Laurie Erickson's post about her first carnation blooming in her garden got me thinking again about peonies, which I've began exploring olfactory wise in June 2007.
Peonies are lovely, yet a little confusing... I find that they vary in scent quite a bit and are not consistently "pleasant". Some of them could even smell like swamp and decaying vegetation - maybe even compost in it's post-fermentation stages...
But the good ones smell rosy and green-fresh, with hints of clove-like spiciness, and have less of the compost/earth/green rot smell. I tried to recreate it with naturals, and it always boils down to the fact that it's really too similar to rose and carnation to be a good stand-alone scent. It needs some extra something that will create the olfactory illusion of something that it's not... At least with my limited palette of only natural essential oils, absolutes, etc.