The Smell of China 中國的味道

The chrysanthemum, is one of the four symbolic seasonal flowers in China (the others are being the orchid for spring, the bamboo for summer, and the plum blossom for winter.) It’s the symbolic of nobility and was first cultivated in China as a flowering herb as far back as the 15th century BC.

I use a big yellow or white incurved chrysanthemum to bring the fall season home. Either alone or pairing with similarly colored flowers, its result can often be exquisitely visual, and its woodsy fresh scent always reminds me of the English author R H Blyth’s Haiku, "Infinity grasped in the hand, before the eyes, the hammering of a nail, the touch of cold water, the smell of chrysanthemums, the smell of this chrysanthemum."

And the smell of China.

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