Coming up smelling of Roses

Sorry I know I said, some time ago, that my next post would be about Sage but been busy walking, swimming, writing and making marmalade, apricot and plum Jam. So quite a few grazes from scrumping here and there. It is really still not the best time for Sage.  I will be collecting it and writing about it in August when it has had plenty of days to feel the intense summer heat and then the pungent aroma is everywhere. It is, for me, the smell of Greece that stays in my memory on cold winter days in the UK. Having said that I have been using it on my grey hair as a cheap and very good rinse to stop it turning yellow though still can’t beat Aveda blue malva conditioner every now and again.  Back to the Roses. They are of course quintessentially English. Many people here grow hybrid roses which they are very proud and make wonderful displays of colour in the late spring, even if they seem out of place on a Greek island and have little or no scent. Most roses have finished flowering now, except for the Oleanders which are also a part of the Rose family. The white dog roses, wild red roses, found in a few of the cemeteries on the island, and the baby pink Rose Alba (pictured above) are my particular favourites. I believe the Rose Alba is an old French rose used, because of it’s delicate smell, in perfumes.

I made rose water a couple of weeks ago,  using the brick and ice cube method and managed, for a whole bush of rose petals, to  make one small cupful of pure white rose water. I have also picked rose buds which I am drying to place in silk bags to keep clothes smelling heavenly and I made rose petal, lavender and honey facial scrub as gifts.

Rose is my birth stone and the old wild roses fill my heart with love and courage when I am feeling a bit lonely.

I have been thinking about how so many people do seem to come up smelling of roses however awful their behaviour is, while for the rest of us, who repeatedly come up smelling of not such pleasant aromas,  we can always cheat with rose water spray to lighten our hearts when they feel heavy with injustice and when we feel like screaming as a small child, “life’s not fair”.

If we are lucky enough to afford a treat or be given a special gift, more extravagant rose perfumes such as Jo Malone’s, “wild rose” and an old Guerlain rose perfume, which my mum used to wear.

Rubbing the petals of the Rosa Alba in your hands, using a little rose oil or the  more expensive perfume when you can afford it are sure fire ways to ensure that we too can come up smelling of roses.


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