Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Apothecary’s Garden: Herbs (and some Bees)

They say that smell is one of the most powerful memory and emotional triggers of the five senses. I’m inclined to believe that, some scents I’m just drawn to because of pleasant associations. The Apothecary’s Garden hard candies, I think, work well with the idea that you can get comfort in a simple reminder of something you have found pleasant in the past.

The cool part about them being encapsulated in candies is that you don’t have to light any incense or candles. The scent is self contained and if it’s not something everyone likes, well, they’re probably less likely to even catch a whiff of it if it’s in your mouth (well, unless you know them very well). I’ve been traveling around this month working on my novel and selecting these as I go along to match my prose.

imageLavender (soothes, balances and harmonises) - these little oblong pieces match the blossoms best of all of the candies in this line. The flat lozenges look like a sprig of lavender, or perhaps an itty bitty light purple corn cob. The little ribs and bumps on the candy were kind of fun to run my tongue over (though they dissolved rather quickly). There was less of a floral taste to the candy and more of a balsam and pine taste with that oily menthol note that fresh lavender blossoms have. It was definitely soothing, and I’d probably reach for these when I have a tickle in the throat.

These would be great for novel scenes that involve morgues, streets with open sewers, and long bus trips where the characters are forced to sit in the back next to the toilet and around the chain smokers.

imageRose (helps maintain balance and harmony) - I was expecting a soapy floral candy and was pleasantly surprised at how mellow this candy is. It has a hint of acidity to it that gives it a roundness, kind of a like a touch of honey or a barley sugar candy. The rose isn’t very strong, but reminded me quite a bit of some of the better Turkish Delight I’ve had over the years.

I’m not quite sure what the prescription difference is between the Rose and Lavender, but it’s nice to have the same effect but not the same flavor, I suppose.

This candy would go best with pastoral scenes of mother and baby bonding, main characters grappling with losing a parent, and after scenes of characters taking late-night public transportation after a rave or evening of clubbing.

imageRosemary (helps maintain mental alertness) - I have to admit I wasn’t sure if rosemary could make a good candy flavor. It’s a rather strong herb, with a distinct and rather acrid flavor if you chew the fresh needles. (If you chew the dried ones, well, you may as well kiss a porcupine.)

This one reminded me of a woodsy cough drop, kind of a menthol and spearmint flavor mixed in with a pine wreath. They little candies are quite cute, the smallest of all that I tried, with two different designs in there, one a geometric pattern and the other a little flower medallion.

These would be great when writing scenes where there is a conceit of a ticking clock of some sort and the main character must diffuse a bomb. It’s also good for courtroom dramas and jury deliberations and any novel that involves delicate surgery or analysis of lines of computer code.

imageHoney Bees - this may be good for nothing that ails you except a hankerin’ for honey. It truly tastes like an ample drop of honey and feature a pleasant honey bee on either side of the piece.

They really do soothe the throat and were, along with the Licorice and Anise, my favorite of all the Apothecary’s Garden candies.

These would be perfect for novels set in orchards or with fields of flowers as well as Gothic tales featuring mysterious tribes with ancient ways. Other novels that would be a good accompaniment include those with erotic passages involving food and adventurous quests across great expanses of land and sea.

Name: Lavender, Rose, Rosemary & Honey Bees
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: The Apothecary's Garden by Sweet Botanicals
Place Purchased: samples from ArtisanSweets.com
Price: $6.50
Size: 5.29 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Hard Candy, United Kingdom

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:36 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. The more of these you write up, the longer my list of flavors I want to try grows.  The honey ones sound fantastic and I’m curious about the rose as well.

    Comment by Ruth on 11/21/06 at 11:46 am #
  2. I had a momentary sense of Deja Vu then - Different flavours, nevermind.

    I agree, the honey ones sound good. Honey anything sounds good, especially grainy honey.

    Comment by GTO on 11/21/06 at 1:12 pm #
  3. You’re brave, with odd taste.  The only one of these that I would even try would be the honey.  I’ve seen potpurri simmering in a pot, but never thought “Hmmm.  Might be like soup.”  Likewise, I know certain flavors aren’t meant to be candy.  If AG comes out with tamarind flavor, the effect will be complete.

    Comment by Dave on 11/21/06 at 2:24 pm #
  4. Maybe the difference between lavendar and rose is that lavendar gets you to that state of harmony and balance, and rose keeps you there (but doesn’t help if you ain’t).

    Comment by Tricia on 11/21/06 at 4:07 pm #
  5. Rosemary candy?


    Rosemary candy?

    Cybele, I admire your adventurous tastes, but I think I’ll skip on this one…

    Comment by Ace N. on 11/21/06 at 11:00 pm #
  6. Are you writing a screenplay?  wink

    Honey sounds yummy, and rose.  I used to love to eat rose hips when I was little.

    Comment by Julilla on 11/22/06 at 9:41 am #
  7. Cybele's avatar

    Ruth - I hope that you give rose a try (if not these than some other rose candy) it really is quite surprising.

    GTO - yeah, I really like it when the honey gets grainy ... no good for tea, just fine for eating by the spoonful though.

    Dave & Ace N.- aw, where’s your sense of adventure!

    Tricia - I was already so harmonious I started giving off a hum.

    Julilla - right now I’m just writing a novel, June I’ll write a play. Who knows when I’ll do another screenplay!

    Comment by Cybele on 11/23/06 at 8:02 am #
  8. I just thought I’d drop a line to say that you convinced me, and I’ve just ordered several of these for my wife (an inveterate foodie) and my mom, and I dropped your URL in the special instructions area to give credit where credit is due.

    Comment by David Spitzley on 12/02/06 at 5:46 am #
  9. Do you know if these are still being made?  I couldn’t find them online. Can you suggest a similar alternative? 

    Comment by Sara on 1/03/14 at 3:24 pm #
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