Her Majesty Jasmine

Her Majesty Jasmine. The perfumer Edmond Roudnitska said once that “if Rose is the queen of the flowers, Jasmine is the queen of the fragrances.” Thanks to you, Grasse, in South of France, metamorphosed from a filthy and stinky leather tanning town to the world’s  capital of perfume. The Moors, who discovered you in South…

Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle. What a funny name for a funny bine. Day after day, you spiral and climb around your vegetal neighbors to get the best spot under the sun. Butterflies and hummingbirds are crazy about your nectar, and the children have also learned how to taste your honey by pulling your pistil from the bottom. You are classified as…

Lily of the Valley

 Lily of the Valley. There is always a wild side to an innocent face, and your cute white bells hide a poisonous nature. You are celebrated since the antiquity where you symbolized Mary’s tears and were in the lyrics of the Song of Songs of Salomon. In the language of the flowers, you are the symbol…

Camphor Tree

Camphor Tree. Cousin of cinnamon and laurel, you are a sacred tree in the Far East. Your hardwood makes the most precious trunks,  protecting their content against all sort of pests. Your white crystallized blood, called camphor, was once upon a time a very precious substance. Without you, battlefields would have been covered with smoke, billiard…

Glorious Lilac

Glorious Lilac. Your natural bluish color is the root of your name, as the Arabic for it is lilak. Your hollow branches, similar to a reed, reminded the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus of the legend of the Satyr Pan chasing the nymph Syrinx who transformed herself into a hollow reed. Your Latin name, derived from Syrinx, is…

Metallic Notes

Metal. You are defined by your toughness and your ability to shine. Mercy is not part of your vocabulary as your heart is colder than ice. It is only under the tease of acetylene that you change your nature to become an orange devil, radiating heat and fear. In that state, your worst enemy is…

Caramel

Caramel. You are the child of Sugar and Cream, born after a hot wedding night. Sweet you are, and your heavenly aroma transports us to paradise. Blond, light-brown, gold, amber, dark-brown, it seems you emulated the rainbow of our human race. Hard, soft, grained, chewy, enrobing or flowing, your nature is versatile, and your texture…

Sakura

Sakura, sakura,              (Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms,) Ya-yo-I-no so-ra-wa,         (In the Spring sky,) Mi-watasu kagiri               (as far as eyes can see) Ka-su-mi-ka ku-mo-ka,    (is it fog or is it a cloud?) Ni-o-i-zo i-zu-ru                …

Primordial Magnolia

Primordial Magnolia. You are one of the first to announce Spring when other flowers are still lolling in the comfort of their bud. Your magnificence is on par with the magic of your fragrance. In spite of being one of the most ancient flowers known on our planet Earth, your beauty is still unaltered after almost one…

Fragrant Nails

Fragrant Nails. How many sailors and merchants died for you? How many others have made their fortune with your trade?  Your overpowering flavor and anesthetic properties made you a valued ingredient for oral hygiene and medicine to cure toothaches. As a spice, you transformed bland meat into tasty gravies and made desserts so delicious. Old Europe…