Aromatherapy: The Wonder of Nature’s Perfume

TulipFestAfter a long, cold winter, I can hardly complain about the heat and humidity of the last few days. It seems hard to believe that only a few days ago, I was covering my sensitive annuals with hay due to a frost advisory.

IMG_9627Nevertheless, my perennial bulbs are loving this heat spell and I am taking full advantage of the abundance of blooms to bring indoors.

If you have followed my blog over the years, you know my favorite flowers are Lilacs. These are my Miss Kim Lilacs-which bloom 2 weeks later than the standard ones- so my Lilac season lasts much longer than one would think possible. Putting my nose into the florets is “heavenly bliss”. I have no other way to describe the delightful aromas that put me into a state of ecstasy.LilacBliss

Then my Iris start opening- both single and double bearded varieties. The single ones have a sugary powdered scent that satisfies my cravings, while the doubles have a darker, richer fragrance that doesn’t let me go.HeavenlyIris

This year at almost the same time, the Peonies began opening. They have a completely different aura. Sweet, but more sophisticated, with layers of roses infiltrated into them- wild, climbing, tea- all varieties are collected into one breed.Peony9698

I spent Memorial Day weekend catching up on yardwork, with many hours spent outside. By  the time I returned to work on Tuesday I wasn’t sure I could take even a half day indoors. I decided to bring a bouquet of flowers to the office. I collected Peonies, Iris and Lilacs and set them up in my 150 sq. ft office that I share with my partner.

20150526_211216

We enjoyed the sweet wafts of scent that the breezes from  our open window spread around the room. However, the real aromatherapy was noticed when our colleagues came bursting in the door- frantically asking us questions- and then paused, mid-sentence- to notice how wonderful our flowers smelled. By the time they were done taking in and appreciating the beautiful display, they had forgotten the urgency of their visit and we were able to conduct business in a much more agreeable way.

Too bad I don’t know of any season that yields more fragrant flowers than the month of May. As the days get hotter, the fragrances are only noticeable to the birds and the bees. As beautiful as Sunflowers, Phlox, poppies and Gladiolus are, they really don’t have the same scent appeal. May is the season for Aromatherapy.IMG_9645

Advertisements

A Little Piece of Heaven

Little Piece of Heaven

My favorite time of the year is here once again- Lilac Season!  It only lasts about two weeks, but when it is Lilac Season sitting on my deck feels like heaven. The warm breezes blow the fragrant aromas of the abundant lilac bushes in my direction. I close my eyes and inhale the sweet air wafting in my direction.

It is a good thing I don’t have to drive anywhere tonight, as I am definitely DUIL-  “Dizzy Under the Influence of Lilacs”. I feel totally relaxed and at peace. I could sit here for hours-just feeling happy – engulfed in this little piece of heaven.

My husband was trying to converse with me, but I totally lost my focus. Instead, I blurted out, “when I die I want my ashes spread under a hedge of lilacs.”  I know I caught him off guard. I don’t expect to leave this world for a long time. But I was totally DUIL. I grabbed my camera and walked around the hedge, vainly trying to capture the essence. Unfortunately, there is no way a digital picture can convey the overpowering aromatherapy coming out of these bushes.

Lilacs7141

As I made my rounds, I made sure to notice all the other favorite scented flora that would be in full bloom by the time the lilacs were finished: Lovely Bearded Iris,

lush double Peony    Peony

and even the prickly Rosa Rugosa- which this bee seeemed drunk on.  Rose7147

They each have their own special perfume which can bring a smile to my lips as I raise the flower to my nose and inhale. I would approve any of these as a substitute resting place if no lilacs are available.

But until then, I prefer to experience a little piece of heaven on earth while I’m sitting on my deck, savoring my all too short Lilac season.

IMG_4328

Mother’s Day Regret

If there was ever a holiday that was set up to make people feel badly, it is Mother’s Day. With the incessant commercials and advertisements running on tv, the internet and the papers, we are all being brain-washed to expect or feel obligated to celebrate a day created by retailers. When I was growing up, we disdainfully called this a “Hallmark holiday”.

