The Fragrance of Life

Scent is a powerful thing. The slightest whiff of a particular scent can rouse memories you haven’t thought about in years, evoking unexpected emotions. The fragrance of my mom’s favorite hand lotion will bring memories of her flooding back to me. For others the smell of oil might take them back to their first car, or a day spent with their dad working on the old jalopey. The smell of leather might remind you of that cool guy you dated in twelfth grade.
Since I write romantic suspense, you’re probably thinking–fragrances…romance…I know where she’s going with this. Trust me when I say…probably not.

Do you have Japanese beetles where you live?
They’re quite attractive, with shiny green and bronze shield-like backs. But destructive! Think plague of locusts.
I knew we had to take action when the leaves on my linden turned to lacy skeletons and began falling in mid-June, a full three months too soon. 
When the beetles, migrated to my bean plants, we declared all out war. 
We discovered a nifty way to catch these beetles without using pesticides. You hang a plastic bag, like the one in the picture, upwind from the infestation and place a pouch of female beetle pheromones inside.
Instantly, hundreds of beetles lifted from our bean plants, and swarmed to the source of the scent.
Wow, that was one powerful fragrance.
It reminded me of the verse in 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?
A humbling thought, isn’t it? 
When I catch myself acting not so fragrant, I think of that swarm of beetles and how very much I want to be the fragrance of life to those around me. How about you?
Today’s smile:
You remember Bella, my connoisseur-of-hubcaps pup?
Well, she felt sorry for all those Japanese beetles doped up on pheromones. After all dogs have an acute sense of smell. So… she liberated them!
Yup, it’s true. As my daughter told my husband, “You had to know that was going to happen.”
Have a fragrant weekend! 


  • LOL!!!!!!! But not really because you’ve just identified the problem in my garden, though thankfully it’s localized to a rose bush which is just a skeleton now. Before that I had another bush there…serviceberry…and it mysteriously shriveled up and died too. But Sandra dear, where does one get a pouch of female beetle pheromones??????

    And you gotta love a compassionate dog, don’t you? I mean, how sweet is that for her to be worried about all those purty little beetles.

  • Oh, yes, she’s so sweet 😉

    I got our beetle trap at the local farm supplier. Probably hardware stores carry them, too. It’s quite phenomenal how well they work. Of course…they attract the beetles from hill and dale, too. But in the end, despite pooch’s emancipation efforts, we got the problem under control.

  • Oh — one more gardening question. Would the lady pheremones attract lady bugs too? Because I have a lovely brood of lady bugs and they are munching away on aphids at an alarming rate. I’d hate to mess with that.

  • This post brought a smile, Sandra! (although I’m sorry you’ve been dealing with the beetle issue). Oh that Bella…maybe she wants you to write a book about her?? 😉
    Hugs, Patti Jo 🙂
    p.s. A quick note about your fragrance comments—how very true that certain fragrances evoke special memories. At my last ACFW conference (Denver, 2009) I was meeting an author friend in PERSON (finally) and recognized the perfume she was wearing: it had also been my precious Mama’s favorite perfume. The next thing I knew, tears were streaming down my face–so I explained about the familiar scent to the author. Thankfully she hugged me and was very understanding. The sense of smell can be a powerful sense!!

Great to "see" you here today! I look forward to reading your comment.