Japan is famous for its cherry blossom. But every year I like it better when the sakura is washed away by spring rain, the warm sun comes, and the walk down the hill is awash with white azaleas.
We talked the other day of the chemical, imaginary scents of poppies and tulips; how they were invented by perfumers for their clients’ prime-targeting briefs of uptown demography: hermetic, fiercely synthetic; uptight, squinting florals with issues.
I leave my living room and my cards sprayed all over with these monstrosities.
I walk down towards the station, ambling, and see to my great satisfaction that they are out (they seem to come out, all of them, simultaneously in great bursts of tumbling, translucent banks…)
How free and pure these azaleas smell: how softly liberating to my senses. I can smell whole other worlds in them as I bury my face in their petals: yes, they do have a perfume, azaleas – though it is not often mentioned – and it is beauteous. Delicate, nectarous snowbirds: still: transfixing themselves like newborns in the warm ruffling, breeze; shyly, delectably fragrant like shells, whispering the secrets of the sea.