The view from my kitchen window includes this beautiful wisteria, which flowers reliably every year, except one year a long time ago when we had a very severe frost in April just as the buds were just starting to develop. The scent is quite powerful too, as I walk underneath it, and the leaves when developed provide shade for the table and benches underneath.
I've just finished reading Celia Lyttleton's "The Scent Trail" in which the author describes her journeys to many different countries in search of the raw ingredients for her own personal scent. She travels to Grasse, in the south of France, in search of mimosa, to Florence for irises, to Turkey for roses, to Morocco for oranges and neroli, to India, Sri Lanka, to Yemen and finally Socotra in search of ambergris. She tells us a lot about te history of scent and how it was and is used in some of these places, and we also learn about how the scent is extracted from the individual flowers, how these flowers have to be picked at certain times of day for the best perfumes. I love scent and would love to have a personal one as Celia Lyttleton has done, but usually wear my favourite Yves St Laurent "Rive Gauche". Celia Lyttleton's writing is enthusiastic about perfume and lyrical about the scents and places she visits. An intriguing read for anyone who loves perfume.
Another recent read was Alexander McCall Smith's eighth title in his No 1 Ladies detective series, The Good Husband of Zebra Drive. The setting is familiar to those who have read others in the series. Although violence and death are mentioned, they are not dwelt on as in some crime novels. In fact I sometomes wonder if these are actually crime novels; they seem to be more philosphical musings on human behaviour in all its variety. Nevertheless,despite the deceptively simple writing I find them an enjoyable comfort read.