During my first autumn in Japan, I was surprised by a sweet and fragrant flower blooming throughout Tokyo. I soon learned that the plant is called kinmokusei and it usually blooms throughout Tokyo from late September to mid October.
The scent of this flower indicates the beginning of autumn for many in Japan and at first I didn't connect with this ultra-sweet fragrance, but after several years and many fall seasons I began to look forward to its bloom and as it would drift through Tokyo welcoming the fall season.
Now that I am outside of Japan, I was recently surprised by the aroma of kinmokusei at a nearby park here in Los Angeles. Although it was early November, to me it still indicates the beginning of autumn and reminds me of many of the wonderful fall seasons I spent in Japan and the exciting autumn harvest of appetizing food.