring-time.
The snow falls, and covers up the earth for its winter slumber. But we know one gentle secret. We know the
delicious scent of some of the dripping sphagnums in the deep woods during the happy days of a January thaw. Even in winter we have glad moments, when we are “lord of our senses five.”
So the year marches on in its eternal round, and from January to January again
Fragrance in its footing treads.”
The Atlantic, Volume 60

winter scents

After Christmas we shall have some long cozy evenings and plenty of bright, up-to-date reading. Sometimes the soft cold flakes whirl over field and pasture, Sometimes the wind sobs and roars around the stanch old farmhouse. Then we run over to the neighbors for a treat, and spend a jolly two hours. Perhaps We play the host and they come to see us, well wrapped in warm shawls and Caps and hoods. We gather in the warm, low-ceiled kitchen, open the drafts in the stove and get out the molasses jug, a big heap of corn to shell and the visitors are pressed into service that many hands may lighten labor and make it play. Soon the yellow grains are hopping and whitening in their wire cage, in tune with laughter and banter. The smell of boiling molasses mingling With the fragrance of bursting corn fairly makes one's mouth water. Finally, Our corn balls and candy done, some simple games come next on our programme. Bye-and-bye we draw our chairs up to the stove and eat of the fruits of our labor.
The Rural New-Yorker, Volume 62-1903

But each winter a huge Christmas tree is set up in the church of the village I have mentioned, and loaded with presents. The winter I was there I went to see the distribution. Recollecting the delightful Christmas days of my own child— hood, I was anticipating great pleasure. Of course I was going to look in on a scene of childish joy, of shouting and laughing, and eating of candy and popcorn in unlimited quantities. Memories of the stories of Hans Andersen and the Grimm brothers were floating through my mind as I crunched the crisp snow under my feet on my way to the church. I remembered the rapture of those Christmas mornings at home, when we children stole down stairs by candlelight to the warm room filled with the aromatic perfume of the Christmas tree, that stood there resplendent with presents from old Santa Claus—Noah‘s arks, mimic landscapes, dolls, sleds, colored cornucopias bursting with bonbons, and especially those books of fairy~tales from whose rich creamy pages exhaled a most divine and musty fragrance. Ah, the memory of our childhood‘s hours! what is it but that enchanted lake of the Arabian tale, from whose quiet depths we are ever and anon drawing up in our nets some magic colored fish ?
McBride's Magazine, Volume 26-1880

The grain harvest of our little farm assured our subsistence, the wax and honey from the bees which one of my aunts cared for scrupulously was a revenue resulting from but small expense; the oil pressed from our nuts while they were still fresh, had a taste, a fragrance which we preferred to the taste and perfume of olive oil. Our buckwheat cakes (called in the speech of the country, tourtus), moist and smoking hot, with good Mont d'Or butter, we considered the most royal dainty. I know not what dishes could have seemed better to us than our radishes and chestnuts, and on winter evenings when these splendid radishes were broiling on the hearth or we heard the water boiling in the vessel in which these savory, sweet chestnuts were cooking, our hearts beat with happiness. I remember, too, the fragrance that a fine quince roasted beneath the ashes gave forth and the pleasure that our grandmother took in dividing it among us.
The Spirit of French Letters
 By Mabell Shippie Clarke Smith


Then there is the French market, where produce brought from St. Malo and other French ports is sold. In winter the air here is fragrant with the smell of roasted chestnuts. We see numbers of little charcoal roasters, presided over by their different owners. One of these is a fat Frenchwoman, who, as she watches the process of roasting, occasionally turns her chestnuts with the knife she holds in her hand. Her seat is an upturned barrel, while, beside her, she has her bag of chestnuts and her little stock of charcoal. There she sits during the day, and after dark she is still there, looking happy and contented, holding on her knee a large square lantern, and counting out her chestnuts to those happy boys who possess some stray coppers.
Milton Mount magazine, Volumes 8-11
 By Gravesend Milton Mount coll

So often, even in the deadest of winter time, a delicious whiff of sweetness comes from some plant or shrub, that it is well worth looking up the sweet smelling things and planting them together, the better to enjoy their perfume. There is one class of sweetness that seems rather to belong to late autumn and winter, of which the typical scent is that of dying Strawberry leaves, those of the alpine class being the best. The foliage of the great St. John's Wort smells very nearly like it, and a little yellowflowered Potentilla, a neat plant for carpeting bare ground, has just the same refreshing smell. It is rather a charming quality of these sweet scents that the}' seem to come when they will, and cannot be had for intentional sniffing.
The Garden: An Illustrated Weekly Journal of Horticulture in All ..., Volume 71

The Witch of Odors—Wood Smoke
BY ELIA W. PEATTIE
How can I name the scents that I love?—
Earth around the roots of flowers,
A little child's sun-tinctured hair,
The dryad scent of a dawn with showers;
The homely odor of baking bread,
Which seems a scent and a symbol, too;
Apples with their imprisoned wine,
And raspberries drenched with dew.

