Ten Best-Smelling Flowers

Rachel Cho Flowers | Floral Designer | corporate flowers
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Of all of our senses, our sense of smell may be the one with the most direct channel to our emotions. Familiar scents, such as a crisp autumn breeze or freshly baked bread, can conjure up happy memories and influence our mood. This is why I love to include fragrant flowers in my arrangements. While some flowers are bred for appearance at the expense of aroma, many varieties will delight your sense of smell. Here are ten of my favorites:

1. Stock: This annual flowering plant produces spikes of clustered blossoms in white, pink, yellow, purples, or red. Their scent is frequently described as clove-like.

2. Gardenia: Creamy white gardenia blossoms are prized for their sweet fragrance. These evergreen shrubs are traditionally planted in gardens in the Southeast. Gardenias are often used in corsages, boutonnieres, and wedding arrangements.

3. Lilies: The generous curving petals of these large flowers come in a range of colors, from whites and yellows to purples and reds. A stem or two makes a lovely dramatic addition to any bouquet.

10 best smelling flowers - Rachel Cho

4.Hyacinth: Grown from bulbs, these stalks of clustered bell-shape blooms come in white, pink, red, orange, blue, purple, and yellow.

5. Roses: When Shakespeare wrote of sweet-smelling roses, he was undoubtedly thinking of garden roses. These roses tend to be more fragrant than hybrid tea roses, and they may have dense layers of ruffled petals, much like peonies. Some spray roses, which feature multiple smaller blooms branching from a single longer stem, also have a delightful scent, and are perfect for corsages and small bouquets.

10 best smelling flowers - rachel cho

6. Chocolate cosmos: This striking deep maroon flower with a dark brown center and velvety petals gets its name from its unusual vanilla-chocolate scent. However, they are not edible, so remember not to nibble! (Our dog Cosmo is named after this flower because it’s one of my all-time favorite flowers, and Cosmo’s chocolate brown coloring as a puppy)

7. Sweet pea: Delicate sweet pea blossoms combine a charming, old-fashioned look with intense fragrance. On their own, they do best in a vase with a narrow neck that will support the stems.

8. Lily of the valley: These stems of tiny white bell-shaped blossoms are a popular wedding flower, both for their lovely scent and their delicate form. They look elegant in bouquets and centerpieces alike.

9. Lavender: The scent of lavender is associated with calm, relaxation, and healing. Stems of fresh lavender make a lovely addition to fill out a bouquet, whether in a monochrome arrangement or as a counterpoint to other hues. Dried lavender is a great alternative in arrangements, as it keeps its wonderful scent and color.

10 best smelling flowers - Rachel Cho

10. Orchids: Like roses, some orchids are better known for their graceful form than their scent. Others, however, including certain cattleyas, cymbidiums, and oncidiums, have scents that may resemble familiar floral or fruity smells or that may be completely unique.

Of course, this is far from being an exhaustive list of beautifully scented blossoms. If you’re not sure what will appeal to you, take some time at a farmer’s market to literally smell the roses, or ask your local florist for some suggestions. We’re happy to guide you as you expand your knowledge and enjoyment of flowers.

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