Sunday, July 1, 2012

Neighborhood smellies

I've been so busy this week, preparing to go with the kids to Iceland, wrapping up things at work before the holidays, taking care of the garden etc etc that I haven't had time to prepare a proper perfume post. So instead, I figuered I'd show you some other great smelling things that grow around my house.

The area I live in is full of older houses with georgeous gardens surrounding them. A funny thing is that most gardens tend to be very similar when it comes to what plants grow in them. When spring first started the lawns were covered in squills (scillor) and wood anemones (vitsippor). Then came the daffodils in the flower beds. After that came major lilac season, they were everywhere. Then rhodedendron. Currently there are three top players, presented below:  
Mock-orange
Up until a year ago I thought mock-oranges were jasmines. In Swedish they're named "Schersmin" which, very confusingly, is pronounced almost exactely the same as jasmine. But apparently they're another species altogether. Nontheless they smell DIVINE. It's a sweet, heady and almost fruity scent. So strong you can smell a few flowers from across the street and so syrupy I wouldn't mind eating it with a spoon!
Peony
And peonies! Their scent makes me think of a fat-free, sugar-free rose, but what they lack in scent they make up for in looks. They're so ridiculously big and colorful, make me swoon every time.
Elder flowers
The scent of elder flowers is an interesting one. They remind me of mimosa - minus the almondy facet. Though, I've only ever smelled mimosa in perfume so this might not be a very valid observation. But there is some anise in there, and caraway. According to the Fragrantica database only 4 perfumes have elder listen as a note. That's very few! I'd love to see what a good perfumer could do with this one!

So, this is what I smell at the moment. Coming up plants are lovely honeysuckle and roses. What are you smelling? I'd love to hear!

Pics: my own
 

10 comments:

  1. Sigrun, I so agree with you on mock-orange bushes! They smell fabulous and I used to have a big one in my yard, but my husband wanted to plant red raspberries instead, so now it's gone. (The raspberries are good, though.) :)

    It's full-on summer here ... the most fragrant blooms are the lilies and petunias that people have planted in their flower gardens, as well as the wild milkweed plants and a little flower called crown vetch (which is a ground-cover plant ... a flowering legume).

    Have a great trip to Iceland!

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    1. Thank you! Yum, raspberris are good, I understand you want tome of those. I have rhubarbs and som sort of miniature plums in my garden that I
      m very curious about. Im not sure exactely how those will turn out as we just moved there before Xmas.

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  2. It is full summer here as well, and very hot and dry, so there are very few flowering plants sending out their smells in my neighborhood. Instead, the scents of dry grass and garden clippings, tomato leaves (in my patio garden), and good old-fashioned clean air. It's nice, but not especially fragrant here at this time of year. :)

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    1. I love the smell of tomato vines. My mother in law has a small glass house where she grows them. Thats one of the scents that signal high summer!

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  3. Lilac season has come and gone where I live as well, as well as the Mayday trees blooming (one of my favorite scents), so we're moving into the season of green here. Poplars at the river, the sweet pines of the nearby mountains, grass, and the smell of my children's hair after a day in the sun.

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    1. Welcome back after your Internet break!
      Nothing beats the smell of childrens hair :) Im currently in Iceland and weatherwise its like the time has moved back a month or two. Its now lilac season, and here all liacs are pink instead of being white and different hues of purple as in Sweden.

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  4. Thanks for this post which made me smile, since it was just the other day that I too checked how many perfumes had been made with an elderflower note, and was surprised to see so few. It's so prominent at this time of year in Scandinavia, the air smells like one big dose of fruity floral.

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    1. Yes, it´s very strange there are so few perfumes made with it, as at least here the plant is used a lot. Both flowers and berries are made into cordials and used as flavourings for everything from schnapps to pickled herrings.

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  5. Lovely photos!

    And I believe you're absolutely correct on the elder and on your observations on mimosa (you describe it very well for someone who has smelling it only in perfumes, so good nose!). :-)

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  6. Thank you, now I feel very flattered :)

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