Date: Fri, 13 May 1994 13:44:15 EDT From: KDANN[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM Subject: Flower scent and dialect Hello, "And because the breath of flowers is far sweeter in the air (where it comes and goes like the warbling of music) than in the hand, therefore nothing is more fit for that delight, than to know what be the flowers and plants that do best perfume the airs." --Francis Bacon Bacon may have believed that there was nothing "more fit for delight," but few people these days seem to know "what be the flowers and plants that do best perfume the airs." I've found that many folks are struck dumb when asked to identify the source of a particularly cloying scent wafted on some June breeze, be it in Nebraska or New Jersey. I'm curious to know what floral fragrances--not so much of garden annuals or perennials, but of the woody native and non-native plants (street trees in urban areas, for instance) that make up your local landscape--are most familiar to people in your neighborhood, and whether there are any distinctive local names for plants based on their fragrance. For example: I've always been interested in the host of plants whose flowers give off a semen-like odor (gingko, barberry, etc.), and met someone here in Arizona who calls an unidentified tree the "sex tree" because of this odor. I think Linnaeus classified these smells as "Hircinae," i.e. goat-like in odor. The ADS list members have such a treasure of linguistic idiosyncracy; any botanical smell lore out there? Osmically Yours, Kevin Dann Scottsdale, AZ (where pineapple-smelling acacias now fill the air)