Mystery tree that gives off a sweet, balsamic fragrance reminiscent of vanilla, cured tobacco and labdanum. It took me as long as several years to identify the source of this heavenly, unmistakable smell... It is hidden, because it comes not from flowers, but from the resin surrounding the budding leaves, which first appear in spring on the completely barren trees. Sources of smell are varied and many, and somehow, even though black current buds are a known fragrance material, it just did not occur to me that this sweet smell is coming from yet to be opened buds.
An attempt at tincturing the fragrant new leaves.
Black cottonwood buds. Sticky, fragrant - very close to balsam poplar buds absolute.