The 'why' of floral scent...

Updated: Jan 19

We tend to see flower arrangements as predominantly visual. But scent is a dimension you must not forget in a bouquet.


The USDA Forest service notes that "scent is a signal that helps pollinators find and select particular flowers. These floral scents are typically a complex mixture of highly volatile compounds and essential oils that flowers emit into the atmosphere. A flower scent's structure, color, and odor are important in attracting pollinators." (quote from this page.)

“Scent is a signal that helps pollinators find and select particular flowers.”

Floral scents begin as oils that are produced by the petals in most plants. Because these oils evaporate easily in warm weather, scientists call them volatile compounds.


Why do flowers smell so good?


For plants, smell is a vital form of communication. Their scents are a form of 'volatile organic compound', a combination of complex chemicals that easily evaporate and float through the air to attract pollinators and repel predators. (quote: Kew Botanical Gardens website).



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