Hyacinth, a beautiful youth, son of the King of Sparta, was loved by the God Apollo, who would visit him for manly pleasures. One day they took turns throwing the discus and Apollo made a mighty throw. Hyacinth, running to catch it, was struck on the head.
One version of the myth posits a homosexual love triangle, claiming that Zephyrus, God of the West Wind, also loved Hyacinth and in a fit of jealousy blew the discus off course, so it hit the youth.
Hyacinth died in Apollo’s arms, his blood flowing onto the earth. Apollo, finding it intolerable that Hyacinth should be dead, made a hyacinth grow from the bloody soil.
Mozart, age 11, wrote an opera Apollo et Hyacinthus based on the myth. But the librettist Rufinus Widl (a priest) modified Ovid’s story, changing the sexually desired character from Ovid’s Hyacinth to Melia, his sister.
Hyacinth absolute is available from us at Piccadilly Market.