Saturday, September 26, 2015

Cranford Rose Garden on a September Day

I've known forever that roses bloom in June and then, if you're lucky, again in September.  This was a strange season and one sure sign that something was amiss was that there were roses blooming nearly all summer. It seems I was stopping to smell the roses on an almost daily basis.  But after teaching a perfume blending class at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden last weekend I decided to take a walk through the Cranford Rose Garden. Most of it was roped off, probably for some rest and rehabilitation, but the blooms along the path were glorious to see, photograph and smell.

We had just had a talk in class about indole, the molecule of decay, that is present in most flowers. The rose is beautiful in a vase on your desk but it is also decaying so lingering in the background of that gorgeously fragranced flower, maybe not even very noticeable, but there in the back is decay. We're so accustomed to "deodorized" rose that the scent of a true rose absolute might smell dirty, or dank. It also makes it ravishing, sexy and compelling for however emphatically we frown on rotten odors there is a part of us that likes them.

Each rose smells differently. Some are bred for beauty, some for size and some for fragrance, but there, in the deep inhalation of each blossom, is death.

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