Summer Fields Newsletter
There was a time when the smell of new mown hay was well-known to many people, country and city dweller alike. When cities were not so large and farming communities played a vital role in the lives of America and many other Western countries, folks either actually participated in the the hay harvest or passed by fields in which hay had freshly been cut and was left to dry in the warm sun. This fresh, rich, grassy, herbaceous odor is an unforgettable one and immediately refreshes the heart with soft, sweet memories of simpler times.
It is no wonder then that perfumers of the mid-19th century in Europe sought to capture this essence by distilling and later extracting various types of grasses that were heavy in the sweet, diffusive, coumarinic, herbaceous aroma that arise during the hay harvest. Tonka bean abs, hay absolute, flouve absolute, clary sage eo and abs, broom/genet abs, lavender eo and abs, sweet woodruff abs, bergamot eo, mimosa abs, cassie abs, white champa leaf eo, helichrysum abs and eo, tea leaf abs, chamomile, blue eo and abs, chamomile, english eo, lemon eo, hops eo and co2, erigeron eo, chamomile, wild(Morocco) eo, ylang eo and abs, fir balsam abs and vanilla abs have all used to create this wonderful essence.
A well made New Mown Hay base can be a superb addition to chypres, fougeres, colognes, tea-notes, forest bouquets, high-class florals, incense perfumes, historic perfumes, etc. It can also act as a lovely stand alone perfume. Here is a my version of such a perfume.
Summer Fields Perfume recipe
2 ounces Tonka Absolute(33% in 67% fractionated coconut oil)
3/4 ounce Helichrysum Absolute(33% in 67% fractionated coconut oil)
1/2 ounce Clover, Sweet Absolute
1 ounce Lavandin Absolute
1 ounce Chamomile English/Roman essential oil
2 ounces Yuzu essential oil
1 ounce Mimosa Absolute(33% in 67% fractionated coconut oil)
3/4 ounce Lemon Balm/Melissa essential oil
Please note that this is a perfume recipe, not a blend to be taken internally.
The Scent of Hay in Literature
Sweet, oh sweet, is the new-mown hay,
Wafting its breath from the fields today
-from Poems of the Household
By Margaret Elizabeth Munson Sangster
Hark to the voice of the wind. It enters the counting room of the tired man of business, bringing a perfume of flowers: he lays down his pen, while his thoughts go back to the home of his boyhood, to the meadows, to the hillside covered with flowers, the new-mown hay, and the tired brain is refreshed, he knows not how, and the unseen messenger is gone—
"Hark to the voice of the wind!"
--from Wise or Otherwise
by Lydia Leavitt, Thad. W.H. Leavitt
The fragrance of flowers and of new-mown hay; the genial warmth of sunshine, and the beauty of a sunset among clouds; the comfort and cheerful glow of the fireside; the deliciousness of fruits and of all good cheer; the magnificence of mountains, and seas, and cataracts, and the softer charm of rural scenery; even the fast-falling snow and the gray atmosphere through which it descends,--all these and innumerable other enjoyable things of earth must perish with her.
" The Hall of Fantasy", from Mosses From An Old Manse
by Nathaniel Hawthorne
And sweet the hops upon the Kentish leas,
And sweet the wind that lifts the new-mown hay,
And sweet the fretful swarms of grumbling bees
That round and round the linden blossoms play;
And sweet the heifer breathing in the stall,
And the green bursting figs that hang upon the red-brick wall...
--from Selected Poems of Oscar Wilde
by Oscar Wilde
Not Summer’s crown of scent the red rose weaves
Nor hawthorn blossom over bloom-strewn grass,
Nor violet’s whisper when the children pass,
Nor lilac perfume in the soft May eves,
Nor new-mown hay, crisp scent of yellow sheaves,
Nor any scent that Spring-time can amass
And Summer squander, such a magic has
As scent of fresh wet earth and fallen leaves.
--from All Round the Year
by Edith Nesbit and Saretta Nesbit
The foolish fears of what might happen.
I cast them all away
Among the clover-scented grass,
Among the new-mown hay,
Among the husking of the corn,
Where drowsy poppies nod
Where ill thoughts die and good are born—
Out in the fields with God.
"Out in the Fields with God"
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Louise Imogen Guiney
Only the scent of woodbine and hay new-mown
Travelled the road. In the field sloping down,
Park-like, to where its willows showed the brook,
Haymakers rested. The tosser lay forsook
Out in the sun; and the long waggon stood
Without its team, it seemed it never would
Move from the shadow of that single yew.
by Edward Thomas