Monday, 21 March 2016

Wisteria - A scent from the past




Troubled times in Turkey coupled with an elderly Mac desktop that has not only eaten my photographs and won't cough them up but also appears to have not been communicating with my posh, expensive back-up system for a while, have forced me into a blogging quiet patch.  So today I'm concentrating on immediate pleasures that can be captured with an iPad, and a glance back to 3 years ago when we all had less to worry about.  I'm not usually an envious person but I have always wanted a wisteria plant and would cast covetous glances at the masses of purple blooms that cascade over houses and fences on my daily walks.  I was under the impression that wisteria took years to grow and always cursed my lack of forethought at not planting one when I first moved to Bodrum. Two years ago I bought a small wisteria in a pot and planted it behind our house in Bodrum, not expecting to see any flowers for years.  I'm not green fingered so can claim no part in producing the profusion of flowers that hang over our garden wall today, but it's a joy to sit and look up at the tumbling lilac flowers. It almost gives me the courage to have another go at sweet peas. 


Friday 12th April 2013

It's heating up in Bodrum and my daily walks are getting warmer and warmer.  As summer approaches, the late Spring scents are particularly strong in the morning and as I head down to the harbour, there is one particular aroma that sends my thoughts tumbling back to the 1970s.  I pass an untended mandarin garden that is in full flower but its negligent owner has not bothered to collect all the fruit so there is a heady scent of blossom with an underlying hint of overripe citrus. It's a dead ringer for Aqua Manda, the ubiquitous whiff of my early teenage years.  If I close my eyes, I'm 14 years old, in a Laura Ashley flowing dress with massive puff sleeves and a multitude of tiny buttons, trying to emulate a medieval damsel or Babs from  Pan's People. 





On the way back home I pass this fence full of wisteria which is another blast from the past as I was also a fan of Mary Quant's Wistaria perfume oil.  I must have been older when I wore this as I had to take the train to London  to stock up; Rugby being too provincial to sell Mary Quant.
My sense of smell seems to evoke much stronger memories than sight or sound and whip up a more intense feeling of nostalgia.  I'd love to hear about the aromas that take you back to your youth.


20 comments:

  1. We had the same seamstress .. I had the same dress! But I looked like Laura Ingles from Little House on the Prairie! Worse still, I also had matching Laura Ashley wallpaper, bedspread and cushions.. so every time I went to my bedroom, I blended in with the soft furnishings!

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    1. I so wanted the matching Laura Ashley bedroom - I'm retrospectively very jealous.

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  2. How lovely you have planted a wisteria; I do love them and have not planted my own. I understand you should not let them grow on your house, they are very powerful. Best on a fence or trellis. Ah, those Laura Ashley dainty dresses.

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    1. Did you have enormous puff sleeves too?

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  3. I'm told it depends on the clone....I had o joy with wisteria when in France, much to my annoyance!

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    1. I'll have to send you some from here.

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  4. Lavender always reminds me of my grandmother, as she had sachets of it in all here dresser drawers.

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    1. My grandmother showed me how to make lavender bags.

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  5. I love wisteria and one of the things I miss about my little Victorian terrace in Walthamstow. I acquired it when I bought the house (no green fingers attached to me) and it dripped all too briefly over the bay window every spring. Gorgeous!

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    1. We love it more because it flowers so briefly

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  6. . . not only is wisteria a fast grower out here, it is also rampant and will be up and over things and places where you don't want it, rather like a rat up a drainpipe! One of the joys is that after the first flush the leaves will come followed by a second showing.

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    1. We cut back several meters at the end of last summer. I couldn't believe how far it had spread

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  7. B to B, Yes, those aromas have a way of bringing back the past a la Proust and the madeleines (that was a taste, but it's the same). With me, it's pacouli oil which all cool hippies of my generation loved to slather themselves with. Wisteria is so beautiful and fragrant, but Alan's right. It loves to go everywhere!

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    1. Pacouli oil has me straight back in looms wearing love beads.

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  8. Lovely! I always loved seeing wisteria in bloom in Istanbul. Some scents for me that take me back to my childhood...fresh-cut grass, cooking apples - apple pie or fresh apple crisp, cinnamon - my grandmother's cinnamon rolls. :)

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    1. cinnamon is very evocative for me too.

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  9. So sorry with all that problems with the laptop, what a nightmare it must have been, hope you could retrieve your photos. Loved your Wisteria post, one of my favorite plants : ) cok sevgilerimle, Ozlem x

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  10. Oh my - now I know how much I've been missing by being absent from the blog world. I think you have written this just for me, Annie! Like you, I adore Wisteria and also thought it must take years to grow. I will be scouring the shops for some in the next few weeks and I too will have my dream drapes - with that wonderful scent! I shall plant it near my other favourite - honeysuckle, which was the first thing we put into our garden here.
    I had Aqua Manda too and Just Musk at 14. And the long dress with tiny buttons, though my mum made it for me. She also made me a gorgeous skirt and waistcoat in a Rose and Hubble fabric that made me feel really special.
    I absolutely agree that smell can transport you into nostalgia faster than anything else. For me, it's tomatoes. My grandpa grew them in his greenhouse - intense was the scent - and it was summer to me. I love growing them outside and eating them warm.
    Axxx

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  11. I think we may have been separated at birth, my grandmother grew tomato plants in her lean to conservatory and every time I catch a whiff of fresh tomato leaves I'm back there, waiting for the pop man's lorry to arrive so we can have a glass of lemonade before I'm let loose on her biscuit tin.

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