I love the scent of a wild, wet rose,
The flower of the grape on a fitful breeze,
The smell of frost, and an in-shore sea;
But there is an odor yet better than these,
And that is the pungent, delicate tang
Of a magic thing we may all invoke,
That speaks of shore and forest and hearth.
The witch of odors—wood smoke.
When the East awakes and wakens me
To summer's green or winter's snows,
First comes the greeting to my eyes,
And then the challenge to my nose.
I hardly know which I love best—
Slant sunlight through the long-leaved pine,
Or the smell of smoke from my neighbor's fires,
The delicious tang from mine.

Before I can remember, and during this period of changing from the old ways to the new, my parents had removed to the farm, half a mile beyond the cannonhouse, that was the northern limit of the village. I was a favorite of my greatgrandmother and of my Aunt Mary Ann, and quite my earliest recollections are of the house where I was born. It was screened from the road by a row of Lombardy poplars growing within the dooryard fence. It was from the tender sprouts of these trees that “big men” made me whistles with a fragrant, bitter smell and a slightly bitter taste, which, however, never lessened my delight in blowing the whistles. How well I remember the peculiar, pungent odor of the poplar whip, which was the new growth, as the big man girdled and tapped the bark with his jackknife until it slid off the sappy wood and slid back again a whistle!
Of my five senses, as I recall conditions at that early period, I believe that my sense of smell was the keenest, for it is the vivid recollection of the odor of things that appeals first to my memory. My great-grandmother's place was a bouquet of pungent smells, and is still a bouquet in my memory that has not yet lost its distinguishing odors. There was the “black apple-tree” in the first row of the orchard, the purple-red fruit of which, lying in the warm grass, had a spicy, sweet smell that drew the wasps and the bees until its shade was a danger zone; and equally distinctive was the fragrance of the harvest apples that fell from the tree with the sloping trunk at the corner of the orchard. My aunt's flower-beds of dahlias and marigolds and poppies had a medicinal smell. The woodhouse chamber, where I played with wooden clock-wheels made fast to discarded dials, had a smell of its own, fascinating, but quite indescribable.
There were a dark closet under the hall stairs where the hickory nuts were kept, together with the round lap-stone on which my aunt cracked them, and the closed parlor where my grandmother kept the platter of molasses candy, made with her own hands, and the living-room, in the winter, with my aunt's geraniums in the windows —all rooms that I remember through my nOSe.
The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Volume 97
 edited by Josiah Gilbert Holland, Richard Watson Gilder
The remaining four and twenty young ladies mustered in the dining room, and were there marshalled into church-going order. Some were fair, and some were dark: some were tall, and some were short: some were considered plain looking, while some were budding beauties. But they all looked pleased and happy and bore on their faces a sort of trade-mark with the motto, "Educated at Friar Bank." What odd dresses these young ladies wore! Great open-faced bonnets, locally called "ruskies" and made of fine leghorn or coarse plaited straw. In winter they had each a cloak thrown over their shortwaisted dresses with "gigot of mutton sleeves," white stockings, and shoes with the long ends of the laces twisted neatly round the ankles. Each young lady carried a small Bible wrapped in a neatly-folded white handkerchief, with a sprig of balm or "southern-wood," the fragrance from which was designed to keep drowsiness away in church. Peppermint drops, however, were the special favourites, and it was calculated that there must have been at least a pound and a half of these confections consumed every Sunday in the Friar Bank pews during divine service.
The Border Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly, Volume 1
 edited by Nicholas Dickson, William Sanderson

WINTER WONDER
LET no one lay to his soul the comfortable thought, as he turns from his garden in the late fall toward the stone and iron city, that a garden amounts to precious little in winter, and that he will miss nothing pleasant in deserting the familiar ways. That, truth to tell, it will be but dank and dreary and the wind never still, and that to tread the snow-encumbered paths were the forlornest method of insuring a smart attack of the grippe.
Let him go. Duty calls, perhaps. But let his departure be miserable, a tearing of the heartstrings. For a garden in winter is a lovely thing, a place of radiant surprises, an exquisite harmony of the most delicate color tones, and a revelation of the superb drawing of tree and shrub, the marvel of their intricate design, the power and spring of their branches, and the wonderful shadows they throw. Far into December the garden is still green, for the honeysuckles will not let loose their leaves, and many a strong perennial keeps its vigor undaunted. The wise planter, also, sees to it that certain bushes with crimson or golden twigs, and others with ivory or scarlet berries, shall burn in a chill fervor the winter through. A holly hedge is finest in cold weather, its glossy leaves and glowing berries all the richer for the half-shrouding snow; while arbor vitae spreads its frondy branches with all of summer's energy, still yielding a pungent perfume as you crush the stiff leaflets between your fingers.
The Lure of the Garden
 By Hildegarde Hawthorne

