When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other. - Chinese proverb
Greetings to all as we approach Thanksgiving!
In this newsletter I will sing the praises of the Oriental lily's fragrance, which conjures up images of an oriental palace filled with the scents of exotic spices. Our Oriental lilies have attracted a passionate following. Perhaps you have fallen under its spell. Even though the Oriental lily is a treat for the eyes, being extravagantly large and colorful, it is often the fragrance which captivates one! If you want to learn more about the role our nose plays in our lives, you may read on about some interesting facts which explain why we are so captivated by scents. Our sense of smell is a source of pleasure which sadly is often underrated in our daily life.
"Fragrance has the instantaneous and invisible power to penetrate consciousness with pure pleasure. Scent reaches us in ways that elude sight and sound but conjure imagination in all its sensuality, unsealing hidden worlds. A whiff of a once familiar odor, and memories surge into consciousness on a sea of emotion, transporting us--to a first camping trip, ...to a winter kitchen where cookies are baking..."
"That scent should have so powerful a link to recollection is not surprising. Smell is one of the first senses that awakens in a baby and guides its movements through its first days in the world. An infant can locate its mother's milk by the use of its nose alone... This evolving and reciprocal situation built on the sense of smell plays a key part in creating an intimate relationship between mother and child"
"As potent as it can be, however, smell is the most neglected of our senses." "It is easy for us to take our sense of smell for granted, because we exercise it involuntarily: as we breathe, we smell." "The olfactory membrane is the only place in the human body where the central nervous system comes into direct contact with the environment. All other sensory information initially comes in through the thalamus. The sense of smell, however, is first processed in the limbic lobe, one of the oldest parts of the brain and the seat of sexual and emotional impulses. In other words, before we know we are in contact with a smell, we have already received and reacted to it."
"The sense of smell had a primacy for our predecessors who walked on all fours with their noses close to the ground. As we began to walk upright, we lost our proximity to scent trails, and our field of vision expanded."
These quotes come from Essence and Alchemy: A Book of Perfume by Mandy Aftel. You might want to learn more from The Sense of Smell by Roy Bedichek, and other books about perfumes and aromatherapy.
Try to revive your sense of smell by first remembering and appreciating what are those scents that transport and connect you to an earlier experience, to our parents, and grandparents, for instance. Or they might transport you back to your first garden, to the ocean, to the mountains, or to the plains of the Midwest. Then, pay closer attention to the scents that surround you and your loved ones. See if some simple changes make an olfactory difference and add new interest to your life. Vive l'difference!