Blossom signals new beginnings. The long-awaited optimism after the dark days of winter. A sign that the earth is softening and stirring with new life. It’s always delicate, subtle, gentle and sweet, everything that encapsulates the flowers of the silk tree.
As one would expect of a princess of Asia, originating as it does in Iran, China and Azerbaijan, the silk tree has several titles. You may know it as the Persian silk tree, pink siris, the Tree of Joy or mimosa. It will answer to any of those names, along with its most formal salutation, Albizia julibrissin. The Florentine naturalist and aristocrat Filippo degli Albizzi discovered the tree and brought it to Europe in the mid 1700s, while the julibrissin part of the name derives from the Persian for silk flower. Thoroughly international credentials.
‘What’s all this about silk?’ you have every right to ask. This is where the blossom comes in. Its sweetly scented flowers are made up of billowy, thread-like stamens. These delicate, powdery pink pompoms, as fragrant as peaches with a hint of light greenery, are beloved by hummingbirds, butterflies and bees alike. The blossom isn’t made of actual silk, of course, but you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise.
Its sweetly scented flowers are made
up of billowy, thread-like stamens – delicate,
powdery pink pompoms’
Like many of a sensitive disposition, the silk tree isn’t fond of rain, but it loves to sleep and has a habit of closing its leaves during downpours and at night. That’s why the Japanese have nicknamed it the ‘sleeping tree’. It is, however, an unashamed sun-worshipper, preferring to bask in the strong blaze of direct heat.
This curious tree with its particular habits and unusual blossoms has proved a perennial favourite in ancient Chinese medicine. Traditionally prepared as a tea or tincture, its wide-ranging capabilities were said to include encouraging relaxation and helping sleep, and even enhancing the clarity and meaning of dreams.
At Jo Malone London, we have combined the scent of silk tree blossom with the scents of white pepper, apricot and moss to create a cologne and candle. Sparkling with freshness, subtle notes of spice and the lushness of the forest, the scent of Silk Tree Blossom is a delicately fragrant breeze that only warmer days can promise.