Geoffrey Grigson could have started it. In the Englishman’s Flora associated with the 1950s he told exactly how the French (who else?) put branches of hawthorn beyond your windows of each and every girl that is young. “The stale, sweet fragrance through the triethylamine the plants have makes them suggestive of sex.”
Richard Mabey picks this up inside the current Flora Britannica, where he describes that “the triethlyamine accountable for the element that is stale hawthorn’s complicated odor is amongst the very very first chemicals produced when living muscle begins to decay” and reminds nurses who’ve worked in Africa of this odor of gangrene.
“Yet triethylamine’s fishy scent,” he continues on, “is additionally the odor of intercourse – one thing seldom acknowledged in folklore, but implicit in most of the culture that is popular of hawthorn.”
Charles Nelson, later of y our nationwide Botanic Gardens, believes that botanists “never agree about perfumes”. The Burren’s fragrant orchid, Gymnadenia conopsea, as an example, has flowers that, for him, are perfumed with vanilla. “Others assert that the fragrance resembles cloves or plastic, which reminds me personally regarding the equation of old socks or fine hock that is old the perfume associated with the Ca tree poppy – an aroma is really as much within the head as beauty is within the attention associated with beholder.”
But also he finds that hawthorn blossom “exudes that heavy fragrance that is musky intimate undertones”. He could be, needless to say, another Englishman, now surviving in pastoral bliss in Tippitiwichet Cottage, someplace in East Anglia.