I am very excited and honored to participate in this fragrant May Flowers Blog Project hosted by Roxana of Illuminated Perfume. Please check out the other wonderful posts throughout this month celebrating the lovely month of May here.
In March of 2005, this Texas gal became a Seattleite. I spent March through late May of that year wondering "Does the sun EVER come out here? Where are my 80 degree temperatures?!" After weeks of clouds, rain and cold (and walking around in sweatshirts most of the time), the first sunny and warm day arrived in May and, with it, a variety of vegetation I had never seen in North Texas. I had always heard from locals that late Spring and Early Summer are why you live here. Well, 5 years later, I have experienced, first hand, that amazement of how incredibly beautiful this area can be. It was also around this time that I was transitioning from a candle maker to a perfumer and I felt like a kid in a candy store experiencing the fragrant offerings of this area. What amazed me was I was surrounded by Lilacs everywhere I turned. Lilacs of all varieties grow wild here and range from deep, intensely purple (like the Klager Double Purple growing in my Mother's yard shown above) to gorgeous white blossoms (like the Edith Cavell below). Lilacs, in the Spring, are one of the very first flowers to bloom up here and, sadly, the first to leave us. I always miss the smell that permeates the warm air when you are around them. Perfumers covet the scent as it encompasses all that is sexy and sweet.
Recently, my thoughts and sniffer have been obsessed with another fragrant wonder of the Pacific Northwest, Pieris Japonica or Lily of the Valley Bush. While this fragrant bush is not native to the area (it is native to the Far East), it grows very well in the soil here and in the salty air of the coast. It adorns many fences in the area making it lovely for those who enjoy the evening stroll. It reminds me of when I was a kid walking with my friends while stopping to sniff and taste the sweet Honeysuckle growing wild in the neighborhood.
As a Texan, you don't go too long without participating in this ritual. I blogged a few weeks ago about how inspired I was to create a a honeysuckle/white florals/woodsmoke blend. This inspiration came with my first sniff of these urn-shaped flowers on warm evening stroll. There was the scent of burning wood in the air and the Lily of the Valley bushes were starting their bloom. I am often drawn to memories of Spring and Summer in North Texas and the Lily of The Valley Bush takes me back there while welcoming me to Seattle's Springtime. Unfortunately, these bushes and their fragrant blooms are poisonous, but I will continue to enjoy them until they are gone. These flowers have fragrantly guided me through my new journey as a Pacific Northwest girl and perfumer.
May we all be lucky enough to have a chance to always sniff these May flowers.