rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,


A single gardenia has bloomed. Soon there will be many. I think of the gardenia as the anti-jasmine. It's strange that my response to these two summer flowers should be opposite, as both of them release a powerful, sweet scent which is pervasive and enduring, and they are not particularly dissimilar at first sniff. Yet the fragrance of jasmine pleases me, and the smell of gardenia does not. The first I find alluring and exotic, the second cloying and oppressive. In the odor of the gardenia, I sense a deep note which is somehow animal. Jasmine calls to mind soft air, rustling leaves and trickling fountains in some exotic garden. Gardenia summons an image of heavy breathing in a close and crowded room. Jasmine liberates, and gardenia stultifies.

Tonight, the scent of jasmine still dominates the air, but its blossoms will soon shrivel, just as the gardenias are opening. June will pass into July. It will be like going to one of those events which one is obligated to attend, but which are never enjoyable. The room will be full of people attempting to conceal the odor of their own decay by wearing too much scent. They will fail. Unlike the jasmine, which, at the end of its season, simply vanishes as though simply carried away on a breeze, gardenia always bears the smell of its decline, which grows stronger as the month passes. July always smells of rotting flowers.

Well, that was dismal! So as not to end on such a note, here is a link (snagged from scottobear:

A panoramic view of Paris by night (14929 x 526 pixels, 1.8MB) Took me twelve minutes to download on dial-up, and well worth it.

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