After spending a few days in Auckland last week, I headed down to Queenstown on New Zealand’s South Island. The surrounding landscape is probably what most non-kiwis associate with the country, perhaps due to movies like Lord of the Rings that shot many scenes on location around Queenstown. At this time of year autumn is in full effect with stunning brown and yellow foliage everywhere. The snow has already started gathering on the mountains, every day moving closer to the township as winter begins its approach. When I am travelling I bring my own toiletries so that I am not reliant on the hotel’s amenities. Often their products are badly perfumed making it a bit of a lucky dip as to what you get. Although I rarely use them, I can never resist the temptation of opening the bottles and having a sniff. This time I was pleasantly surprised. The hotel bathrooms were stocked with their own spa range and the scent was a well-made (on a budget) floral containing notes of jasmine, gardenia, orange blossom and cut grass. The scent is similar to a new floral discovery I recently made in Sydney. I am a terrible gardener and my knowledge of plants is basic. In Sydney there is a plant currently in full bloom and the blossoms are mesmerizing. It is a popular choice amongst homemakers and is used for hedges and dividers between houses. The entire city is literally consumed by the scent of its blossoms, which prompted me to find out a little bit more this mysterious plant. It turns out to be Murraya Paniculata. Also known as Orange Jessamine, this tropical Asian shrub is evergreen and will grow well in Australia’s sub-tropical climate. The small white flowers are what caught my attention and look like a hybrid of jasmine and orange blossom. The scent is overwhelming and can quite simply be described as a cross between jasmine, orange blossom and honeysuckle. I am quite tempted to set up a small-do-it-yourself enfleurage experiment at home to see if I can capture this beautiful scent.
Queenstown, New Zealand & the Murraya flower