Sigh. If you’re romantically inclined, I think Chapters 12-14 are likely some of your favorites in the series. In Chapter 11, Diana invited Matthew to dinner–only to realize that she has precisely no idea what to do once he actually arrives.
He arrives punctually, carrying wine and white roses. White roses used to symbolize true love, a role later adopted by their scarlet-hued cousins.
Throughout dinner, Diana learns about Matthew’s tastes, his history, and his exceptionally acute sense of smell. As Jen and I mentioned in our first episode, Deb wrote an award-winning wine blog prior to publishing A Discovery of Witches. She was interviewed about both wine and ADOW for Tom Wark’s daily wine blog, Fermentation.
“You smell of willow sap. And chamomile that’s been crushed underfoot.” He sniffed again and smiled a small, sad smile. “There’s honeysuckle and fallen oak leaves, too,” he said softly, breathing out, “along with witch hazel blooming and the first narcissus of spring. And ancient things–horehound, frankincense, lady’s mantle. Scents I thought I’d forgotten.”
During All Souls Con 2017, Deb confirmed something that I suspected–she has a very strong sense of smell and associates memories, places, and things with smells. That’s how each of the characters came to have a scent. I’m like that, too, which is one of the reasons I connected so strongly with the series. Unsurprisingly, each plant Matthew mentions has a symbolic meaning:
Willow: Sadness. The willow tree represents nature, fertility, and life.
Honeysuckle: The bonds of love.
Witch hazel: Protection.
Narcissus: Rebirth and new beginnings.
Frankincense: Used to mark priests, an ointment for spiritual beginnings.
Lady’s mantle: Fertility. The holy mother.
As for Matthew, cloves represent love and protection. The carnation, or clove pink, is a flower associated with both sacred and profane love. The Met has a fascinating article on the cultivation of clove pinks in medieval gardens here.
“I believe that my body is nearly thirty-seven years of age. I was born around the time Clovis converted to Christianity… I was reborn a vampire in 537, and with the exception of Attila–who was before my time–you’ve touched on most of the high and low points in the millenium between then and the year I put the keystone into my house in Woodstock.”
Deb says that the soundtrack for this scene is Over the Rhine, Drunkard’s Prayer:
It’s lovely. If you don’t already follow Deb’s excellent ADOW playlist on Spotify, I recommend that you do so immediately. I would see the Drunkard’s Prayer and raise on Loreena McKennitt, The Dark Night of the Soul:
You can find Deb’s post on Chapter 12 here. The daemons talk about Chapter 12 in Take 15! The All Souls Podcast covers Chapter 12 in Episode 13: Wherein begins the wooing. We swooned over Chapter 12 in Episode 5 – “Friends.” Until tomorrow, and the lab, I hope you curl up with the playlist, some candles, and a glass of wine,