I’ve tried repeatedly to remind myself of this fact. Instead, I remember the precious spontaneous moments when my child made a Freudian slip and said “love you”; or thanked me for staying home to care for him when he was sick. However, at this time every year, the lilac bush- which my children once gave me as a mother’s day gift simply because they knew how pleased I would be- bears the fragrant yet bittersweet reminders of a time when they were young enough to fall under the spell of motherly love.

Mothers Day 7137

Now it seems they do everything possible to break the mold:  by either completely ignoring the day or blatantly offering favors or expressions of love to their dad, instead of me, on mother’s day. It is enough to break my composure and bring a few tears to my eye. Why should I feel so badly, I tell myself, because they choose to make a political statement (similar to the one my sisters and I launched on the company that shared our family name)? Why does it feel like a personal attack?

To  hide my feelings of disappointment I do the opposite. I go online and email a gift to my own mother- even though I know she agrees with me on the principle and we exchanged our own expressions of love and appreciation yesterday (and at least once a week throughout the year). I try to sit with my husband, who is taking a break from mowing the lawn to watch some golf. Unfortunately every break is loaded with sappy commercials and then, to make matters worse, a sob story about the mother of one of the golfers comes on. It is too much to take. I flee the house, hop on my bike and try to escape it all- even for a few minutes.

Now my husband has run out to the store to buy groceries for dinner. I almost wish he wouldn’t. At this point, I no longer think it is his responsibility to serve me on mother’s day. It should be between me and my children. If they have somehow managed to escape the song of the Sirens, I should be thankful for their strength to withstand the commercialization of an absurd idea- that there is only one mother’s day…

Mothers Day 7137

Miss Kim is my BFF

Miss Kim has arrived for a short stay at my house. She has a very welcoming personality, showing off her true colors and filling the air with her presence. The only reason she has any competition for attention is her timing. Right now the attractive Bearded Iris are flowering and calling their own followers. Their dark purple heads emitting powdery scents are a tough match for Miss Kim, but she prevails with her overpowering aromas and abundant florets.

Just breathing the air when Miss Kim is present can put me into a swoon. If I am having a stressful afternoon, holding a branch up to my face and inhaling her sweet perfume puts me in a happy mood.

She greeted me with a 20 foot long display of light purple lilacs and made my arduous task of repainting every spindle on my deck railing pleasurable. Even though I spent 3 hours coating every surface with new stain, Miss Kim kept me company.

Later I brought a huge bouquet, overflowing with Iris and Lilacs, into the house. The fragrant scent spread through the kitchen and family room and seemed to make everyone calm and happy.

At the end of the day, I clipped a single branch and placed Miss Kim in a tiny vase by my bedside. As I settled down under my covers, I enjoyed her sensual aromas fanned by the cool night air and the sound of crickets chirping. It was truly a night of bliss. I awoke this morning feeling relaxed and happy because Miss Kim is still here for a few more days.

It’s Lilac Season!

   I wish you could take a deep breath and inhale the fragrant aromas of my favorite flower. It is now the best season of the whole year- Lilac season. In between the flowering bulbs and shrubs comes the two-three week period when the lilacs are in full bloom. As their sweet scents fill the air I can hardly resist burying my face in amongst the blossoms.    Their fragrance makes me giddy with happiness.

I know where every lilac bush is in my neighborhood and purposely aim my walks to pass them by.

  They come in every shade of purple, as well as white.

My family knows my weakness for this special flower and one year bought me a lilac for Mother’s Day. Right now I have a bouquet with some flowers from that bush on my table.

To my great fortune, the previous owners of my house had planted a hedge of Korean Lilacs surrounding the deck. These are a later blooming variety; so once my traditional lilacs have faded, they will be at their peak-

extending my Lilac season by an extra week or so.  I’ll savor every breath, since Lilac season only comes once a year.