“The lilac branches are bowed under the weight of the flowers: blooming is hard, and the most important thing is – to bloom. (“A Story About The Most Important Thing”)”
― Yevgeny Zamyatin
“Lord Henry went out to the garden and found Dorian Gray burying his face in the great cool lilac-blossoms, feverishly drinking in their perfume as if it had been wine.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
“A black cat among roses, phlox, lilac-misted under a quarter moon, the sweet smells of heliotrope and night-scented stock. The garden is very still. It is dazed with moonlight, contented with perfume…”
― Amy Lowell
I would say to anyone, cut some lilacs, bring them in the house and put them in a vase. The heady scent of spring and early summer will linger lightly in any room you choose.
The sweet violet, aka: Viola odorata, is a non-native perennial from Europe. It’s a creeping evergreen with lovely heart-shaped leaves.
This dainty plant spreads via rhizomatic roots, and is one of the earliest blooms to decorate our lawns and the edge of forests in early spring.
To use, crush viola leaves to make yourself a cup of tea!
Or, make a simple tincture by covering fresh viola flowers with at least 80 proof vodka. Macerate for a couple weeks.
I’ve read recipes where you can also add 2 ounces of grain alcohol in a mason jar to every one ounce of fresh violets.
For more information on Violets visit: A Modern Herbal, by Mrs. M. Grieve.