Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Makes Scents to Me (Part II)

            I’m not sure of the exact date my preference in scents switched from those that came in a bottle to those that came from plants. But while I don’t recall the exact date, I do recall the incident that brought me to my current “scentses.”

The sweetheart roses which
began my outside
"scent"imental journey.
             One spring evening a few years ago, I was sitting in my little outside alcove—can’t really call it a porch—and caught a whiff of the sweetheart roses on a bush near my front door. Nothing heavy, just a light aroma wafting on the evening breeze. Up to that point, my plant choices had been mainly based on sight—what had showy blossoms, what provided the most color, what filled out space the best. But that evening, as I breathed in that airy sweetness, I made the conscious decision to consider my sense of smell in future planting. And I also began making the effort to appreciate the fragrant gifts of plants already established. So these days, I no longer linger at the Dillard’s or Macy’s perfume counter, inhaling the floral or musky scents provided there. Instead, I do my lingering outside—more specifically, in my own yard—and enjoy the offerings from the most creative perfumer of all, Mother Nature.

The smell from this lilac bush is especially sweet since it was a rescue plant and cost me next to nothing!


Does anything beat the heady scent of honeysuckle in full bloom...

unless it's jasmine?

And don't forget the mouthwatering aromas of fresh herbs. My all-time favorite...fresh basil. Even if I'm not going to cook with it, I'll crush a leaf in my fingers and inhale.

Knockout roses are appreciated more for their blooms than their scent, but I've found if you get up close and personal and inhale deeply, they'll reward you with a subtle rosy aroma.


This beauty doesn't actually belong to me. It's in my neighbors' yard. But since it's on the edge of their property, I sneak over and "borrow" a whiff  from time to time. Even this bee can't resist its citrusy reminder of southern summers.

         A disclaimer: Lest, I give the impression I live in the middle of a sprawling garden like those featured in Southern Living, I don’t. I don’t even live in a charming, nostalgic neighborhood with lush cottage gardens and picket fences. I live in an ordinary suburban neighborhood, on an ordinary-sized lot, most of which is covered with ordinary green grass. But “blooming where I’m planted,” I try to make the most of my limited space and my limited horticultural abilities. And these days, I'm happy with that! 
          Do you have a favorite perfume offered up by Mother Nature? Please share!


  1. I LOVE the clove smell of Bath's Pink Dianthus. I also love to smell the blooms on Lime trees, but so far I've only encountered them in England.

    1. Oh, yes, if I recall correctly, dianthus has a "carnation" aroma to it, and carnations are among my favorite flowers because of their clean, fresh scent. I've never seen a lime tree blossom, either, but the very idea of it sounds heavenly.

  2. Hello, Dee Dee! I used to go to church with Nancy McKinnis. My aunt, Jenielle Greenlee mentioned you, and since I am a writer as well, I thought I'd start following your blog :)

    I loved this post, I can completely relate. I hope to start a garden at the new house my husband and I will be renting. I absolutley love roses.

    ~K.J. Bryen, plungingintothenovel.blogspot.com

    1. Welcome, K.J.! I'm so excited to get a new follower. Nancy had contacted me about you, and I'm excited to meet a new writer as well. If you're on FB, I'll send you a friend request, and perhaps we can get together.

  3. Lilac was a fave when I lived in the north because the scent heralded the official arrival of warm weather. I lean to herby scents now, and like you, love basil. I also love citrus, maybe because it smells fresh and clean. :-)


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