I'm searching for an idiomatic translation of the word "lilac(s)" (the deciduous shrub), in the context of its scent. For example, in English, we may would say:

She smells of lilacs.

I‘d like to know how that would be translated into Latin. The only literal translation of “lilacs” that I found was the scientific name “Syringa”. I’m not sure whether this expression would fit the sentence, as the sentence may rather be meant romantically. Also, I’m not sure if a Roman would even know what a “syringa ” is.

Therefore, I‘d be happy to know if there‘s a word that expresses „lilacs“ in a way that Romans have a similar image in mind.

I‘d also gladly accept words for other flowers that convey a similar meaning in terms of smell.

  • 2
    It seems that lilacs weren't known to the ancient world, but the name (syringa) comes from the word for pipe/hollow-reed, cf. the story of Syrinx and Pan in the Metamorphoses.
    – brianpck
    Sep 14, 2023 at 18:06
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    Can you explain what meaning you have in mind when you say "smells of lilacs"? This isn't an idiom that everyone would be familiar with.
    – cmw
    Sep 16, 2023 at 22:41
  • I‘m not sure either if that idiom is widely known, because my mother tongue isn’t English. I looked it up, but the source may not be reliable. I am sorry for any confusion! An example I found was in the song “fall in love with a girl“ by cavetown, a line that goes “The first time that you kiss, you‘ll smell lilacs on her lips”. I am searching for a translation of lilacs in this context, i.e. a poetic and romantic compliment. I hope this is clearer! Sep 18, 2023 at 13:11
  • 1
    Hi Samuelis: I only just now saw this. You'd have better luck attracting an answer if you add this information to your question. And in comments, if you reply to someone, make sure you ping them (by placing @ in front of their name). Because you need that, I didn't see your comment until now.
    – cmw
    Sep 23, 2023 at 22:11
  • Also, if you can give the idiom from your mother tongue, that might help. It's still not precisely clear, but I have some ideas now.
    – cmw
    Sep 23, 2023 at 22:12


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