Tuesday, January 03, 2006

White Flowers

I cannot abide foul smells. One of the reasons I chose not to consider medical school was the strong possibility of being exposed to bad odors. I’ve been known to gag while changing a diaper or scooping the litter box. I automatically hold my breath when passing roadkill. Blood and gore doesn’t bother me; stinks do.

As strong as my feelings are for bad smells, I adore fair scents even more keenly. I’m one of those people with a Glade Plug-in in the basement, a Febreze Scentstories on the main level, and scented candles in every room but the kitchen. When I clean the house, I light a candle in each room after I’ve finished, to sort of mark my progress. However, these imitation scents cannot compare to the real thing.

My favorite smell is that of garlic frying in butter, but I wouldn’t like it to perfume my house or person. A close second to garlic is the group of scents classified as “white flowers” by perfumers: narcissus, lily, tuberose, gardenia, magnolia, jasmine. In Okinawa, I sought out a mysterious white flower from an old flower seller that would drench my barracks room with a heavy, sweet perfume. This winter, I’ve been scenting the air in my house with a succession of powerfully fragrant white flowers.

It began with paperwhites and continued with an Oriental lily I purchased at Kroger. Then, I ordered tuberose from rareflora.com. One of them was preparing to bloom when it arrived. Despite the kitties munching on the (mildly toxic) leaves, the buds opened a week ago with the most intoxicating scent. I finally had to clip the flower stalk (because of the cat abuse) and place it in a vase near the phone. In the evening, I catch enticing wisps of fragrance from the next room.

My second batch of paperwhites has just begun to bloom. I have freesias started in the basement and hyacinths cooling in the garage. I should pot up the last of the paperwhite bulbs this week for February flowers. The second tuberose is also preparing to flower (no thanks to the kitties’ unkind treatment).

For anyone with a love of heavy, sweet, floral scents, I recommend treating yourself to the real thing this winter. Candles, gels, and scent disks will get you through the rough spots, but the smell of a genuine flower is unique. If I could afford it, I’d buy a bouquet of lilies for my office each week. *sigh* I’ll just have to wait until I get home this evening to sniff my white flowers.


Anonymous Bill said...

Paperwhites are awesome. There is something calming about growing flowers in the winter. I enjoy the green growth too.

3:50 AM  
Blogger Stuart said...

Here in Oz, I find myself sitting on the patio or in the front yard at dusk breathing in the aromas of the garden. You're right...there is nothing quite like the smell of a genuine flower!

2:48 PM  
Blogger Takoma Gardener said...

Terrific post, and the new photo of yourself is CUTE. You're inspiring me to get creative, but I need to be in the mood - and having a good hair day.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Dianne said...

My son and I went to the local gardens here for their awesome Christmas display. There were gazillions of paperwhites and lilies, so walking in the main conversatory was like heaven.
I love starglazer lilies and gardenias myself. : )

1:10 PM  
Blogger Adi said...

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12:28 AM  
Blogger Adi said...

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7:02 AM  
Anonymous Term papers said...

Your Blog is really awesome. it's really inspiring the readers. I really liked the white flowers.

3:27 AM  

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