I have vivid memories of my childhood in Southern France and the most heavenly scents. The sweet summery smell of peaches in the family orchards, the autumnal smell of apples in wooden crates waiting to be taken to market, the distinctive smell of rows of alliums in my grand-mother’s ‘Potager’ and the myrrh tones of old French garden roses underneath which grew the blue fragrant spikes of lavender. Sounds idyllic? It was. Absolutely. Well at least as a child, blissfully unaware of the back-breaking work of fruit farming. Those early experiences of nature and scents have shaped my approach to floral design.
Since scent is so closely associated with memories and emotions, why not let it play a key role in your wedding flowers and create that extra WOW? I will always be transported back to my own wedding day (not that long ago – cheeky!) by the fruity perfume of three voluptuous David Austin's Juliet roses that I wore as a wrist corsage - which made a glamorous alternative to a bouquet.
Garden roses add the most evocative perfume to any brides’ bouquets. From classic old rose fragrance to fruity, myrrh or vanilla notes their scents seem to be loved by everyone. My passion for roses means that I use… well a lot of them...actually an abundance of heavenly scented garden roses. But it is not just all about La ROSE: there are lots of other delightful fragrant flowers who marry so well with roses. Picture this or rather try and imagine the magical smells of a highly fragrant citrusy scented Yves Piaget rose or a fruity O'Hara rose in a bouquet with the faint vanilla and chocolatey fragrance of chocolate cosmos. And how about the more delicate scents of David Austin's Miranda, Juliet, Kate or Constance roses mixed with the warm sweet scent of phlox, sweet peas or of a Jasmine trail freshly picked from my garden? Herbs like flowering mint are also incredible, not just because the flowering stem is very pretty but the aroma mixes so wonderfully well with roses.
Of course, scent like colour is all about personal preferences. So choose your flowers for the colours, shapes and fragrances you love and for what they mean to you.
The trick is to make sure that the scents complement one another. No one wants a cloying overpowering mix right by their petit-fours! Flowers with strong scents should be used in the right place: corsages, bouquets, archways, urns rather than table centres close to food.
Here's a list of some of my favourite scented flowers which I grouped by perfume. I hope you find it helpful
Floral and heady
Jasmine including Stephanotis
Stock and phlox
Lily of the valley
Fresh and fruity
Yves Piaget rose, strongly scented with a hint of citrus
Constance (David Austin), fruity with hints of apple and pear
O’Hara rose, strong fruity scented
Kate (David Austin) rose, scent with hint of lemon
Woody and earthy
Oriental lilies like Stargazer
Vive la Vie! Vive l'Amour!
PS: WIN your wedding flowers by entering my fabulous competition in Wedding Ideas Magazine