Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Blogtoberfest Day 3: Where have all the (fragrant) flowers gone?

I can still remember the moment when I smelt stocks for the first time.  I was nineteen and walking home from Uni.  The sweet smell caught me by surprise one warm spring day. It was not a smell I remembered smelling before and I was curious to find the source, which didnt take long to locate.  At the moment, we have a magnificent gifted bouquet in our kitchen.  It includes some purple stocks but they dont have any perfume. None of the flowers in this bouquet have any scent I can detect. A few weeks ago I had a bunch of sweet peas - and they didnt smell either.
On Saturday, visiting friends I noticed their little Daphne bush and commented how well it looked.  I've had several attempts at getting one of these to grow - simply for the beautiful scent they give off, but haven't yet managed to get one to survive. I was surprised to be told that the plant in question was a modern version which didnt seem to have any smell - at least not the classic heady perfume usually associated with Daphne.  We've got used to not expecting modern roses to have perfumes like the old fashioned ones.  Why is this so?  Why dont modern versions of beautiful flowers have the wonderful scents their traditional counterparts had?  I asked Google this but didnt really find an answer.   Maybe it has to do with breeding flowers that are bigger,  stronger and last longer or plants that are hardier and easier to grow.  Who knows? But I for one, miss smelling flowers.
There is something in my garden that does have a scent I enjoy.  It's a hedge of Thryptomene, an Australian native that has little flowers. Ours are pink and white.  It is not the flowers that have the scent but the ferny leaves.  I probably wouldnt have noticed it's perfume if it hadnt been for my pup. She loves to run through this hedge.  Playing in, around and under it, she comes inside smelling lovely. Kind of fresh, almost minty, almost like a eucalyptus scent but softer and more subtle.  I love it.

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