My eyes hurt, my nose runs, my head feels I hit a door but I don’t care, there are lilacs in the house along with some lily of the valley and in a few weeks there will be peonies. The perfume of the flowers of spring trumps allergies. They are magnificent. They are the fragrance of love.
Yesterday a friend said she wanted dark lilacs to put in her Mother’s vase. Her husband suggested something else but she said they had to be the dark purple ones because that is what her Mom had.
I can relate. I have two very special vases in my house. One belonged to my great grandmother. It is a heavy glass and is likely moulded. It is the perfect size for a bunch of tulips or a little cluster of almost anything. The other is a Cornflower swan which belonged to my grandmother. I think I gave it to her when I was about eight and from that day on it sat in the middle of her dining room table with a little mirror under it. There weren’t always flowers in it but when there were of the delicate variety. Sometimes they were pansies or carnations but her favourite was the lily of the valley.
Our olfactory memory is supposed to be the strongest memory we have. For me, and for my friend, it is certainly the happiest memory we have. The sweet fragrance of these old fashioned flowers floods our hearts with joy. We think of the women who lovingly filled the vases and welcomed visitors and family to their tables to enjoy the perfume of home. The sweet fragrance of unconditional love.