An Ode to China’s Enchanting Sweet Osmanthus Flowers (Pub’d on WWAM BAM)

The group blog WWAM BAM just ran my post An Ode to China’s Enchanting Sweet Osmanthus Flowers. Here’s an excerpt:

If dreams and hopes had a scent, it might just be the sweet osmanthus bloom.

This autumn marks the first in many years without the pleasure of one of my favorite flowers, which comes out in late September into early October in Hangzhou, my husband’s home region.

These enchanting blossoms grow on the osmanthus tree, native to a wide swath of subtropical and tropical East Asia, and their beguiling, sweet fragrance has notes of apricot, peach and even a little vanilla.

And yet, the flowers are incredibly tiny, smaller than the nail on your pinky finger. It’s amazing that these delicate blooms send out such a powerful smell. I’ll never forget one autumn when I stayed with my in-laws in their home, and the scent of the sweet osmanthus flowers wafted in through all the windows for days. It was like being engulfed in the smell of heaven everywhere I walked in that house.

I also love that you can use the flowers in your cooking. My mother-in-law always makes roasted chestnuts at home, and she sometimes tosses in osmanthus flowers collected from the village or front yard of the house. The heady fragrance of the flowers makes the chestnuts even more delicious.

You can head on over to WWAM BAM to read the full post and see some of my photos of the beguiling flower. And if you like it, share it!

And for those of you in China or from the country, here’s wishing you all a very happy National Day!

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