Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tree of Mystery

Tree of Mystery, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.
The first time I encountered this tree was in east Vancouver, near Grandview elementary school. I was amazed at how closely it resembled orange blossom, though it has nothing to do with orange. It looks as if it belongs to the fabacea (or legumes) family, just like Spanish Broom, mimosa and Sweet Pea.
And indeed, it shares quite a bit of similarity to sweet pea as well – which I haven’t noticed before. Overall, it smells like a mélange of orange blossom, sweet pea, and a very indolic jasmine, to the point that you’d think there is some civet thrown in… only that this isn’t perfume! It’s a flower and there couldn’t possibly be any civet in there even if you tried hard to find it. Maybe in coffee, but not here…

Mysterious White Blossoms 01, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.
P.s. Thanks to my reader, Veronica, I now know the identity of the mystery tree: Robinia pseuodoacacia, aka Black Locust or Witte Acacia. Veronica, please email me so I can thank you properly with a mini of my mimosa perfume, Les Nuages de Joie Jaune.

According to W.A. Poucher's Perfumes, Cosmetics and Soaps (Vol. 1, p. 296): "Source: Natural. Flowers of Robinio pseudo-acacia, L. Leguminosae. The absolute is obtained by extraction with volatile solvents. Possesses an intense odour of the blossoms. Chemical: Contains indole, methyl antrhanilate, linalool, benzyl alcohol, heliotropin, and trepineol, with traces of aldehydes and ketones of peach odour". 

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At June 14, 2007 6:06 AM, Blogger chayaruchama said...

I can smell it from here...

At June 14, 2007 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where I come from(Odessa,Ukraine) these trees are called acacia trees and they fill the wholy city with their head spinning aroma in June.I can't tell you how much I missed them here in Florida!!I haven't smelled them since ten years ago but I recongnised the flowers from your photo.

At June 15, 2007 9:16 AM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

Thank you for the name! You are right, it is called acacia, but it's not a "true" acacia, like mimosas are. I researched a little bit more to see pictures, and it seems like the latin name for this one is "Robinia pseudoacacia" (it's also called Black Locust and Witte acacia).

At June 15, 2007 9:20 AM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

Veronica, please email me with your address so I can thank you properly with a mini of my mimosa perfume, Les Nuages de Joie Jaune. It doesn't quite smell like the mystery tree, but I think you might like it!


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