Now is the time of yr to be indulging in floral scents. In winter, lavender is an appropriate floral perfume however now that roses are in bloom and summer time is sort of upon us, I’m reaching on my dressing desk for lighter fragrances — lily of the valley and rose and violet and jasmine. Each brings again reminiscences of the place I acquired it, or of somebody whose perfume it was after I first discovered I favored it.
Though she was fondly nicknamed Rosebud, it was violet that was my paternal grandmother’s pet perfume. On summer time evenings, when there have been nonetheless enough bluffs at Oak Bluffs to have a park bench there, she was positive to be on it. She would watch the solar go down and wave to passing boats with a shawl scented with violet. Of course the perfume by no means reached the vacationers on passing steamers nevertheless it did attain me, sitting beside her on the finish of Arlington avenue. And so, on heat summer time evenings, I’m more likely to put dabs of violet from my dressing desk behind my ears. Then I fondly bear in mind my grandmother and the bluffs which can be nearly gone.
The flower from which the fragrance comes was as soon as the Greek nymph, Io, beloved of Zeus, the king of the gods, a e book of wildflower lore tells me. Io was become a tiny, aromatic violet by Zeus to guard her from his jealous goddess spouse, Hera. The few wild violets of spring that develop right here and there on the Vineyard at the moment are lengthy gone however I’m reminded by my bottle of Les Fleurs de Provence Violette of that French province the place I first acquired it.
The lilies of the valley at the moment are gone, too, however in early spring I’ve usually discovered them on Island walks. There is a positive patch on Middle Road in West Tisbury and I’ve uncommon pink ones in my backyard, transplanted from the late Henry Beetle and Elizabeth Bowie Hough’s Edgartown backyard.
The lilacs that develop at my entrance door are lengthy gone now, too, however I’ve lilac eau de cologne on my dressing desk. It was a purchase order on a go to to Nantucket some years in the past, so I consider Nantucket after I put on it.
And then there may be jasmine, a flower of heat international locations. It was on a hillside in Tunisia that I first smelled its delicate white flower. Later, in eating places there , distributors of jasmine had been going from desk to desk promoting jasmine bouquets. In Egypt, Egyptian mates inform me, jasmine is all the time thought of an acceptable springtime present for younger women.
Here on the Vineyard, the little wild roses that had been planted to separate subject from subject within the Fifties are in bloom, their perfume perfuming up-Island. Rosa rugosa fragrance is within the air, too. And in Edgartown, in fact, the scent of fence roses abounds.
On my dressing desk I’ve a tiny wood minaret with a slender bottle inside. Though it has lengthy been empty, it nonetheless smells aromatic. It comes from the Valley of the Roses in Bulgaria the place I used to be as soon as at rose harvesting time. There, the fields had been crammed with ladies selecting pink Damask roses for attar of roses.
I’ve by no means understood why, these days, new American roses are being grown just for magnificence, with all considered perfume lengthy gone. Why can’t there nonetheless be the fragrance of candy-smelling American roses on my dressing desk?