Geoffrey Grigson might have started it. In the Englishman’s Flora associated with the 1950s he told exactly how the French (who else?) placed branches of hawthorn beyond your windows each and every girl that is young. “The stale, sweet fragrance through the triethylamine the plants have makes them suggestive of sex.”
Richard Mabey picks this up inside the present Flora Britannica, where he describes that “the triethlyamine in charge of the element that is stale hawthorn’s complicated odor is among the very first chemicals produced whenever living muscle begins to decay” and reminds nurses who possess worked in Africa of this odor of gangrene.
“Yet triethylamine’s fishy scent,” he continues on, “is additionally the odor of intercourse – one thing seldom acknowledged in folklore, but implicit in a lot of the culture that is popular of hawthorn.”
Charles Nelson, later of our nationwide Botanic Gardens, thinks that botanists “never agree about perfumes”. The Burren’s fragrant orchid, Gymnadenia conopsea, for instance, has plants that, for him, are perfumed with vanilla. “Others assert that the fragrance resembles cloves or plastic, which reminds me personally associated with the equation of old socks or fine old hock for the perfume regarding the Ca tree poppy – an aroma is really as much within the mind as beauty is in the attention of this beholder.”
But also he finds that hawthorn blossom “exudes that hefty fragrance that is musky intimate undertones”. He could be, needless to say, another Englishman, now surviving in pastoral bliss in Tippitiwichet Cottage, someplace in East Anglia. Continue reading “Sexy scent of hawthorn – what exactly is all this work about hawthorn blossom smelling of intercourse?”