Everlasting Blossoms

Deep in the Corsican maquis, The Horticulturalist brings you a plant to marvel about: Helichrysum italicum. Growing wild in the stony, sandy soil facing the Mediterranean, the Italian Everlasting, or Immortelle as they call it in French, is a fascinating study. As with many plants that thrive in dry areas, the Everlasting has a pungent, complex fragrance that stays with you for hours after touching it. Apparently, when approaching his native island by ship, Napoleon could smell Corsica before he could even see it, thanks to the flower. Traditionally, Helichrysum was used to decorate tombs, as the flower dries perfectly and lasts for months and even years. Immortelles were intensively cultivated in the south of France and quite popular in the mid 1800’s, finding their way en mass to fans in Paris, London, Moscow and other major cities. 

Besides capturing perfectly the mellow light and fragrance of high summer, the Helichrysum is now being cultivated for medicinal purposes, as it has been found to be one of the strongest anti-inflammatories around and heals both scars and broken bones. And I believe the Everlasting has much potential in the perfume industry, as a sort of vegetal musk… 

Power perfume…

Lisa

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~ by lisacwhite on August 15, 2008.

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