EN FLEURS: Fragrant folklore from the flowerbeds pt. I

This article was originally posted February 26th 2024 as part of our Fragrant Folklore newsletter series. View the full newsletter here.

For Spring? While far from groundbreaking, you won’t see us making any complaints. The winters here waver between dazzling white and dull gray, burying the landscape for so many months that it can be hard to remember what life looks like when it is permitted to be delicate.

Earlier this month, we made the most out of the St. Valentine’s celebrations and unabashedly leaned into our romantic sensibilities—but why stop there? If there’s any short reprieve to be had from momentarily stopping to smell the roses, then we’ll take the whole bouquet.


There’s this stubborn reputation that floral compositions just can’t seem to shake; that they are vacuous things for the frivolous and feminine (two words often conflated…), with no depth or complexity to speak of—but the nose knows better.  Each floral note has a unique history of its own to share, as well as a multifaceted profile of aromas as divine as they are mundane, or even profane. Florals are pretty, profound things, capable of both moving emotional mountains or simply allowing for a momentary smile.

Carnations are a pragmatic ornamental despite their frills; a trusted go-to with a history of displaying staunch character and good will. It is an offering of choice when expressing unconditional love, solemn sympathies, and yes—even bitterness and disdain. One Christian legend posits that a grief-struck Mary, upon seeing her son crucified, spilled tears from which carnations grew as a sign of the holy Mother’s love.

One of the many nicknames for violets is ‘heart’s ease’. According to the Doctrine of Signatures, the heart-shaped leaves indicate the use of the leaf for all matters related to the heart. This, combined with its association with Venus led to the use of violet in many love potions, aphrodisiac formulas, and teas and potions for heartbreak and grief.

To be acquainted with the tuberose is to know the duality of desire. Will you choose to run, or finally allow yourself  to come undone? They say that, in the Victorian area, young women were warned against the wanton wiles of this bloom, whose narcotic aroma coasts gracefully between the promises of heaven and the damnation of hell. Near-commical Victorian sensibilities aside, Tuberose truly can excel at alleviating the tension stemmed from our own duality, especially it matters of sensuality and desire. A lunar bloom under the joint dominion of Venus, her seemingly antithetical nature permits us to release inhibitions and cease patterns of self-condemnation, encouraging us to embrace and embody the full spectrum of love and being.

As always, thank you for taking the time to catch up with us; your time and attention are precious, and we hope that you’ve been delegating them preciously & with intention.

May rest and resistance find us so that we all can bloom,


Leave a comment