Recently, she brought over a tall, thin plant, and placed it behind a chair in our family room. She made sure the leaves were facing just so, and then proceeded to tell me about the plant.
"Ah, Emily, this is the Night Queen," she started, "when the little flowers come, it will smell your whole room, but only at night. That is why it is Night Queen."
Only at night?
Now to clarify, my mother-in-law is from India, so there are times when I think I am misunderstanding her because I get a little lost in her accent. However, she did (a number of times) tell me that the scent would come only after sundown. To be perfectly honest, I did think her a little crazy. What plant emits odors only at night? And what of these scents? Will they be pleasing, or will they overpower the room and make me want to chuck that plant out the window?
I let the plant stay. I left it alone, watched it suspiciously, and waited for this night perfume. At the end of the day, with my little ones all tucked in bed, I readied myself with some tea and waited for this mysterious, spindly plant to effuse it's essence.
A week or so later, I was hurriedly putting kids to bed, and when all was said and done, I crashed on the couch, exhausted from a particularly busy day. I think all the energy I had left was expended playing some words in my phone scrabble games. As I lay there trying to make the most advantageous move I could, I noticed the hints of a perfume. My Night Queen!
I must tell you, this scent was heavenly. As the night wore on, the scent became even more pronounced. Why yes, I did stay up for a bit longer than intended...but the excitement of it all gave me my second wind. Even in the dark, early hours of the morning, before the kids woke up, I could still enjoy the delicate scent of my Night Queen, as I organized backpacks and coats, and packed lunches.
As it turns out, my mother-in-law had switched up my plant. According to my husband, she had come by and replaced the Night Queen she initially gave me with one that had more flowers. It is the flowers that emit the scents, and boy, did that make a world of difference!
My Night Queen no longer has any flowers. They only lasted a few weeks. I miss them. Every evening, I would bask in the darkness, enjoying the sweet smell of my Night Queen as I relaxed after a long day. Aromatherapy at it's best. I have since found out that Night Queen is also known as Night Jasmine. If you are familiar with Jasmine, it's blossoms also have a light perfume. I am now tending to this houseplant of mine very carefully. I am watching and waiting, hopeful of my next round of blossoms.
And I will be forever, eternally grateful for my mother-in-law bringing this lovely plant into my life.