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Wild Pansy – Eat me!

Photo - - Wild Pansy (Viola Tricolour)

My mother was a fabulous cook and gardener, and a fount of knowledge and source of wisdom about healthy living, body and soul. It’s no surprise then, that I, too, love gardening and cooking, and it seems I’ve passed those passions on to my children, which would make my dear Mum totally burst with pride. The inheritance of her wisdom I’m still working on.

Growing up, my siblings and I thought she was nuts. Her daily rituals of lemon juice in warm water first thing in the morning, eating avocados in their skins with a spoon, baking our bread with wheat germ and unpasteurized honey,  – all this stuff was an embarrassment to us. What we craved with a burning desire was Swanson TV dinners with Coke in a can on TV trays, like our friends’ mother served when were blessed and invited for dinner. “Uh-uh, that’s pure poison,” said Mum, “Eat your broccoli. It’s good for you.” Turns out she was right….

Whenever they appeared in the garden, Mum put flowers in our salads – nasturtiums, dandelions, rose petals, pansies. Always browsing through cook books and books about health, she’d read somewhere that certain flowers had healing powers for what ailed modern populations (this was the 1960’s). She’d likely read about Dr. Edward Bach, the English doctor who became a naturopath, and introduced Bach  Rescue Remedy to the world in the 1930’s, along with 38 other flower remedies. Walk into any health food store in North America, and you’ll find Bach Rescue Remedy, usually near the checkout. Does it work? My experience is yes, it works, it relieves stress and is calming, especially for children and pets.

So we ate our salads with the flowers in them, and I remember liking the pansies, because Mum threw them in whole, and they had those little faces on them. They had a slightly sweet, slightly spicy aromatic green leafy flavor that tasted exactly liked they smelled. Delicious.

Wild Pansy by Christopher Brosius at CB I Hate Perfume is that exact smell. When I first sniffed it in his Brooklyn warehouse store, I experienced an instantaneous time-shift back about 40 years. On his website he says:

“Wild Pansy is actually the smell of wild violets growing in the forest very crisp grassy & casual…..

I've never divided my scents between men & woman so I made Wild Pansy to be enjoyed by all.”

He’s right – Wild Pansy is a divinely perfect spring scent for everyone.

While Brosius’ Violet Empire is my Numero Uno for spring, Wild Pansy is an incredibly close second. Less austere, less intense than its big sister – the pansy is a variety of the viola plant and is often referred to as wild violet – this oil-based perfume absolute is green, grassy, and outdoorsy, like opening the door on a sunny spring day and getting a wave of fresh air, sweet with the soft scent of new grass.

Young tender flowers and new grass – that’s the scent from beginning to end – simple, light, with a crisp edge to it. No powder, no sugar, no drama, no intrigue, just uncomplicated simple beauty. Pansy flowers and grass. The sillage is soft and unintrusive, making Wild Pansy a deeply personal scent sniffable only by you, or the person you want close to you.

The wild pansy is also known as Heart’s Ease, and is said to embody love, and interconnectedness, according to the Floracopeia website. And it’s been used in many cultures to soothe the heart, treating sadness, depression, loss, separation, anxiety, heartbreak, and grief. That’s a lot of power in a little flower that has a funny face. Dr. Bach included the pansy flower as one of the five flowers in his Rescue Remedy.

And Mum put it in salads. We were happy kids. She knew what she was doing.

Wild Pansy is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $6.00 for 1 ml.