Port Angeles, in the month of May is alive with the delicate color and aroma of old-fashioned white and purple lilacs(Syringia vulgaris). My daily walks through town to see my mom takes me past many of these venerable botanical members of the community. From year-to-year, for several generations these sweet lilacs have quietly displayed their scent and beauty in the many modest gardens which make up this small town. The shrub/tree(as some of the ones I came across were 10 feet or more in height) captures the spirit and beauty of a more innocent and gentle time and a whiff of their perfume has many pleasant associations for people who have grown up in places where they flourish.
This year I delighted in exploring the subtle bouquets which the lilacs displayed as I wandered through different neighborhoods on the way to my mom's house for our morning walk in the park with her two corgi's. There are distinct aromatic differences between the white lilac and various shades of purple ones; the white tending toward a softer, more floral-balsamic bouquet and the purple with their rich floral/fruit scent with a delicate earthy undertone. In exploring the different fragrant nuances that characterized them, I began to assimilate in my mind a selection of natural essences that might be used to create an "impression" of the ambiance created by lilacs in the Port Angeles setting. Our Lilac Blossom Perfume recipe is an endeavor to capture something of their beauty.
The gentle mother by the door caresses still her lilac blooms,
And as we wander back once more we seem to smell the old perfumes,
We seem to live again the joys that once were ours so long ago
When we were little girls and boys, with all the charms we used to know.
"Lanes Of Memory"
by Edgar Albert Guest