If you see a flowering Angsana tree, those massive, beautiful grand dames of Singapore, stop and take a whiff.
Amazing, right? That smell takes me right back to childhood.
Back then, we had many more graceful Angsana trees lining our avenues. They hardly bloom, but when their vibrant, yellow blooms burst forth after hot, dry seasons, it is a sight to behold. And all around, the unmistakable scent of their blossoms.
Angsanas are now being cut down round the island as they have been deemed as “risky” trees. The fiercer thunderstorms we are experiencing mean that branches could come hurtling down onto roads and cause hurt. That, unfortunately, has resulted in five or more beautiful trees along Old Changi Road near my place, at least 40 years old, being gleefully hacked down to nothing. I suspect that the greedy condo developers have taken the advantage to lop down a few venerable giants too to make way for their crass condos.
To me, it is such an awful waste.
The Angsana blooms last only a day or two so if you catch one flowering, go underneath and take a deep breath. It might be an aroma that you might not get to enjoy for much longer.