THE JOY OF FRAGRANCE-2
by Mary Gladys Meredith Webb
As in some uncanny flowers and distorted trees there seems to be an evil influence, so in many cloying scents there is sorcery. Down where the pale turf is dank, among the harsh smells of yew-trees, laurels and Herb Paris, one almost sees the malevolent fair face of Vivian, as she passes – delicate and dishevelled – among the tangled shadows, weaving incantations with her wimple. Crush the purple orchis or berries of black bryony, and their necromancy brings dim thoughts of evil schemings, dishonoured deaths, unholy rites. Then gather a spray of wild artemisia; its sweet influence will exorcise the sense of brooding harm; it brings remembrance of well-being and well-doing, of love triumphant and dreams come true. When the honeyed wine of apple blossom is in the air and the freshness of dew is like a caress, we hear the youth of the world laughing – we see Perdita with her arms full of daffodils, and Atalanta coming through the meadows with wet, white feet.
These immemorial essences fill the mind with purple haze and auroral mist, conjuring impalpable visions of ancient things.