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…

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…

Osmanthus Fragrans

Osmanthus Fragrans. An ancient Chinese legend sees you as a giant tree growing on the Moon, shading the light of the celestial body. Wu Gang, in his quest of becoming immortal, was sent by the Emperor to the moon to cut the self-healing osmanthus, in vain. It is in this autumn equinoctial time that the Chinese celebrate the…

Enlightening Lotus

Enlightening Lotus. You are teaching us that our human transformation, from the common world to a higher state of purity and wisdom  is possible. You are deeply rooted in the mud, but your leaves and beautiful fragrant flowers emerge from the pond majestically unstained. Hinduism considers you as a holy flower and the teachings of the Buddha are summarized in…

Hypnotizing Gardenias

Scent of June. Hypnotizing Gardenias. Pure snow-white  beauty on a lush green alcove, your fragrance is hypnotizing. Could we imagine a second that you are related to the coffee tree? Gardenias bloom in June in East Asia and their amazing scent announces the hot and humid summer. They have been cultivated in China for more…