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?!

Spring Blossoms

Spring, originally uploaded by Dragan*.

Spring and all its flowers
now joyously break their vow of silence.
It is time for celebration, not for lying low;
You too - weed out those roots of sadness from your heart.
- Hafiz

Winter hibernation gives man and nature time to restore energies and contemplate life while seemingly listless and lifeless. Everything has a different way to cope with cold and darkness: Trees withhold their foliage until the sun provides sufficient amounts of energy; seeds and bulbs hiding from rot in the cold hard earth covered with snow and ice; animals and people laying low, keeping warm and preserving energy, or sleeping the winter off.

With the return of sun with its light and warmth, the world reaches a resolution of returning to life, with full force. And nothing expresses this drive better than the spring blossoms: set against dark barks and cold earth, barely defrosted, the abundance of delicate pink flowers of cherry, almond and plum are the boldest statement of life and optimism. They can also be seen as symbolizing enlightenment.

Spring blossoms are two months early this year, blooming as early in the winter as late December and reaching impressive peaks by early February. The trees have reached the verdict to continue on living without even taking an afternoon nap. Somehow, this seems all wrong... Denying the stillness, the darkness of winter and refusing to look into the depths of despair, this mirror of misery for the true meaning of life that can help us reach the next phase of enlightenment.

Or could it mean, that nature is telling us to stop grieving, gather our optimism and cheer up faster when things look down and gloomy? Taking that risk, sending the best of the best out to the world, risking to waste all your flowers for another possible cold draft… With the hope that these flowers will, if not bear fruit, at least put a smile on the face of one sad person.

It was just a little less than two years from when I created Hanami perfume. And it still amazes me what these few poetic words and the visions of cherry blossoms in the city bring into my life.

P.s. Yesterday I spotted a blooming rhododendron bush! These don't come out till MAY!!!

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