Sniffing Brooklyn.

Linden flowers

Believe it or not, there are a lot of good and interesting scents on the streets of my part of Brooklyn right now.  (I wish I could post them: why hasn’t someone invented YouNose?)  Chief, perhaps, among them is the sweet, sweet smell of the flowers of the linden trees.  Linden, Tilia species, is also called Limetree — if you wondered how fifteenth century German sculptors had access to lime trees for all those limewood sculptures, it was Tilia, not the citrus lime, that they used; and the tisane of Proustian fame is tilleul, linden flower, the small, dangling yellow blossoms.

But the scents of overblown roses and privet flowers and honeysuckle and all kinds of things you may not even see, as they lurk behind fences and in back yards, waft through the June air.  Yes, even here.

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5 thoughts on “Sniffing Brooklyn.

  1. Kitt says:

    Lindens are my favorite tree. They haven’t started blooming here yet, but soon! The bees love them.

  2. I keep walking down the street and then finding myself, for an instant, in areas where the air is fresh and vibrant, sweet and lovely, and I breathe deep and just revel in that moment of divine scent…. Ahhhh.
    The thing is though, that if I keep breathing in as I walk, I inevitably enter a zone smelling of rotten, festering hot garbage, or dog poo roasting hot on the sidewalk.
    I guess that’s why they say you should STOP and smell the rose.
    Otherwise, just keep breathing through your mouth.
    Great post. Thanks! I’m going to keep my eyes open for Linden trees. I never know what it is that I’m smelling. Just that it’s good.

  3. nbmandel says:

    Yes, Zeke (& destroy), that’s why I left open the category of “interesting” smells.

  4. Debi Harbuck says:

    Marvelous, sweetness. I am inspired. Tonight, on the porch, there is a stiff breeze off the marsh, so the air is tinged with salt and mud. There is late jasmine, and a mix herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil, and oregano) from the garden. And, intertwined, there is a hint of smoke from a very distant wildfire.

    That’s smell of early summer in the Low Country.

  5. lisa peet says:

    The lindens on my morning walk make me think of sitting next to old ladies (in a nice way).

    And my neighbor’s honeysuckle is massive this year, and every time I walk by I’m enveloped by the sweet heavy smell. I took a cutting off it last summer — the local garden centers won’t sell honeysuckle vine (as opposed to bush) because it’s so invasive — and it’s doing well in a pot in the backyard. I think there are another couple of years between this incarnation and being able to actually plant it out, but there’s a nice feeling to thinking in such extensive temporal terms…

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