Friday, September 25, 2009

Ticket to Ride

Earlier today I was performing the heavenly task of harvesting lavender seeds. My hands were filled with the scent as I spilled the tiny gems out into a bowl. In delicate drafts off the pond the perfume of roses mingled with the lavender and I began to think of all the scented plants that I have in the garden. That is when I decided to take a little sniffing tour.

Now I could list all the scented plants I have out there but then this would just be a laundry list of otherwise rather common plants. I have varieties of mint, sage, curry, lilies, scented tulips, and so on. I have a passionate weak spot for scents because it is the swiftest route through the haze of rational thinking and I simply can not resist the E ticket ride.

For those of you who were born after the “when things were really cool” period: an E ticket ride refers to the old ticket books you used to get at Disneyland. The ticket books were letter/color coded and came with a certain number of each. The E tickets were used for the very best rides. Sometimes if a ride cost more than one E ticket you could use other tickets plus an E ticket to make up the difference. The Es were quickly used up and therefore coveted by all. Many sibling battles were fought and future first born children traded for an extra E ticket back in the day.

As a child I loved the experience “rides” that Disneyland put together. It was all about the ride of being transported to another time and place. When you are young you can let yourself buy those fantasies. All you have to do is hand them your cotton candy coated sticky ticket and you take the ride with wide eyed acceptance. There are no adult pretenses of jaded sobriety to hinder your fun or keep you in check.

As far as the brain is concerned scent is the E ticket for experience rides in the garden. Roses can smell wonderful but where do yours take you? Some of my roses remind me of my mother. I can’t quite remember her though I do remember her scent and it breaks my heart a little every time I smell those roses. Catmint to me smells like sunlight coming through lace curtains in a farmhouse window. It’s like an amber glow across sepia toned photographs atop a worn wooden dresser. And lavender feels like smooth wooden floors and glycerin soap on a hot summer day.

The chocolate mint I brush by in the mornings as I feed the birds always makes me smile because it smells happy and safe. Rosemary transports me to the majesty of pine forests and lemon balm is like sunlight dancing on my skin. There are so many beautifully scented plants and flowers to choose from but if a scent is the equivalent of and E ticket ride I want to make my choices wisely.

I figure that life takes you on a lot of rides that you’d rather not go on so if given half a chance why not design your own amusement park where the rides are the ones you want to take? What does happy smell like to you?


  1. Having grown up in the Philippines, there are a lot of flowers I haven't smelled in a long time. But when I occasionally go home, just a whiff and I am gone to a place in my childhood. Although most memories have to do with going to the cemetery and putting flowers on the grave.

    My happy smells: cotton candy, bubble gum, my mom's cooking, fresh bread, cinnamon rolls. My children after they are showered and pj'd for the night.

  2. What beautiful pictures! Especially your header. I wish I had any semblance of a green thumb. :)

    Thank you so much for visiting Something She Wrote, and for the anniversary wishes you left. Have a great weekend!

  3. Pink Ink thank you for stopping by and taking time to comment. I love your happy smells! Cotton candy and bubble gum sound so sweet and innocent. It makes me smile. And your children bathed and pj'd is just so tender.

    Janna, I enjoy visiting your blog and I appreciate your stopping by mine. You may not have a green thumb but you do have an ink thumb. ;-)

  4. Mmmm, lavender smells so good. My new favorite is pineapple sage. It's amazing what memories smells can trigger. They can transport you to another time, another location-- and get you lost in a world once forgotten.

  5. Fresh rain, baking bread, sweet pea blossoms, campfires, just some scents that make my brain happy.
    Great post, I love your writing style.

  6. 6p01156fcb6c3d970c Thank you so my for posting a comment. I also have just discoverd pinapple sage. I picked it up as a rescue plant late this summer. It is now a huge lush plant and is beginning to flower. The scent is incredible. I can't believe they actually got it to smell like that!

    Rosey those are absolutely wonderful scents and memories. I really like the combinations you guys have. When you look at them you can see a "scent profile" and it sort of makes a unique picture. Really awesome.

    Thank you all for sharing. This was great!

  7. Hi LeSan,

    I love your writing. I've missed quite a bit because I've been prepping for and hosting a show in my house. Happiness smells like Saturday morning coffee coming up the stairs to me in the hands of my husband with the dog and the cats tagging along. It smells like a certain kind of pink rose that has a real rose smell. Happiness smells like clean laundry and the ocean at low tide, like new mown grass and
    all the perfume on friends coming in from the cool night for a party. It smells like champagne pouring into a glass, and the warm hug of anyone you love. I love this blog.

  8. Barbara what a lovely comment. All those things sound so happy and peaceful. It made me think of an ocean front house with fresh linens, seashells and sand.

    All these happy scents from each of you have such wonderful atmosphere and emotion. It has been so beautiful to read and savor each one. Thank you so much for contributing.