good smells

I love things that smell good. One of the reasons that I'm so in love with roses is their fragrance. Other plants, too.

Scented geraniums. Jasmines. Herbs.

I'm won over with one sniff of just about anything that smells good. And I'm not afraid to stick my nose in every flower I come across in the hope that it will be one to win me over.

sniffing is the only way to choose a cyclamen

After reading Tovah Martin'sThe Essence of Paradise I became a bit obsessed with finding some of the more unusual plants she mentions. A majority of my houseplants have sweetly scented flowers (or leaves). But the garden and the windowsill aren't the only areas where I care about good smells. Each day is filled with countless fragrant pleasures. The whiff of my morning coffee or my afternoon tea. The comforting smell of the pages of a book. Garlic sizzling in olive oil. Cupcakes baking in the oven. Warm cat or dog fur. I love burning incense and scented candles.

loving Pier One's lavender scented candle

And fragrance is often a determining factor when I'm buying soap, lotion, shampoo and even cleaning products. A few years ago I was in the throes of the search for the perfect fragrance. Perfume, that is. I was enamored with the idea of finding my "signature" scent. I read books. I read blogs. I ordered perfume samples and decants (what a great idea) all in the hope that the next sniff would lead me to true love. It was a lot of fun, actually. And I learned a lot. About the history of perfume. About the perfume industry. I found some perfumes that smelled good. Some that smelled weird. And a couple that smelled kind of bad. (Some perfumes have a tendency to give me headaches). But none were "the one". Eventually I gave up my search. Do you have a signature scent? A collection of favorites? Or don't you wear perfume at all?

Perhaps this is a silly thing to be writing about. Shouldn't I be sharing my most recent paintings (or better yet, not blogging at all, but painting instead) or finishing up some crochet projects or sewing or, or, or... Well, maybe. But I've loving three scents right now and have been wanting to share. All three are from Anthropologie, so if you're near one you can pop in and do some sniffing. Which is always fun (I usually sniff my way from one end of the store to the other and back again).

Over a year ago, I discovered the perfume pencils in A Rather Novel Collection. Matthias got me Taverns and the Hague. It's pretty. Fun to use. Smells good. And at $10 is a bit of a bargain. Nice. And then, this winter, on a sniffing expedition, I discovered 5 O'Clock at Belvoir Castle. Love.

I could regale you with descriptions of what they're supposed to smell like (if you're interested read here), but I think it takes a nose, not adjectives and nouns, to really know. Is it "the one"? Not necessarily. But for now it's love.

On other days I feel like another scent. After spritzing the tester on my wrist, I pined for it, but didn't want to pay $68. And then they came out with the minis.


Beautiful packaging. That opens up to a secret message:

Yes, the package makes all the difference. Makes you feel luxurious. And special.

And that is the point, really. Isn't it?

What smells bring you joy?

And speaking of joy... I'm hatching a Joyful plan and hope to share it with you soon!

*So glad I looked for a link to share with you because I discovered 1) she has a new book coming out this year and 2) she has a blog. She's my favorite garden writer and I have a bit of a writer crush on her. How did I not know about her blog? In any case, if you don't know her, take a look at her blog and then go to the library and check out some of her books.


  1. I do like to wear a nice scent but nothing too heady. I think I tend to go for fruity scents and nothing 'powdery'. I don't have a signature scent because it depends on my mood and the time of year what I go for. At night I like to wear a nice fragrance or drift off sniffing my homemade lavender bag!!! I also like the smell of roses in the rain, freshly cut grass, coffee, chocolate and mint!

  2. Origins Ginger Souffle moisturizer.

    Crabtree and Evelyn Gardener's Hand Therapy.

    Batman and our kids know that I LOVE to get these as gifts.


    Other scents? Baking bread, hyacinths, lavender, fresh cut hay, woodsmoke, lemon, peppermint tea, rain............

  3. I know it's a bit of a cliche but coffee and fresh baking are my favourite smells because they are so evocative of comfort.

  4. OOOH, my goodness, roses do smell wonderful but lately the ones that you get form the stores don't have the smell that the ones in the garden possess. I do love my rosemary bushes, that is such a beautiful smell! :-)

  5. So much to think about, Anne! I've recently been loving some lavender incense my hubby brought me from China, and, since I went to Italy, I've been obsessed with olive leaf and olive tree products, such as Cucina hand lotion. Can't wear perfume - although I love many, they give me a headache after a few minutes! :-(

  6. I loved hearing about everyones' favorite smells! The list could go on and on and on. :) So many good things to sniff!

  7. Thanks for coming over to see me!! I totally get this post - smells get into your subconsious and remind you of people and places you thought you'd long forgotten about. I love the smell of new books, a baby's head and my favourite perfume Issey Myake.

  8. Super beautiful post..gorgeous!smells and scents are so magical...I have a love for all you can imagine!
    Wishing you a sparkling day

  9. Such a wonderful post. I love the idea of the anthropologie solid perfumes, and the fragrances sound divine! Right now, I can't get enough of Light Blue by Dolce and Gabbana. Smells like sitting on a terrace on a clear day in Italy, drinking Limonata, and hearing the waves of the Mediterranean crash in. My spring scent. :)


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