Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Perfume trivia

Did you know jasmine belonged to the olive family? And that there were some 200 species of jasmine out there?
I didn't. Well, at least not when leaving this weekend for a few days off at the seaside.

Where the most interesting thing happened.

So, there's my boyfriend, putting everything to rights around the house, while I'm doing the same inside and at one moment he comes up to me and say: "How nice this shrub smells!" (he was cutting off the branches that were in the way).
I smell it and... It's jasmine!

OK, so I felt like the most stupid person on Earth (or very close), at that moment. See, I've been with my boyfriend for ages and to his house at the coast numerous times, and it only dawned on me when he pushed the branch under my nose that we had jasmine growing in the garden. :)

In my defense, we're never actually there when it's blooming so I guess that is an easy way to overlook it, especially if you have no idea what the tree (shrub) is supposed to look like. And I've been wondering for years what are these shrubs growing all over that little village (not just in our garden).

Here are some photos (and if my nose is playing tricks on me and it's not jasmine, please let me know):

The shrubs:

The flowers:

Pics are mine.


  1. I am no help with the jasmine - there are so many different varieties (over 200 according to wikipedia!)and the only ones we have here in San Diego are Star and Pink Jasmine, which aren't even really "true" jasmines. I'm sure it must be some type though - the scent is so distinctive!
    Sounds like a lovely time - at the coast with lovely flowers!

  2. Ines, that looks very different to the usual Jasmines we find here in the UK and where I grew up, but having said that, there are lots of varieties of Jasmine. Is that one not perhaps a variety of Stephanotis?

  3. Ines, whatever it turns out to be, it looks like a lovely fragrant shrub to have in one's garden!

  4. Such a lovely find! I would be useless too, I am glad when I recognize a rose. ;)

  5. That is viburnum Ines . go read Octavian's blog today ! I've never sniffed viburnum , but he says it's similar !

  6. Thanks Odonata. :) I had some really relaxing, naturally fragrant time.

  7. Michael, as far as I could tell, Stephanotis seems to be a house plant so I don't know if this one can fall under that category.
    I think I will need to give this more throught and try and discover exactly what it is. :)

  8. Thanks Vanessa, it certainly is.
    I brought some branches back and I'm hoping I might be able to plant some here (although I have zero experience with these things).

  9. Olfactoria, I'm so glad you said that. It seems I'm not the only one with very little flower/plant knowledge. ;)

  10. Carol, thanks for the tip. :)
    I went to check the post and the pictures, but I can't say I'm convinced. The leaves are not the same and my shrub doesn't bloom in such great white balls.
    Then again, there are over 150 varieties of Viburnum so it could easily be one a bit different from all the pics on google.

  11. I'm not so good with plants, living in Sweden. But if it smells like jasmine I would try putting some of the stalks in alcohol and use it as a flavouring in cocktails and cakes. But, just make sure it's not poisonous first!

  12. That certainly looks like a variety of jasmine - waxy white flowers with 5-petals and glossy green leaves. Is yours a climber or a shrub/bush? (Or would it be a climber if it wasn't cut back?) Does it keep its leaves all year round?

    You'll definitely need a friendly horticulturist to identify the exact type! But it looks lovely and healthy and I bet it smells divine. Breathe in deeply and enjoy it:-)

    cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

  13. Flavourfanatic, I see you're true to your name. :)
    I'm afraid the flowers are not in full bloom yet, so I'm nnot sure how much flavour I'd get from them.
    But I do need to find out what exactly is that shrub before attempting tasting. I'm hoping someone will help soon.

  14. Thanks Anna. :)
    It's definitely a shrub as it's free-standing wherever it grows. And I believe it does keep leaves year round. I can say for sure there were always leaves on when I was there. :)
    Btw, after losing flowers sometime in June, they turn into little green berries.
    Now I'm very anxious to learn which tree/shrub exactly is it. :)

  15. Wow, that doesn't look even remotely like how I thought jasmine would look. I thought the flower and tree would be boisterous like the scent.

    Thanks for sharing!

  16. Gee, I am just jealous that things are blooming out by your house! Enjoy...

  17. Joan, I agree with you. Obviously. :) As I didn't realize it for years. Until the flowers appeared, I would never have guessed it could be jasmine.

  18. Thanks Jolanta. :) I have a few branches on the table, to enjoy the smell a few days longer.

  19. I think that might be pittosporum , I've been looking trying to identify it . What do you think ?

  20. Thank you Carol! And congratulations! It is pittosporum. I just checked Croatian forum for horticulture where they have pictures of pittosporum posted and that's it. PLus, it is also mentioned it is quite common on the coast here. :) Thank you for the help!