Posted at the intersection of Middle Huaihai Road and Sinan Road, one can often find 78-year-old Wang Huiying selling tiny white champaca and jasmine buds bound together by thin wires. [...] These flowers have traditionally been braided together and pinned on clothing for their perfume-like scent. “I liked white champaca from my childhood and my mother loved them, too,” said Wang. She has been selling these flowers for nearly two decades and made many friends along the way.
— Read more about the traditional flower-craft vendors in Shanghai at Scented flower vendors keep sweet smell of tradition alive at Shine.
In India, these chains of jasmine buds are braided in with hair I’ve worn them during dance performances and at special occasions like pujas, and they smell so wonderful!
(I always thought champaca was a type of jasmine.)
No, different plant, related to magnolia.
Huh, I wonder how I managed to be so off! I thought it might be because “champa” is a type of jasmine in Bengali–but then I looked that up and champa is actually plumeria anyway, so I’m just befuddled.
Scented flowers to wear, how marvelous. I want a bracelet like that. A wonderful story and the photos are a treat. I’m not often a fan of champaca in fragrance, but now I want to smell the fresh flowers. They look so oddly waxy and interesting, I imagine they smell marvelous. Thank you for the link.
I would buy one if it were sold on the street near me, that’s for sure!
I ADORE the smell of champaca…I would like my entire body to be enveloped in these although the wiring might be a tad bit uncomfortable
I love the smell too.
In Hong Kong older men sell champaca flowers on the streets in little folds of cellophane. Cab drivers attach the little parcels of champaca to the air-conditioning vents of their taxis so the interior of the car is perfumed by the little buds. My Chinese grandfather managed to cultivate a champaca tree in his garden in Sydney and one of my key summertime scent memories for me (along with star jasmine) is the smell of champaca flowers resting in a saucer of cool water. I’ve always been disappointed with perfumes that claim to be based on this flower, though Ormonde Jayne’s is lovely.
Oh how cool!! Thanks Jarrett.