In search of the osmanthus flower in Yangshuo, Part I

For centuries poets, painters and all aesthetes considered Guilin and its surroundings, in the Guangxi province, as a model of perfection. The harmony of its landscape, made up of thousands of small mountains, always amazed visitors from around the world.

Meaning literally ‘osmanthus forest’, Guilin takes its name from a small tree with fragrant flowers that grows abundantly between the river and the hills. This small flower, well-known amongst perfumers, exudes an exquisite scent of peach-apricot and freesia. The osmanthus is one of the ten most popular flowers in China. The flower is the traditional symbol of love and romance, while the tree itself is a symbol of peace and fertility. There are two main varieties of osmanthus, one with silver white color flowers (ying-kwei), and another with more fragrant golden yellow flowers (chin-kwei), which has a sweet, fruity and floral scent.

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