The weather in Delhi is perfect at the moment and being out and about in the day as well as the evening is a pleasure. Driving around the city recently I noticed a very strong scent and started asking around to find out what it was- no no not sewage, not frangipani, nor urine ....the usual suspects, this was distinctly different, almost overpowering a mixture of heavy spices, cloves, allspice, juniper, which hit your nostrils with an unmistakable and captivating aroma.
It took several leaf pickings and several pickings through my tree book because I could not readily identify it until my landlady said she knew it as being alstonia - so here it is Alstonia Scholaris also known as Saptaparni aka as the devil's tree, ditabark tree, white cheesewood, milkwood pine, blackboard tree-Saptaparni, satpatia, chatium, satwin, satni, shatan ka jhad ! I never knew a tree could have so many names. Courtesy of Pradip Krishen's book on Trees of Delhi.It is the small white flowers that are so heavily scented.
This was planted in Delhi in the 1940s when colonies like Golf Links ( one of the foremost colonies in Delhi )were being planned out and I am little proud to say that the oldest, largest tree is on Archbishop Makarios Marg who was of course the first President of my country on Independence.Ah these links ...
Breathe them in.