One of our favourite shrubs, which we grow in a wet peat bed, is Myrica gale the sweet gale (or box myrtle), a native of Britain, and quite hardy. This is more deliciously scented than any myrtle, and the best of all vegetable products to place in drawers with clothing, to render them delightfully perfumed. When nearing this plant during a garden ramble, the nose is informed of its proximity to a source of a most refreshing and agreeable spicy odour, and a twig of the plant broken off at any time, winter or summer, will retain its fragrance for months, if kept inclosed in a book or between folds of linen. Hung up anywhere in a room, it will diffuse its sweet odour for weeks together in the atmosphere; and, as the plants grow freely, it only needs to be cut at judiciously, and it will supply twigs all the year round for any purpose for which its fragrance may be required. This plant is plentiful on the dreary wastes of Dartmoor, where the red pebbly heath soil seems to suit it admirably. It will grow anywhere with hardy heaths and rhododendrons, and when bearing catkins is an interesting though not a beautiful object. When the sweet gale is boiled, a wax rises to the surface of the water, which, if collected and made into candles, emit the same spicy fragrance while burning.
The Floral World and Garden Guide, Volume 8
 By Shirley Hibberd

The scent of the thaw precedes the actual process. I should think that the snow must soon be swept away, by the flavor of the air, which tastes of the leaven of spring distributed through the wintry mass. And yet the spring is still far distant.
Sap flowing, resinous bark, breathing buds, all are suggested in the fragrant draught of the moist air. In years gone I have been much puzzled to trace to its origin this compound perfume sprinkled upon the keen breath of winter. I have at last tracked it to its source in the evergreens. Though the fragrance is to be noticed at other seasons, it is never so marked as in the winter time. Is it possible that the odor is enhanced by the shedding of the leaves, now going on? There was a touch of extra refinement to-day when, as I passed under their swinging boughs, the old fir-trees shed the breath of the hyacinth upon my path.
The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 73

But an open fire is a poem of subtle elemental fascination, writ in lambent lines of flame. It is a spectacle, an entertainment, a moving-picture show, a vision which "decomposes but to recompose," a song without words, a piece of woodland music improvised by some invisible dryad. "When old Robert draws the back-brand in, the green logs steam and spit," and we listen to one of Nature's lyrics in
The crooning of the blithe wood-flame—
A single bar of music fraught
With cheerful, yet half pensive thought—
A thought elusive; out of reach,
Yet trembling on the verge of speech.
An odoriferous delight also is the open fire when the right sort of wood
is burning.
The oozing pine logs flame and flare,
Wafting the perfume of their native woods;
and in the wood-smell is some opiate vapor which gives delicious dreams without somnolence. Spruce, which is fragrant with resinous aroma, is also the liveliest of woods, often making a miniature Fourth of July on the hearth with its snapping and crackling and popping fireworks.
The Methodist Review, Volume 95

Even in midwinter, when a warm time comes, and the snow melts. and the ground is thoroughly thawed, there are woodsy odors borne about by the drowsy winds. In fact, the fragrance of January is sweeter and more subtly elusive than that of May. Go nibble the brown, pointed buds of the beech tree in midwinter, and you will find how well the individuality of the tree is condensed in those laminated little spikes. You taste the perfume of tassels and the fragrance of young leaves, — there is an aromatic hint of coming nuts. You may almost taste the songs of the spring birds! \Vhat words these buds are! How prophetic! We bite them, and, lo! the spring rises in a vision! Its poem is read in advance.
I recollect a clear fountain of cold water around which grew festoons of cress and mint. I had been chasing the wild things all the morning, as a true huntsman will, and now I was tired and thirsty. At such a time what could be more welcome than mint and water? How soothing the fragrant flavor and the cooling draught! Then came the biting spiciness of the cress, to reinvigorate my nerve withal. Out of my pouch I drew a cake of maple sugar, and feasted like a god.
\Vhen winter begins to come on, the nuts come too. I cannot understand the taste of those who do not like the rich, oily kernels of the butternut, the hickory nut, and the sweet acorns of the pin oak. Squirrels know which side of a nut is buttered. They have long ago learned that it is the inside. From Florida to Michigan one may run the gamut of nuts, beginning with the lily-nuts, or water chinquepins. and running up to the great black-walnut, including every shade of flavor and fatness. They are all good. They were made to eat in the open air; and he who takes them, as the squirrels do, after vigorous exercise in the woods, will find great comfort in them. I cannot rank the artist or poet very high whose stomach is too aristocratic for wild berries, nuts, and aromatic bark. I fear that such an one has long since allowed that trace of savage vigor, which made him of kin to Pan and Apollo, to slip away and be lost. Shall we doubt that Burns got his sweet strength and freshness, in a great measure, out of the cool, fragrant loam his
ploughshare turned? The gracious ways of nature are so simple and so manifold. She gives up to us by such subtle vehicles of conveyance the precious essences of sug
gestion. She draws us back from overculture to renew our virility with her simples. She gives us dew instead of
philosophy, perfumes instead of science, flowers in place of art, fruit in lieu of lectures, and nuts instead of sermons.
Outing; Sport, Adventure, Travel, Fiction, Volume 5

