Jasmine nights

A row of what I think are jasmine bushes underneath our bedroom window have bloomed for the past few weeks. I didn’t know the neighbor apartment has such plant. I mean, I haven’t smelled it since we moved in, I don’t think.

The first time I caught a whiff of this season’s bloom though, I thought to myself…

“Mom’s visiting.”

It didn’t help that the first time, I was the only one who caught the scent. Brandon was a bit too far away from the window to smell anything.

You see, one of mom’s favorite flowers are what Thai people call “Dok Kaew” ดอกแก้ว. That’s scientifically Murraya paniculata and in Hawaii it’s known as mock orange or orange jasmine.  Orange jasmine, eh?  It’s no jasmine, but it looks and smells pretty close.

We have a tree growing on the edge of our property in Bangkok, on the way out the gate. It seems to bloom at night through early morning a few times a year. I remember taking them to my teachers on my way to school and plucking them on Sunday mornings for my grandmother.

It was blooming when my mom passed away. We made sure to have the blossoms at the temple as well as in our house. We put them in mom’s favorite red crystal vases which her friends joked that mom would rise out of the coffin to beat me and Pueng the Maid silly for actually using her prized possession.

Since the day I caught the scent in my bedroom, I expect the blossoms every night. I would take in deep breaths before getting in bed and think of mom.

It hurts a little, but strangely comforting.



  1. irena   •  

    *big big big hug*

    lots and lots of love, oaks. 🙂

  2. OnigiriFB   •  

    OMG We had these lining our front fence/wall too! My bedroom in Thailand faced the front and I loved waking up to that smell. I always thought it was jasmine though didn’t know it had a different name. God I miss that! 🙁 I wish someone would bottle it I’d wear it as a perfume. Maybe I should try to find one of those here.

  3. lillian   •  

    I love that smell too.. lovely photo as well !

  4. Dr. House   •  

    My dad’s house in Thailand has Dok Kraew tree as well. Such a comforting smell when it release beautiful comforting scent at night. Anyway..

    When my sister’s best friend passed away(she love jasmin flower), my sister and I smelled strong scent of jasmin flower in my sister’s bedroom (tight closed door and window). Smell just came from nowhere. We lived in Chinatown at that time (no trees).

    Pray for your mom everynight before going to bed. I am sure she will always be your guarding angel.

  5. Olaina   •  

    I had star jasmine growing outside my bedroom when I was a kid too–it’s not a scent I will ever forget. Now, everytime I smell it I am taken back to the past.

    Your mom is watching over you–my dad will be the one I think of with the jasmine; he loves our garden. Though she does like the flowers.

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