The fragrance of a particular flower might be described as "sweet" or "strong" or "fruity" or "lovely," but detailing the scent of a plumeria blossom requires evoking tropical destinations, salty breezes, and a rhapsodic use of adjectives.
The plumeria is indeed a principal player in a classic Hawaiian lei, and it also serves as the official flower of Nicaragua. Call it a classic floral icon of sunny, tropical climes, and call it much beloved by frangipani fans around the world.
Many of those fans will call upon the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden on Saturday, July 16 to celebrate the garland-glamorous favorite, a flower that can instantly transport the sniffer to places across oceans.
It's Plumeria Day at the Arcadia-based gardens, and the buds will be front-and-centered in a number of ways. Way one? There's a plant sale, should you want to try your own hand at growing plumeria at home, and tending to it in all of the tender ways (perhaps to create your own wearable garlands, either lei-style or for the hair).
Hawaiian tunes from ukulele artist Mitchell Chang will also ring out at the gardens, and eats shall be for sale.
If you're not boarding a plane for Maui in the days ahead, or the Big Island, call your Arcadian idyll a scent-sweet way to embrace some of the spirit of Hawaii, and take a bit home, too, if you please.
A member of the South Coast Plumeria Society will lead the learning, so prepare to depart with some floral facts about this beautiful bud.