Saffron Crocus

Saffron Crocus!
Finding this saffron crocus (Crocus sativus) on Mout Meron was such a delightful surprise!
I'm thrilled to report that the aroma, though unmistakable saffrony, is elusive and different. There is something about the fresh flower that doesn't translate into the dead or dried one. The breath of fresh mountain air that surrounds it. A hint of moss from a nearby oak branch. Maybe even a tiny bit of cinnamon. But most importantly - a generally flowery feeling that you don't get when encountering the spice.

The three orange columns you see at the centre of the flowers are not the stamens (which are the male flower bits that carry the pollen), but the feminine stigma, which in the saffron crocus, unlike many other dual-gender flowers, is located above the stamens, making it a more difficult flower to pollinate.

I've returned to the studio feeling inspired to create a very floral saffron fragrance. Perhaps incorporate it into my existing Tamya perfume, and then work out the autumn crocus theme by adding a hint of saffron. It would be interesting to try to "spice up" this otherwise innocent, fruity-floral fragrance. It's a very uplifting fragrance, and may be exactly the kind of floral surrounding this dusky crocus needs.


Narcissus by Ayala Moriel
Narcissus, a photo by Ayala Moriel on Flickr.
When my mom was a little girl she picked narcissi on the railroad tracks with my grandpa.
Now she is a grandma but she still picks them for me!
Tonight I'm wearing a narcissus perfume I'm working on. With jonquil and narcissus absolutes. They bear little resemblence to the fresh flowers, but are equally breathtaking!

The perfume is very much based on the unique character of the narcissus absolute - densely floral, a tad spicy, honeyed, rich, luxurious, reminiscent of hay, maybe even a hint of roasted coffee.

The fresh flowers strongly remind me of winter in Israel: the flowers emerge out of nowhere, often amongst the commonest thorny bushes, and never cease to amaze me what life can bring out of the hard, rocky soil. The flowers are shaped like a saucer and a golden tea cup in the centre. Their perfume is vibrant, fresh, honeyed, backed with a gentle and rather warm crushed-leaf greenness. Their scent is that of wild flowers and freedom: redolent of Mediterranean showers, jumping in the puddles, and discovering sunshine again after a day of rain.
True piece of nature's art and alchemy.

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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