Fragrance is so subjective. What smells good to one person might gag another. Human perfumes often leave me nauseous, with flashbacks of riding to Grandma's house to be babysat during a parental date night, with the scent of my mother's Shalimar wafting to the backseat. A whole new level of carsick.
And then there are natural floral fragrances that make me swoon with their incredible sweetness.
Working in the humidity of the garden this week has been a hot and sweaty affair; nothing of the sort pictured on romance novels, but instead battling the cottonwood as she decorates every single plant with her fuzzy wads of sticky fluff.
The upside has been extra time outside to smell the oh-so-wonderful Japanese Lilac Tree. For me the frothy white blossoms smell just like the sweet peas I didn't get around to planting. The fragrance is sweeter and lighter than regular lilacs.The air fills with this fragrance, and it isn't too much, just right and heavenly when a cool breeze brings it close.
What a great little tree, the one in my backyard seems to thrive on neglect while looking graceful with its umbrella-like limbs.
I often blog from from my outdoor office, the front porch, where a patch of "Foxy" Pavement Roses (Rosa rugosa) blooms profusely all summer. Useless for bouquets, the blooms of varying shades of pink shatter in just a few days dropping their petals on the walk. They make up for it with the lovely scent that pervades the entire patio. Later in the season I pick the russet-color hips for making pretty golden-pink tea with a citrusy tang.
Who would expect such hardy and tough roses to look so delicate and smell so delicious?
And for dessert, a little chocolate. Chocolate cosmos that is. Cosmos atrosanguineus really does smell like chocolate; milk chocolate to me. The black-red single blooms are held on high stems, giving a wispy appearance that blends well with other perennials in the butterfly garden. An annual up north, the tubers can be lifted and overwintered to enjoy for more than one season. Because we never get enough chocolate.
What smells great in your garden? Is there one plant that you grow mainly for its fragrance? And is there a plant in your garden that reeks?