The Truth about Those Stinky Lilies

When handed a bouquet of flowers, your first instinct might be to bend down and take a deep breath. Flowers smell good, right? Or maybe you’re remembering the Easter lily on Grandma’s table that you thought stunk to high heaven. And you might be surprised to learn just how many flowers have no smell at all. Flowers vary wildly in many aspects, and smell is no exception.  

So, why is that? Most flowers out in nature have an aroma. This isn’t meant for us. Just as they use bright colors, flowers use smells to attract pollinators. These can be very specific, meant to appeal to only one insect or bird. Knowing this, it’s unsurprising that you might take a whiff of a flower and find it absolutely revolting. Really, it’s kind of amazing that we do find so many floral aromas appealing.  

That's out in the wild, though. The majority of flowers that you buy from a florist or in the grocery store don't have a smell. Some years ago, I worked in...

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