I remember asking one of the JTEs (Japanese Teachers of English) that I worked with about the trees and what they were called, and he told me they were「きんもくせい」. He then wrote some characters on the blackboard behind us as told me that these were its kanji: 「金目生」. When I looked it up later, turned out he was wrong. Strange!
Lately I've been thinking about buying one, if I can find the right variety. There are different kinds of sweet olive, and the ones in Japan are aurantiacus. According to my research, a lot of the sweet olive trees from China bloom year-round but aren't as fragrant as the kind that only does so seasonally.
I've found a few vendors online that carry them, but they appear to be the white-flowered, original Chinese version. Hoping I can find the J-variety.
Update: Found it (Nurseries Carolininia)!
Update: Bought a Japanese one and a Chinese one, so I can compare. Also it seems the Japanese variety won't bloom until it grows to about 4', which could take a while, whereas the Chinese kind blossoms from around 6".
Update 10/22/2014: Has it really been two years since I bought these things? Unfortunately they don't seem to have grown very much, probably due to last year's severe winter. The late cold snaps couldn't have helped much. I don't think I'll be smelling that sweet fragrance for a while yet, but I still hunger for it! Remembering those early, mild Japanese autumns really takes me back. Fond memories, indeed. Some mornings I can practically smell the blossoms... Is there such a thing as a phantom smell, I wonder?
|The little Japanese tree.|
|The Chinese variety seems a little more vigorous.|
This post is part of the 2014's J-Bloggers' Carnival #3 (link live after 11/1), hosted by Sophelia. Be sure to check out the other entries!