Balmy breeze with remnants of freeze. Black cottonwood buds (Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa) lightly scent the air, bring to mind chilly spring morning that are warmed up by their cozy balsamic aroma. The beginning of spring (and allergies). Except that it's August. What a strange experience, on a warm summer day to be greeted by this scent and no other on my arrival to Vancouver!
This smell is like walking along the defunct train tracks from Granville Island to my daughter's speech therapist on False Creek. Breathing in the cotton-candy sweetness of these mysterious trees, which I was never able to recognize. Or walking by a vanilla-and-balsam-scented tree on Sunset Beach and never really understanding where the scent comes from. It took me years to pinpoint the source - not a flower, but the resin-protected young leaf, wrapped in sticky matter honeyed and persistent like propolis.I'm tempted to craft something from them - tincture, dry - anything to preserve this gorgeous scent that I will not find when going back home. But it's just the beginning of the trip and I can't get my suitcase filled with too much liquid mess already. Liquids are just not travel friendly. So I wear Komorebi instead...
Next peculiar encounter is with wisteria. I am immediately transported to the Petit Trianon garden in Versailles - a miniature village with an ancient wisteria vine that was in bloom in the spring I was visiting. Again, this is an out-of-place and out-of-season experience, disorienting as jet lag itself.