In October, our thoughts are concentrated on the wealth of color. We hear no more birds, we gather no more fragrant flowers. Yet if some day we should lose the cool. slight breath of the
gorgeous leaves in our hands, or the fragrance of those we are treading upon, we should certainly miss the final charm of our ramble, though we might not know why; for this beauty of the old age of the year is as ethereal and impalpable as that of the spring-time.
The snow falls, and covers up the earth for its winter slumber. But we know one gentle secret. We know the
delicious scent of some of the dripping sphagnums in the deep woods during the happy days of a January thaw. Even in winter we have glad moments, when we are “lord of our senses five.”
So the year marches on in its eternal round, and from January to Janu
ary again
Fragrance in its footing treads.
The Atlantic, Volume 60

The pitch-pine mother trees have completed their preserving and now sit back and radiate perfume in satisfaction and
kindly good will toward the whole world, for this slightly resinous sweetness does not come at all from the pitch-covered buds on the branch tips as I first thought. It seems to emanate from the whole tree. Cut a branch and take it home with you. Strip leaves and buds from it if you will; then smell the wood. It is there. But more than from anywhere else it seems to come from the mature leaves, — those which have borne the burden and the heat of the summer, and now are losing their rich green in a ripening which befits maturity and work well done.
All the evergreens take on this slight tendency to a mellow yellow as the autumn waxes. It is due, no doubt, to the lessening of the sap in the leaves. All winter they will hold it, and when the joy of spring sends his lifeblood bounding back again, it will fade and leave them
vigorously green once more.
Wood Wanderings
 By Winthrop Packard
Crossing the glade again on my homeward way I plucked branches of juniper so thickly studded with blue berries that there seemed scarcely room for the scalypointed leaves, and in so doing I stumbled upon the real secret of the dainty odor left by the goddess and her train. For the matured shoots and leaves of the juniper give off a fragrance that is as much more dainty than that of the pitch pine as that is more dainty than the strongly resinous odor of the white pine when cut or bruised.
Cytherea must have smiled upon the humbler juniper as she passed, and the dwarfed and stunted shrub must have caught the warmth of her eyes full in the heart, for it sits snug as the days shorten and radiates a happiness that is perfume, and sends the thought of the goddess to all who pass that way. The stronger odor of the pitch pine carries it far on the soft south wind across the glade and down the path through the pasture, but this is only the vehicle. The dainty essence of perfume which stops you as if a soft hand fell upon your arm floats from the loving heart of the rough and lowly juniper.Wood Wanderings
 By Winthrop Packard
This night on which the horned owl of Pigeon Swamp brooded her eggs so carefully was lighted by the moon, but toward midnight a purple blackness grew up all about the still sky and blotted out all things in a velvety smear that sent even Bubo to perch beside his mate. There was then no breath of wind. The faint air from the north that had brought thedeep chill had faltered and died, leaving its temperature behind it over all the fields and forest. The air stung and the ground rang like tempered steel beneath the foot, yet you had but to listen or breathe deep to know what was coming. The stroke of twelve from the distant steeple brought a resonance of romance along the clear miles and the air left in your nostrils a quality that never winter air had a right to hold. To one who knows the temper of the open field and the forest by day and night the promise was unmistakable, though so subtle as to be difficult to define. Whether it was sound or smell or both I knew then that a south wind was coming, bearing on its balmy breath those spicy, amorous odors of the tropics that come to our frozen land only when spring is on the way. The goddess scatters perfumes from her garments as she comes and the south wind catches them and bears them to us in advance of her footsteps. You may sniff these same odors of March far offshore along the West Indies, — spicy, intoxicating scents, borne from the hearts of tropic wild-flowers and floating off to sea on every breeze.
Woodland Paths
 By Winthrop Packard