From mid-April, something wondrous begins to happen in the depths of British woodlands. Lured up towards the sun by vernal song, bluebells come to life. Spilling out beneath the trees like a royal-blue carpet, they are the promise of spring fulfilled – a magical reawakening that never fails to cast a spell over you. Although be warned – if you hear a bluebell ring, death may soon follow. And if you pick them, you may never be seen again. This is according to fairies, though, and as previously discussed, they are not to be trusted!
Spilling out beneath the trees like a royal-blue
carpet, bluebells are the promise of spring fulfilled
In folklore, it is said that wearing a garland of bluebells compels you to speak the truth. Hang them on your bed and they’re said to ward off bad dreams. However, they do not bring out the best in bees, whose criminal fraternity can be found chewing holes in the base of the tubular bell and sipping the nectar before buzzing off without pollinating the flower. This phenomenon is known as ‘stealing’ and is not to be encouraged, should you come across any bees that look like they might be troublemakers.
The sap of the bluebell has a gummy quality to it and was used in the Bronze Age to attach feathers to arrows and, later, to bind books. The Elizabethans used the starch to stiffen their ruffs. Both Emily and Anne Bronte made the flowers the subject of poems and, since the blue beauties usually emerge around the 23rd April, they are linked in the national consciousness with our Patron Saint of England St George. It doesn’t get more thoroughly British than that.
At Jo Malone London, we wanted our Wild Bluebell Cologne to capture the flowers’ fresh, earthy sweetness, layered with a delicate dewiness, and to summon that mood of spring. The British love of bluebells is a romance that will last for lifetimes to come.