Fragrant Spring Flowers

Medicinal Birch flowers - another innocent looking flower that does not normally attract much attention as its scent is subtle. But once you have decided to lean over and inhale this beautiful, crisp-linen coloured flower with butter-yellow stamen, you will discover an unusual orchestration of linden blossom and sweet almond flowers combined. Sweet and crisp, reminiscent of an elegant European soap, but so much better than that.

Sweet almond blossoms - from Shkediya, the queen of Tu Bishvat. If you ever come close to one of these flowers, you'll enjoy its honey and almond perfume, that so many trendy soaps attempt to imitate.

Arbutus blossoms... I don't smell much in them (partial anosmia?) but those who do, experience an intense honey-like aroma. No wonder the bees like them!

Bay Laurel blossoms. Smelling clovey, spicy and sweet from an abundance of eugenol.

קידה שעירה Kida Seira (Calicotome villosa), aka Thorny Broom, is very sweet smelling and around late March to mid April the fragrance becomes so intensely sweet that it's almost too much... It's beautiful and although I tried numerous times to tincture this, the results were pathetic. Whomever is going to succeed harvesting and extracting the flowers into absolute would win a small fortune for a labour of love (the thorns that the plant is covered with to protect it from goats and other beasts are a little poisonous actually, resulting in very unpleasant lingering stings). This plant grows in abundance in areas that experienced fires, as the seeds sprout better after fires.

Sweet Valencia orange blossoms. Can there be any other scent more happier and that announces spring in a brighter note than this?!

Happy Spring!

עדת כרמליות פריכה
כסתה כליל את הגופה
שנשארה פה אפופה
בשלג של ריחות פריחה

Spring is here, and brought with it a myriad of flowers full of fragrances colours. Spring is different in different parts of the world of course, and for me it is always a dichotomy between my longing to the myriads of wild flowers of where I grew up (the Western Galilee of Israel, which I rarely get to see during this very beautiful season); and my recent acquaintance with the tree blossoms of sakura and ume (Japanese cherry and plum, respectively) that grow in abundance in Vancouver (many of which were a gift from Japan). The flowers above are poppies (not particularly odorous on their own) and some type of a daisy that has the typical bitter scent of the chrysanthemum family. The flowers on top, with the pale purple-pink cross shape, are called "Karmeliyot" and are sweetly fragrant, not as heady as sweetpeas, but nontheless, can become overpowering when it's a dry and sunny spring day. In British Columbia, wild flowers are a far cry from the vivid display of colours, shapes and aromas that is in more extreme weather conditions (such as deserts, prairies or alpine climates). It's mostly just green and boring there... In Israel, all the colours of the rainbow can be found in the wild flowers blooming during the month of March.

Mimosas, an invasive species of tall shrubs that are native to Australia and took over the hills of Provence as well as many parts of Israel. The aroma is very subtle and is reminiscent of stamen, iris, wet wood, powder and green leaves. Their use in perfumery is described in much detail here.

Snow drops, which have a nice and fresh aroma that is strangely hard to detect the closer you get to the flower... But floats in the vicinity where they are in bloom. My apologies for not being able to rotate the photo, it looks so much lovelier with the correct orientation... Will fix when I figure it out!

Plum blossoms, with a subtle, bittersweet and powdery like coumarin, which lace the streets of the West End in Vancouver in very early spring.

Jasmine and Spike Lavender make a strangely appealing combination! Spike lavender (Lavandin) in its fresh form is very green, more than herbaceous, and clean smelling - verging on the soapy. Jasmine's indolic undertones creates an intriguing contrast, not unlike what you'll find at the heart of many leading fougeres fragrances.

Pear blossoms. Not much in the way of scent (very subtle), but their whiteness is striking yet delicate. This is the time for all the orchard trees to bloom and prepare the delicious juicy summer and autumn fruit!
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