Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Of blossoms, herbs, and spices

Even though the spring equinox has passed and we’ve had warm, spring weather, there are warnings for snow tonight and cold temperatures. Frosty winds return for a bit; the March lion roars again during this last week. Scent of frost in the air.

This afternoon during our walk, Spring smells and other odors hung in the air; sweet flowers, the musty smell of fruit tree blossoms, meatloaf baking, someone doing wash, whiff of wood smoke from a fireplace, fresh mown grass, frying onions and garlic, an unidentifiable casserole.

Our house smells faintly of lavender — and chocolate, since C made his famous brownies yesterday.

And in Rome, you can savor the aromas of four perfumes of ancient Greece, which were created by archeologists using recipes and techniques from that era. Named for four Greek goddesses, Hera, Aphrodite, Artemis, and Athena, the perfumes are displayed behind glass with a lid visitors can raise so they can catch a hint of each of these fragrances. One of the archeologists describes the perfumes as "smelling of herbs and spices, like almond, coriander, myrtle, conifer resin, bergamot — and not flowers."

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Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume.
-- Jean de Boufflers

Flowers leave some of their fragrance in the hand that bestows them.
-- Chinese proverb

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