Friday, 4 October 2013

Forest's Robe: Autumn Verses



Forest's Robe- Penhaligon's Scented Treasury Of Autumn Verse And Prose, edited by Sheila Pickles, is a lovely little book that I've had in my collection for quite a few years.  It is one of those pretty little hardcover books full of old poems, prose and beautiful paintings, this one being all related to Autumn.  Evocative titles of pieces include:  A Mellow Afternoon, Autumnal, The Hayloft, Apple-Picking, The Plough, Autumn Fires, Harvest Time, Wild Plum Jam, Through the Woods, October, Michaelmas Daisies, Gathering Leaves, Apple Harvest...

The book is indeed scented, after all those years that beautiful soft scent is still there.  Having a very sensitive nose and exceptionally keen sense of smell, I usually cannot abide perfume, but this scent is so lovely that it does not irritate, it is a comforting scent.  Here is the description in the back of the book:

"Penhaligon's autumn pot-pourri is called Forest's Robe, composed of the bark, oakmoss, pine cones and other treasures of the forest floor.
Oakmoss is gathered from the old oak forests of Eastern Europe and buckthorn bark comes from the great trees of North America.  These are mixed with cypress cones, bay and uva ursi leaves, bakuli nuts from Malaysia, alder seed pods and cassurina cones from the Mediterranean.
With its natural blend of wood and moss, Forest's Robe has a beguiling green scent which perfumes the endpapers of this book and perfectly captures the spirit of autumn."

Autumn is my favourite season of the year; its special, subtle, quieter charms can delight more than other seasons, although there is boldness in the bright turning of leaves and vibrant flowers that demand to be noticed.

Who could resist a fresh, sweet and fragrant apple? 
Here is an excerpt, from 'A Year in a Lancashire Garden' by Henry A. Bright, 1891:

APPLE HARVEST

"Our Apple harvest has been over for nearly a fortnight; but how pleasant the orchard was while it lasted, and how pleasant the seat in the corner by the Limes, whence we see the distant spire on the green wooded slopes.  The grey, gnarled old apple-trees have, for the most part, done well.  The Ribston Pippins are especially fine, and so is an apple, which we believe to be the King of the Pippins.....Indeed all eating apples, with but few exceptions, are best when freshly gathered, or, better still, when, on some clear soft day. they have just fallen on the grass, and lie there, warmed by the rays of the autumn sun."

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