Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007-2013. Please give credit where credit is due.

Monday, 7 June 2010

A gift from God

It's jasmine season here at Lago Maggiore. That doesn't mean we're being visited by Disney princesses in harem pants. And it doesn't mean Jo Malone has set up shop in via Giovanola (although she'd be most welcome). What it does mean is that everywhere - everywhere - one is accompanied by the scent of poet's jasmine, now in full bloom. 

In this part of the world, Jasminum officinale thrives. Gardeners here frequently use it to make impenetrable hedges and areas of deep, cool shade. During the rest of the year its glossy dark green leaves go almost unnoticed as we rush about our business, but in early June suddenly the little white star-shaped flowers open and we come under their perfumed sway. Suddenly the world with its cars and tarmac, its noise and its hardness, becomes an altogether more sensuous place: women seem more elegant, men more dignified, the sky a more pleasing shade of blue and the lake depths more profound. In the morning, with the scent of dew-laden jasmine to carry me down the hill, the day seems more approachable.

The word 'jasmine' comes from the Persian via Old French. In Persian it originally meant 'gift from God'. Truly, it is so! (As the Poet might have said.)

11 comments:

Sarah in deepest, darkest Lomellina said...

I'm off to get a false jasmine for a new planter, but in the meantime the honeysuckle is out too, the wild stuff.

Dull day not stopping the perfume travelling 20 meters from the gate to the house ( :

The wasps tried to attack me when I attempted to train stragglers up the fence tho', evil little baskets.

Carol said...

I adore the smell of Jasmine...it's beautiful!! I knew exactly what you mean about how the smell makes everything that little bit more sensual.

We've got a ton of honeysuckle at our back door and in the evening the smell just wafts into the living room....it's gorgeous!!

C x

Emily said...

Jasmine is easily my favorite scent and you just described it so beautifully I'm tempted to turn off my computer, step outside and INHALE.

Karin said...

Wish I could be there! What a lovely gift!

Debbie said...

Jasmine season sounds lovely! I wish I could be there.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

It sounds wonderful! I only know jasmine from perfume scents.

Louise | Italy said...

Hi all -- yes, now that's something I don't understand. If you're an omnipotent creator-type why have jasmine and honeysuckle flowering at the same moment? Why not stagger them by, say, a week? And then the sum of human happiness would be even greater than it already is with the two blossoming together!

Karin said...

Another good question to ask the Creator someday! I don't understand why some zones have all this beautiful stuff and others don't. I guess we choose where we live! Enjoy your jasmine!

Marshmallow Circus said...

In my part of the world (south Texas) it's Honeysuckle and Magnolias in bloom that create a heavenly scent. I love this time of year just because of the natural outdoor smells. :)

bettyl said...

Jasmine is one of my all time favorite smells. But I must agree with Marshmallow Circus that honeysuckle and magnolias create their own world of scents!

GutsyWriter said...

Louise,
Good to hear from you again. I had every intention of writing sooner but cannot remember if I already did. Yes, southern France was wonderful. I saw many poppy fields and twisty narrow roads. I also love the new background on your blog. See you soon. Sonia.

Monday, 7 June 2010

A gift from God

It's jasmine season here at Lago Maggiore. That doesn't mean we're being visited by Disney princesses in harem pants. And it doesn't mean Jo Malone has set up shop in via Giovanola (although she'd be most welcome). What it does mean is that everywhere - everywhere - one is accompanied by the scent of poet's jasmine, now in full bloom. 

In this part of the world, Jasminum officinale thrives. Gardeners here frequently use it to make impenetrable hedges and areas of deep, cool shade. During the rest of the year its glossy dark green leaves go almost unnoticed as we rush about our business, but in early June suddenly the little white star-shaped flowers open and we come under their perfumed sway. Suddenly the world with its cars and tarmac, its noise and its hardness, becomes an altogether more sensuous place: women seem more elegant, men more dignified, the sky a more pleasing shade of blue and the lake depths more profound. In the morning, with the scent of dew-laden jasmine to carry me down the hill, the day seems more approachable.

The word 'jasmine' comes from the Persian via Old French. In Persian it originally meant 'gift from God'. Truly, it is so! (As the Poet might have said.)

11 comments:

Sarah in deepest, darkest Lomellina said...

I'm off to get a false jasmine for a new planter, but in the meantime the honeysuckle is out too, the wild stuff.

Dull day not stopping the perfume travelling 20 meters from the gate to the house ( :

The wasps tried to attack me when I attempted to train stragglers up the fence tho', evil little baskets.

Carol said...

I adore the smell of Jasmine...it's beautiful!! I knew exactly what you mean about how the smell makes everything that little bit more sensual.

We've got a ton of honeysuckle at our back door and in the evening the smell just wafts into the living room....it's gorgeous!!

C x

Emily said...

Jasmine is easily my favorite scent and you just described it so beautifully I'm tempted to turn off my computer, step outside and INHALE.

Karin said...

Wish I could be there! What a lovely gift!

Debbie said...

Jasmine season sounds lovely! I wish I could be there.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

It sounds wonderful! I only know jasmine from perfume scents.

Louise | Italy said...

Hi all -- yes, now that's something I don't understand. If you're an omnipotent creator-type why have jasmine and honeysuckle flowering at the same moment? Why not stagger them by, say, a week? And then the sum of human happiness would be even greater than it already is with the two blossoming together!

Karin said...

Another good question to ask the Creator someday! I don't understand why some zones have all this beautiful stuff and others don't. I guess we choose where we live! Enjoy your jasmine!

Marshmallow Circus said...

In my part of the world (south Texas) it's Honeysuckle and Magnolias in bloom that create a heavenly scent. I love this time of year just because of the natural outdoor smells. :)

bettyl said...

Jasmine is one of my all time favorite smells. But I must agree with Marshmallow Circus that honeysuckle and magnolias create their own world of scents!

GutsyWriter said...

Louise,
Good to hear from you again. I had every intention of writing sooner but cannot remember if I already did. Yes, southern France was wonderful. I saw many poppy fields and twisty narrow roads. I also love the new background on your blog. See you soon. Sonia.