Thursday, July 8, 2010

I Am Fragrant

When I see a flower, the first thing I want to do is put my nose to it and sniff. Apparently, that is a common impulse and Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania has responded by showing their visitors which plants are sniff-worthy. Throughout the gardens one can find this little sign that tells you which flowers, as well as plants, have a detectable fragrance. 

 Many of the aromatic plants are commonly used by perfumeries to create the expensive fragrances that we love as much as the bugs that frequent odiferous plants.

Longwood Gardens is featuring months of a really classy exhibit of the history, chemistry, and art of creating scents. Not only do they show which plants can be used in perfumes, they have stations to sniff various scents and an opportunity to make your own fragrance. 

Included in the exhibit are some fabulous printed screens to explain the history of perfumes. It has been an art for centuries apparently back to ancient times over 4,000 years.

I love perfumes, but I have to be careful about wearing them because some people have extreme allergies to them and I also happen to be a bug magnet. If I am going to be near someone who doesn't like perfume, I avoid it or if I plan to be outside longer than five minutes, I avoid perfume and choose bug repellent instead. 

Two of my favorite perfumes would be Joy, the fourth most expensive in the world, and Chanel 5 which is the best selling perfume. Everyone has a favorite and that keeps department stores in business. Longwood's exhibit gives visitors the opportunity to try various fragrances and create a unique scent just for yourself.

I like to visit all of the gardens when I visit and I love the water lily gardens that are at their best in the hot summer weather. Photographers have to acquire a tripod permit in order to set up the professional type equipment that many experts like to use. I don't have the expensive equipment I see here, but I manage to take a few nice flower shots with my compact Nikon.


  1. For years I wore a perfume by Paloma Picasso - I bought it first because I really liked the bottle - it was black with big black lips as the lid. I was so sad when I couldn't find anywhere that sold that perfume anymore! Personally the first thing I do when I see a flower is want to touch it - I didn't even realise that until I read this post.

  2. The world's most expensive perfume by Clive Christian has a crystal stopper shaped like a crown in a design a la Queen Victoria. One has to wonder if the perfume or the container is most expensive. Personally I think it is the ambience of paying a boatload of money for a limited edition perfume just because one can. Simply does not compute for me--can't relate, boggles the mind.

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  4. My mother wore Shalimar her whole life, and when I smell it today, I think of her. She was such a beautiful person, and scent brings reminiscent memories right into my brain, my spirit, my soul. (sigh) Thank you.

  5. I don't wear any perfume, too allergic and I have problems when I am in the store and women walk up next to me with perfume reeking. I don't realize it and then I have itchy watery eyes.

  6. Hmmm...I have gotten to where I don't wear perfume very often because I'm so often just sitting at home. I have several different perfumes, though, and tend to wear different ones based on the season. I have summery perfumes and wintery perfumes.

    Thank you for stopping by. Your grandchildren are beautiful and so fortunate to have you close to them. My parents are several states away which I absolutely hate.

  7. What a lovely place and a great idea to let people know which blooms to sniff.

    My favourite perfume is Jo Malone 154 cologne :)

  8. What a GORGEOUS place to be and very interesting about the perfumes. I've taught my daughter that someone should have to hug you to smell what you're wearing. And it should NEVER proceed you into the room or linger long after you've vacated. But, of course, I LOVE my scent and think everyone else should, too! lol (Vera Wang's "Princess." Works with my chemistry.)