What Plant Smells Like Fresh Laundry?

Q: I walk at night in north Georgia in the winter and there’s a sweet smell that I initially thought was someone’s laundry but I realize it must be a plant. Could it be elaeagnus? 

A: A couple of candidates come to mind: winter honeysuckle, Lonicera fragrantissima, blooms off and on through January. Fortune’s tea olive(Osmanthus x fortunei) smells great but you probably won’t notice the small flowers from which the fragrance comes. Your theory of eleagnus, Eleagnus pungens, is also a possibility for night time perfume.

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