Flowers have so many wonderful qualities, but one of my favorites is their scent. Hundreds of years ago, when daily hygiene routines were not as thorough as they are today, weddings were held during the spring and summer seasons for two reasons: people were able to bathe (no one likes a smelly groom) and flowers were in bloom. Major water sources were frozen during the winter, which made bathing a wee bit difficult. Brides would hold posies in their hands and have flowers woven in their hair to enhance their freshly washed scent or to mask their less than fresh scent.
I am personally more than thankful that wedding planning no longer revolves around when you can take a shower and when flowers are in bloom. Flowers are available at our finger tips thanks to global transport, with thousands of varieties moving between countries around the world. I am also thankful that, whether brides need it or not, flowers offer amazing aromas to any lucky individual who wishes to take a whiff.
Here are a few flowers that are blooming with aroma:
Lilium “Stargazer” is a hybrid lily of the Oriental group. It was created by Leslie Woodriff, a lily breeder in California, in 1978. She called the lily “Stargazer” because the blooms faced towards the sky. It is known for its bold white, red and pink petals and its fabulous scent. Lilies are toxic to cats, so fur-lovers beware!
Native to Africa, Freesia is part of the family Iridaceae, and is named after a German physician-botanist, Friedrich Heinrich Theodor Freese (1795–1876), who studied South African plants. The flower represents innocence and comes in a variety of colours- white, golden yellow, orange, red, pink, mauve, lavender, purple and bicolours. Freesia is very popularly used in the perfume, scented oils and bath oils.
Lavender (Lavandula) are a species of flower plants found in the mint family, Lamiaceaer. This flower has a sweet, hay-like scent and gives “fruity aspects” to perfumes and other scented products. Not only is lavender a wonderful smelling flower, it also has many other uses, such as producing a high-quality honey from its nectar. Lavender is a great additional flavour for baked good and desserts, and is used to make lavender sugar; the flowers can be candied and make for great cupcake decorations. A recent clinical study found that lavender oil showed meaningful results in alleviating anxiety and other sleep disturbances. Whatever your reasons, lavender is a great flower to have more of in your life.
The rose, a perennial of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae, is a classic and widely known flower with over 100 species. Not all species today have the sweet, rich smell that caused Shakespeare to pick up his pen, however the Double Delight Rose does. The Double Delight Rose is a hybrid tea rose that has an extremely strong and continuous scent. The fragrant blooms have up to 30 petals and offer a stunning colour combination of a creamy white/yellow center and vibrant red edges. The rose was bred in 1977, and was introduced into the Rose Hall of Fame in 1985.
Gardenias are a genus of flowering plants found in the coffee family, Rubiaceae. The flowers bloom in small clusters or alone, with 5-12 white or pale yellow petals. This goregouse flower also delivers a strong sweet scent. Decades ago, it’s potent smell lead gardenias to become the official flower for noblemen in the French courts to wear. The meaning behind the gardenia flower is secret love, purity and joy, which makes it a great flower to send to a loved one.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, you may want to send your special someone flowers that offer a tantalizing scent; don’t worry, I’m sure they won’t take it as a hidden message to hit the showers more often!