Understanding the different scents of flowers

When you receive a fresh bouquet of flowers, you are bound to be met with beauty as well as a sweet smell. What you may have noticed is that different flowers have different scents and this is part of developing our flower preferences.

Flowers rely on insects, birds, and other small animals for pollination and, in order to attract these creatures, flowers need to look and smell great. So, to match all their bright colours, flowers also release a special perfume into the air and it doesn’t take long to receive a response. Different types of animals and insects are attracted to different flowers. So, just like humans, they too have their own floral preferences.

It’s also interesting to note that insects and animals have keen senses of smell which means that they can track down specific flowers. Each flower releases a scent that the critter can follow until it reaches the source.

What’s more is that most flowers have sweet smells but there are those that are not nearly as appealing. For example, roses and lilies are known for their wonderfully sweet smell. On the other hand, the Corpse Flower lives up to its name by releasing a rather disgusting smell. Although not the kind of scent you would want in your home, even the Corpse Flower attracts pollinators. Flies and similar bugs are attracted by a smell similar to rotting meat while humans usually pinch their noses shut. This flower enjoys a rainforest environment which is all the more reason for it to have a strong smell. With so many other scents to compete with, it knows that it must stand out.

So, while some bugs might be pests, others are necessary parts of the life cycle of flowers. Bees are a great example of helpful insects that work hard to produce honey and, in doing so, they pollinate plenty of flowers. If you receive a bouquet of flowers, like roses, and you notice a bee buzzing about, do not be too concerned. They usually gather nectar and then they are on their way.