Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack challenge for the week is Fragrance.
How does one picture fragrance? By taking a photo of an item that evokes sweet fragrance, like flowers? I must be strange because although I planted flowers in my garden by their sweet smell, I never liked wearing them. I mean if I have to pick a perfume I stay away from floral scents. Call me plain vanilla, but that is how I am. I want subtle and simple.
For my entry this week, honeysuckle and ylang-ylang.
Back in the days when I was still in the Philippines, I’ve only known honeysuckle through Avon perfumes. The vine does not grow in the tropics but the first time I smelled it was in Greece, in my boss’s garden in the middle of Peloponnese.
It was the middle of summer – August, it was hot and dry in Greece. By the family chapel dedicated to her lost sister, there was a vine creeping and it was in bloom. I’ve never seen it before so I went to ask him and he said his mother planted that honeysuckle. I took some and kept them in my pocket and made a mental note to order a plant as soon as I get back to the US.
Our talk of honeysuckle didn’t end there. My curiosity gave him an idea to gather some of the blooms, wrapped it in foil and brought it back to her Mom who lives with them since he lost his father. At the time I was there, she could not make it to Greece so instead he brought her back something that would remind her of home.
This memory of my boss is just one more manifestation of how lucky I am to be working for 30 years for someone who’s truly a wonderful human being.
I did get my honeysuckle and I had years to enjoy it. It hardly grows in Zone 5 but I planted it behind my magnolia tree to protect it from the Winter elements.
Everytime I see honeysuckle, a picture of my boss giving this priceless gift to his mother comes to mind. A simple act of love. I could just imagine how happy she was.
Another fragrance that I couldn’t forget is ylang-ylang or ilang-ilang or scientifically known as cananga odorata. It is a tree native to the Philippines with small flowers that one could smell in the whole neighborhood. Its oil is essential in perfumery or aromatherapy.
Its perfume is so rare that if I see one at the store I probably won’t hesitate to get it.