Wednesday, February 13, 2008


The hyacinths are in bloom. Everywhere I go, the hardware store, nursery, past the WhoMarts -- everywhere are hyacinths. And the scent --- aaaahhhh! Gorgeous. Floral sweet heaviness invades, then blends with a cinnamon-like spiciness ~ gawd! The hardware store was having a sale -- $1.98 per bloomin' hyacinth, so I bought -- um -- I think somewhere in the neighborhood of 18? I left one on one of my son's doorstep so he could enjoy it when fumbling for his keys in the dark. He did, of course, calling me up and serenading me with 'What are they doing in the Hyacinth House? What are they doing in the Hyacinth House to please the lions this day? I need a brand new friend who doesn't bother me . . . ' -- yeah, the Hyacinth House from The Doors. Have I mentioned my kids are a little wonky? Wonder where they get that from?

I have two planted on my front porch in an elevated planter -- a pink and a blue. I much prefer the scent of the blue hyacinth over the pink. There's just something that ain't right about that pink one. The rest are sitting on the porch bench, most with their flowering heads snipped off.

I'm on the second time (2X) tincturing the flowers of the blue hyacinth in organic grain alcohol. The juice looks like liquid amethysts and the scent is very close to a 1% hyacinth absolute dilution. Very close. The tincture has more green notes. Faint, but there.

What will I do with my hyacinth tincture? I'm not sure. I may bottle up a bit and give it to the boy who lives in the Hyacinth House.


  1. Anonymous8:23 AM

    Oh, the hyacinths... They just find their way into my shopping basket anyplace I go lately:)
    You're right about the scent of the pink ones being not "quite right".
    I wonder if it has to do with the fact they were hybridized as opposed to the blue or white ones that you can find in the wild. Probably most of the varieties that they sell now are bred to produce large flowering stalks... I may be wrong, though.

  2. I don't know about the hybridization stuff -- all I know is that pink one doesn't draw me in the way the blues do.

    In fact, I've been around them for so long now, tripping over the scent when I walk out the front door, bumping into the smell in the studio, that I'm almost sick of all of them!

    Almost :D

  3. Blue hyacinths are downright narcotic. One of the best smells ever, is the ornate landscaping packed with blue hyacinth, at the Royal Gardens at Kew, in London. Early April, a warm sunny day, and the air practically hums and pulsates with fragrance.

    I had the flu on that trip, but I could still smell the hyacinths, clear as a bright blue bell.

  4. Wow. I bet that was something else. I thought I was rocking the hyacinth with my measly 18 plants -- hard to imagine the blue cloud of scent over the Royal Gardens.
    Thanks for sharing that.


  5. I was inspired to price the bulbs when I got back from that trip, but had to rethink it when I saw the pricing. I may yet get some hyacinths and try them on the balcony where I'm moving, we'll see :)

    The world's stinkiest flower, that giant corpse thing, was blooming in one of the greenhouses at Kew. You just stepped into the greenhouse and everything smelled of damp warm decay, rather than it having a very distinctive stench all its own.

    That was one of the very few hi-lights of a very lackluster trip.



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