Many a gardener’s favourite flower, the sweet pea: obligingly abundant, so long as you keep picking its long stems day after day. It’s certainly possible to capture the airy sweetness of sweet peas, or Lathyrus odoratus – which naturally smell somewhere between orange blossom and hyacinth, with a hint of rose – through a process of extraction. But the ingredient perfumers weave, mostly into floral fragrances, is generally a synthetic replica.
Smell sweet pea in:
Photograph courtesy of Sarah Raven