In the past I've always associated it with an unusually warm and sunny winter day but Monday it was snowing in
Still when I left work in the afternoon, there was that piercing sweet scent that I immediately identified as sweet box (sarcococcus humilis, I believe, though I am a little confused by my sarococcus species).
The scent is hard to describe but almost everyone describes it as piercing. For instance, I found this blog post by Barbara Wilde who gardens in
Another common description, and one I have used in the past, is the sensation of being stopped in your tracks, as described by Sue Taylor in an article at Dave’s Garden. She compares the scent to honey.
This year my first thought was of violets. Mary Robson at Muck About describes the fragrance as vanilla and honey. She brings in branches in November and “forces’ them to bloom indoors.
I have tried this myself as a way to extend this delicious scent but it really loses its charm after a few hours in a warm house and becomes cloying. I prefer that elusive, piercing, evasive scent that surprises me on a winter day with its promise of spring.