Scents that Trigger Our Memories

One of the first things I did after I purchased my current home was to plant a tangelo in my front yard and a night blooming jasmine outside my bedroom window. It is now fifteen years later and the two have thrived. The tangelo’s blossoms remind me of my grandmother who I visited every spring in Florida. I never forgot the smell of orange blossoms that saturated the air as I stepped off the plane.

Night blooming jasmine captured my heart the first time I encountered one while walking my dog. This amazing aroma drifted down the street from several houses away. Drawn almost hypnotically to find the source of this incredible scent I sought the source. It was a largish green shrub covered in small white flowers. There was no mistaking where this heavenly aroma was coming from. I went home determined to find out what it was and buy one.

The tangelo has become a neighborhood landmark. It provides an abundance of fruit to its many followers. The fruit is slightly tart in December and sweetens as the fruit matures in March. Anyone who has tasted one becomes a fan of the juicy, nearly seedless, bright orange fruit that is so easy to peel. I met many of my neighbors as we all shared the bounty of this beautiful dwarf tree.

The jasmine provides a more personal gift and joy for me. It blooms several times a year and in sunny southern California where it thrives. I planted it outside my west facing bedroom window. It provides a nice sun block during the day. In the evenings when I enter my room it is awash in the wonderful scent of jasmine in bloom. There is nothing more wonderful than to fall asleep surrounded by this divine scent.

I can say with certainty that as I approach retirement and relocation that the first two things I will do in my new home is to plant a tangelo and a night blooming jasmine. Then I’ll settle in and wait to meet my new neighbors and enjoy my enchanted sleep.


About Casey Knight

Professor, author, mother, and nature lover.
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