Signs of Spring: Floral Fragrances

Much of the country is experiencing significant signs of an early spring.  Fresh warmer-than-expected breezes, the subtle hope of an emerging crocus, buds growing fat  in anticipation of steadily warmer temps, the shedding of layers for doubly long walks.
And baby lambs, frolicking on the snowless lawn, of course.
Along with daylight savings comes longer days and wishful thinking of a winter that uneventfully transitions into a smashing success of a spring.
Some of my favorite early spring flowers are now more readily available in flower markets and bucket shops and I can’t help but come home with arm-fulls of the beauties every now and again.  Some flowers are quintessentially spring, iconic in their sweet scents.
Fresh lilac has an understated fragrance, hardy woody stems and hues varying from pale white to dusty pink to grape or periwinkle.  Make sure your water is crystal clear and after giving the branches a fresh horizontal cut, snip the end with a vertical slice to allow maximum hydration.  This is a great trick to help with the longevity of your blooms, but if your vase is not perfectly clean it allows bacteria to attack the flowers quicker.
There is nothing subtle about the intoxicating scent of blooming hyacinth.  The wonderfully potent aroma can add life and hope to any room.  These hardy bulb flowers have petite bell-shapped blossoms gathered along each fatty and spongy stem.  Cluster them together in an old trophy or singly in a vintage jar.   
I am not quite foolish enough to think that winter has left us Chicagoans for good, but even a simple vase of fragrant spring flowers gives me the courage to dream of what’s [hopefully] just around the corner.
[image credits] lilac clockwise from top left: 1, 2, 3, 4, perfume, hyacinth from top left 1, 2, 3, 4