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Fragrance Free Flowers For People Who Don’t Like The Smell Of (Most) Flowers

updated Jul 15, 2020
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

When people find out I work at a flower shop but I don’t like the smell of (most) flowers, they either laugh at what a funny place the world is….or they shove some peonies in my face, saying “But have you smelled these?!? Smell them!!!” While peonies, jasmine, lilies, and narcissus may smell like heaven to you lucky ones, to some of us they merely bring on headaches. Thank goodness, then, for these understated blooms, no less lovely for their lack of scent.

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Tulips & Anemones: One day in the flower shop, I was discussing the strange magic of scent with a customer: everything smells different to everyone. Stargazer lilies smell of floral perfection to some, but to me they smell like hot dogs. I mentioned that I love tulips because they just smell green and fresh with a hint of honey, when another customer interrupted with, “Tulips smell like mothballs!” Only to you, dear lady. To me they are divine. Anemones are completely unscented, as far as I can tell. The bright red and purple ones are a bit too straightforward for my taste, but I love these subtle pink-green-cream blooms.

Poppies: These alien-pod crepe-paper flowers are a delight — I want to wear them as a skirt. I’ve mentioned my love of poppies in all their forms, so their lack of fragrance is just one of their many, many attributes. These multicolored bunches you can get at farmer’s markets make a perfect gift, no other flowers or greenery required.

Ranunculus: Like a tutu crossed with a cabbage, a ranunculus is one of the sweetest flowers of spring. They come in a wonderful array of colors that look fabulous grouped together. Join the We Like It Wild girls on Design Sponge as they sing the praises of ranunculus.

Calla Lilies: My favorite calla lilies are of course the smoldering, mysterious near-black variety (because I love black plants) but all callas are graceful, dramatic, and free of scent. I do find them difficult to mix with other flowers, preferring to let them shine on their own. See Design Sponge’s Flowers A-Z for excellent arranging tips from someone who doesn’t have the same hang-ups I do.

Amaryllis: & Protea Amaryllis (actually Hippeastrum but everyone calls them Amaryllis) are traditionally associated with Christmas, but there’s no need to limit yourself so. I’m still seeing them around, and these salmon-pink-orange blossoms look wonderful with all the peaches and sky-blues of spring flowers. Or you can go all-orange-out as I did, combining them with the plastic-seeming protea (or pincushion), double tulips, and ranunculus. A lush arrangement, with no scent!

Any other favorite fragrance-free flowers? Allergy sufferers — are there any blooms that you can enjoy with abandon?

(Images: 1., 2., and 5. by Tess Wilson, 3. & 4. DesignSponge)