Beautiful lemony smell in Toronto at night – Linden


Hello, for years I have smelled this wonderful light, lemony fragrance late at night or very early in the morning in Toronto. I have never been able to identify the tree or flower it comes from. Can anybody suggest what this is? Thank you!


I have a feeling you’re smelling the flowers of the linden tree (Tilia americana or basswood), which is in bloom for a couple of weeks starting around the end of June. A friend mentioned to me the other day how lovely the linden smelled.

Some have described the fragrance as a fusion of honey and lemon peel or as some combination of honeysuckle and magnolia.  The blooms are small and star-shaped, and are quite subtle – not what you’d expect to be giving off such a wonderful scent!

Here’s more information on the American Linden from North Dakota State University.

We’d love to hear back as to whether you track down the glorious scent to the linden, or if it comes from another plant.  If the latter, please send us a photo and we’ll identify it for you.

June 27 2021