I associate flowers with beauty, sunlight and life. Night blooming flowers belong to the moon and stars. We know that they have unique attributes made to fit into nature’s cadence of supplying night time pollinators with their own sweet nectar. Nocturnal pollinators are attracted by more potent and powerful fragrance - imagine a survival based on flying through the darkness following a scent and its inverse needing to smell so beautifully lush and fragrant that you can be found by the unseeing in the night sky.
That is the essence of the night blooming flower - the orange blossom, the jasmine, the moonflower, the tuberose, the evening primrose, the night blooming narcissus, the gardenia, the casablanca lily - thick petaled seducers. This process of attraction and seduction results in pollen being scattered like moondust from moth wings. Night blooming flower fragrance reaches a peak and this peak occurs in that hour that cascades time from night into day. Participating in this floral nocturnal bacchanal feels illicit and decadent.
Capturing the aroma of night blooming flowers is not as simple as one would imagine from flowers so fragrant. These flowers are best suited to more traditional methods of extraction. Making a true unadulterated attar is different from other types of essential oils that can go through higher temperature steam distillation. These night petals are more delicate. Low temperature water distillation or long soak in oil allow for the flower to release its aroma without being damaged. The combination of slowness to become something as close to its aroma when it is in full night bloom and a kind of coaxing skill, the gentleness to call out a scent from a flower is a magnificent act. This is how we found ourselves at Midnight. Filled with desire for the ephemeral sweetness of the orange blossom at its peak.
The images selected in this story of the Night Flower photographs of Charles Sin are inspired by a series of posts for NYE of his work by Fiorella Valdesolo in her magnificent instagram column “under the flower moon”. I was not aware of his fireworks photography until seeing the images on her page and was mesmerized.
2022-01-08 14:45:0080 view(s)