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Happy Spring Equinox!

Spring Equinox

Happy Spring Equinox, and Happy Persian New Year!
I've spent the last few days on the road, taking the train to Portland, where I stayed with the lovely Trish of ScentHive and her equally lovely family. It was an unusually dry and bright sunny day, and we strolled through the famous Rose Gardens which were only beginning to send red-green tender leaves, full of promise for happy summer.

Violets & Moss

Her neighborhood is filed with gardens, which are at least one month ahead of Vancouver's spring weather: the daffodils were in full bloom and there were gorgeous sweet violets (which I can't even find in a nursery in Vancouver, and don't bloom till the summer if anyone is even growing them!).

And I even met a new flower - Edgeworthia chrysantha, related to daphne, and beautifully scented to boot. Its delicate scent filled the damp and ever so slightly warmer spring air, with a delicate, clean floral scent, with hints of citrus overtones and clean-woody undertones.

Edgeworthia chrysantha

And then of course there was a classic Portland garden moment like this:
Mad Tea Party

And a street corner like that - which pretty much sums up the culture of Portlandia - wooden ATM booth, food trucks, wacky architecture in the background, and across from it were two very rad stores - one for making your own terrariums, and another that is stuffed with glowing gnomes of all sizes, Easter eggs, Day of the Dead skeletons, and just blatantly mismatched paraphernalia of all ends of the spectrum from hideous to Disney-kitsch.

Quintessential Portland Street Corner

And now I'm in Berkeley, preparing for an afternoon tea for all the perfumers in the area, and those attending the 2nd annual Artisan Fragrance Salon. It is hosted at Alembique - and up and coming boutique for the art of perfumery, just off the beaten tracks near Gourmet Ghetto. Miss T is here to help and just overall keep the morale up for this rather ambitious operation (i.e.: hosting a tea party a day before a big show, and all very far away from home!). We are soaking up the Bay goodness (although so far we've mostly seem to have broken the drought in the area and began our stay with 2 days of rain!).

Pittosporum


This evergreen bush was in full bloom everywhere I went in the cities. But it was especially fragrant in the gardens of Jerusalem, where its exceptional aroma, reminiscent of both orange blossom and jasmine scented the air with its uplifting and delicate scent.

Jasmines

There are so many types of jasmine, and while I havenโ€™t seen many Jasmine grandiflorum or Sambac blooming this spring, a different variety that is totally new to me has captured my noseโ€™s attention. It has a delicate aroma that is lightly peach-like, while being ultimately jasmine.
The yellow jasmine is the least fragrant of all jasmine varieties, and is mostly appreciated for its colour.
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