foxy fritillaria michailovskyi

April 24, 2010

Someone told me yesterday that they say that fritillaria michailovskyi smells foxy. I got what he meant. He wanted to make sure. You know, like sex.

First of all, major props to a working man for recognizing the flower, knowing its pain in the arse name, and for retaining this erotic bit of esoterica (or esoteric bit of erotica I suppose, depending on which team you happen to be batting for).

Secondly. As a euphemism for sexy, foxy is first rate. Sure, gents have been calling good-lookin’ ladies foxy for ages immemorial, but to have it connote not a look but a smell is to put a novel twist on the word that resonates with darker meaning when it’s used in relation to fox behavior. Think feral, think sweaty, think animal.

But. I clipped a few and stuck my nose deep up in them and… meh. They have a smell, but it’s not a musk or a funk. It smells like rot. I mean, I’m all for dirty girls, but pretty or not, this is beyond the pale. Turns out it’s a single compound to blame for the stank, a certain 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol, which they say has a smoke-roast stink but I sez no way unless your smoke-roast has been sitting in the sun way too long.

fritillaria michailovskyi

by the by, everything worthwhile to learn about fritillarias can be learned here.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anna Kolesnikova May 2, 2011 at 9:07 pm

as to both great flower-lover and presently interested in euphemisms the article under consideration was an extremely fascinating one, and what I should like to inquire is whether you have some newsletter which I could sign up for or would you be so kind to e-mail me directly on the point of what you know about flowers and illustrate it with pictures…………….
anyway, discoweing your page was such a pleasure to me, that I certainly would contact you occasionally if you don’t mind……………………

steve warrington 2 steve June 3, 2011 at 2:14 am

Thank you Anna for your supersweet comment,

But alas, I am as regular in posting as rain is in falling on parched earth, so a newsletter seems like it would be to you like a weatherman’s promise to an impoverished farmer.

Howzabout you hit the “subscribe” button up in the top right corner of the Internetwebpage and see what happens. I’m 23.8 percent sure it’ll work…

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