3
Apr

Why Flowers Smell The Way They Do - April 2015

 

Go bury your nose in a crabapple tree's blossoms and forget the snows of winter.

 

Why Flowers Smell the Way They Do, from Dancing Moons, 1995, by Nancy Wood

 

When flowers were first invented, they smelled like mud.

Dust shook out of their petals and no one

wanted to be around them for very long,

the rose especially. It smelled like dead leaves.

 

In those days there were order and grace

and predictability. Except for flowers,

beautiful yet unnoticed, things were what

they were intended to be. Birds were just birds and

 

Trees were just trees. Caterpillars crawled along

and the meadowlark could be counted on to sing

the way he was supposed to. Flowers refused

to smell good because they thought no one loved them.

 

So it was, for a long time. Then one day a beautiful

girl picked a wild rose and put it in her hair,

so boys would admire her as she passed by.

Sniff, sniff, they went, and turned to watch her.

 

One boy said: The smell of that wild rose makes me

want to fall in love. The other boys came closer

and smelled the rose. They all agreed. The flower

smelled sweet and made them fall in love, too.

From that day on, flowers began to smell the way they do now.

Especially the wild rose, worn in a pretty girl's hair.

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