Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Ramble - Fragrance

When I stepped out onto the deck after an early morning rain a day or two ago, there was the heady perfume of roses in full bloom, kissed by raindrops and dishing out frothy sublime fragrance with abandon.

Moving toward the door in wellies, with a camera around my neck and a mug of Constant Comment in hand, I was turning over words in my mind: serendipity, summer, lunar, zephyr, solstice... thinking that one of the words I murmured like a litany would be the Friday word of the week, something I could enjoy researching, musing on and writing about here today. Finding a good word and following it all the way back to its illustrious Indo-European roots is a lark, and it is always such fun to do.  No wait..... We wrote about zephyrs last week, and Litha (or the summer solstice) is next week.

Fragrance is today's word, and the only word that will do.  It hails from the early fifteenth century at least, springing from late Middle English, thence from the Latin frāgrāns, frāgrāre meaning "to give off an odor" or simply "to smell sweet". Roget's Thesaurus gives us synonyms such as: aroma, redolence, perfume, elixir, bouquet, incense, musk, attar, balm, civet, potpourri, nosegay, scent, sachet, cologne.

Rain or no rain, my June garden is an abode of fragrance and sweetness, and it's enough to fill an ancient rose loving Celt, Roman, Persian or Egyptian with flat-out envy. Finding adjectives for such wild and earthy opulence is always difficult, and for a few minutes yesterday, I was completely lost for words.

The gloriously blushed rose here this morning is David Austin's exquisite "Heritage", and the master himself describes its perfume as classically beautiful with overtones of fruit, honey and carnation on a myrrh background.   Next up are the antique Maiden's Blush, David Austin's Abraham Darby, Evelyn, Gertrude Jekyll and the gorgeous once-blooming Constance Spry. Hallelujah, summer is here, and  little rain in early morning doesn't matter a bit. 
It is a personal tradition to plant a new rose in the garden at the summer solstice, and this year, two magnificent gallicas will be coming home: Charles de Mills and Belle Isis.


One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

The scent has drifted to my woods.
Thank you
This June is glorius...

Guy said...

Hi Cate

I don't even have blooms yet groan.


Kim Antieau said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely.