What is the one thing on this planet with the most wonderful smell, you ask? It's the flower of the cape jasmine (G. jasminoides), an evergreen bush native to China which we commonly call the gardenia. It's in the madder family (Rubiaceae) and has white or yellow flowers.

They grow in the South in America and will withstand the winter, if it's not too harsh.

Mine just bloomed today, and that first sniff of the first flower of the year is just heavenly. It's so good, you have to take it in small doses for fear of ruining the majesty of the moment. No artificial attempt to reproduce the purity of this scent has ever been successful.