Cherry blossoms get all the attention, while this one is a nondescript, sturdy green bush. It’s easy to just walk by it.
But stand anywhere in its vicinity with the lightest of breezes, and suddenly you’ll catch a whiff of something that smells like what a plant bearing fruits of Hi-Chew would smell like, unbelievably sweet, almost fantastical. It smells like what the inside of a cartoon would smell like. It is hard to describe. It is hard to believe that a plant would have this scent.
And their scent is agonizingly faint, because even in full bloom its flowers are sparse and tiny. Walk amidst a grove of them, and its fragrance flits in and out like a nostalgic memory. Tenuous to the grasp, but evocative of something unbridled – joy?
These trees – osmanthus, sweet olive, being some of its names – are everywhere in Asia, but again, cherry blossoms get all the attention.
You can barely even see the flowers, can you?