This upcoming Monday the 21st of March marks National Fragrance Day. The origin of this slightly unusual sounding holiday is somewhat obscure, although it is generally surmised that National Fragrance Day is a perfume industry invention. Of course it's easy to be cynical in this day and age and who's to say we shouldn't set aside a day in honour of one of our most important yet subtle senses - the sense of smell. Taking something of a back seat to more senses such as sight, sound and taste, the sense of smell is still undeniably important. Think of how distressing a bad smell is or how immediately gratifying a lovely aroma is. I guess the thing with sense, sight and sound is that they can be even more horrifying (or more pleasant) when compared to the annoyance of an unpleasant smell. Consider pain, a gruesome image or a deafening noise respectively.
Everyone appreciates an attractive aroma, otherwise as a society we wouldn't spend so much on deodorant, room freshener, aftershave, perfume and all manner of pleasant smelling lotions, handwash... the list goes on and on. Our sense of smell of course also plays an enormous role in how we taste different foods, further demonstrating its importance from an epicurean standpoint.
Another source of consistently enticing aromas are flowers in their myriad forms. Whether it's a bouquet presented to a love one or wildflowers growing in the park, a flower often beholds a fragrance to savour. Think of the distinctive scent of the flowering lavender plant or the unmistakable smell of freshly cut freesia flowers.
On the flipside of this, flowers can also be responsible for some truly unpalatable stenches. Consider the tiitan arum, also known as the "corpse flower" thanks to the fact that it smells like a dead animal. You definitely wouldn't want to gift this thing to a loved one on an anniversary. Unless you'd gone completely insane or perhaps bore some kind of mammoth grudge.
On the topic of the best smelling flower, the proverbial jury still seems to be out. A cursory Google search suggests freesia, lilacs, gardenia, roses, lilies, boronia and jasmine but there is much debate within forums and amongst florists. Which is why we thought we'd open this up for discussion and invite you to nominate your favourite "best-smellers." Holler at us on @ClareFlorist and let us know which is your favourite smelling flower.