Daffodil Dew

Back to the drawing board with my Coal Harbour perfume. It seems like the timing could not be more important now with the terrible oil spill. So I return to a perfume that is inspired by the smell of jet-fuel mingled with sundries barnacles and seaweed at low tied. That and some fresh-cut grass. And elderflowers (which are in season again - a whole month earlier than they should).

Another scent that is typical of spring, and unique to these northern parts of the world are more sweet-balsamic notes, some of which I can attribute to the cotton trees, some to a mysterious tree whose flowers I've never seen, but smells almost of vanilla and labdanum combined and always stops me on my tracks overtime I pass by it. Perhaps I shall add some sappy balsam poplar buds absolute to this perfume... Narcissus absolute does not seem like a bad idea either, although I should really keep it for special occasions! It is such a rare essence, and oh so precious. However, with its hay-like, warm-spicy and slightly balsamic attitude, I might just have to dip into that cookie jar once again for the Coal Harbour perfume. And I might as well grab some crystallized-sugar-like liatrix absolute while I'm at it!


Mimosa, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

While Vancouver is freezing over, spring is here in other parts of the world (although it may seem like a very wintery weekend to those who actually live here...). Splashes of yellow bring cheerful smile to my face, and especially when sniffing these particularly tiny mimosas, or acacias, be what they may, growing on the sides of the roads of beautiful Sonoma Valley, California. My, is this place beautiful!
These tiny mimosas are only lightly fragrant (most mimosas are, actually). And they smell of spring: delicate sweetpea at first, with some underlining green notes of fresh cut grass and even carob blossoms.

Daffodils, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

Other less fragrant but not any less appealing visually are fields of mustard (or is it canola?), cultivated daffodils (which don't bloom in Vancouver till April!) and this sign warning of ducks crossing that totally cracked me up...

I'm stranded in Sonoma for another day (flying standby - there was no room on any of the flights out of Santa Rosa this morning) but I can't really complain, can I? This place is so cheerful, peaceful, beautiful and welcoming.

Ducks crossing, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

Ode to James Bay

James Bay, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

James Bay looked beautifully moody on this grey spring day. The misty air smelled of salt and wet grass as we approached the hillsides, trimmed with strange hedges and covered with grassy meadows, specked with early daffodils. The beauty of this bay has the ability to soothe the most troubled soul with its harmonious horizon of snow capped mountainous islands.

James Bay, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

And it greeted me yesterday with the most smiling of all faces - the setting sun sending horizontal rays through the layers of grass and diffuses through the atmosphere with moving dots like swimming plankton.

Piano & Chess, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

The lobby at James Bay Inn smells vaguely of almonds and baby powder and has everything one needs to pass time meaningfully - a piano and a chess set. The only thing missing was people to play with (or play the piano for me). But even just looking at the space and the antique Victorian sofas and upholstered chairs creates a lively conversation in one’s head.

In the evening, as we walked on Toronto street, approaching Beacon Hill Park, a strangely familiar scent permeated the air: brewing tea! Was it Early Grey, or something else? It was obviously present but also slipped away quickly before I was able to fully analyze it. It reminded me mostly of wet tea leaves. A few steps later, it was Blueberry tea. “Hmmm, Victorians must be true tea lovers if their streets smell like this!”. I was determined to come back through the same street on the way to the inn, but the winding trails on the parks mossy belly distracted me and I was walking in a different street. I almost just arrived at the hotel, when the tea waft appeared again. This time, it was more like a lychee tea. Cleverly, I stopper right there and than and bent over the nearest branch of flowering bush that happened to be just by my feet. Sure enough, this was the source of the scent. The bush looks like pittosporum with green blossoms. And smells amazingly like fruity black tea.

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