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Re: Iris fragrance... sort of.
  • Subject: Re: Iris fragrance... sort of.
  • From: "El Hutchison" <eleanore@mts.net>
  • Date: Mon, 17 May 2010 07:41:44 -0500

Interesting topic this morning. I've been sitting here thinking about it, knowing there's no iris here that has that delicious grape scent of my childhood either. You didn't even have to be near it to smell it. If I could find that iris again, I'd certainly ask the grower for a little piece of it.

Since I grow mostly median and dwaf iris, I've never detected too many discernible scents coming from any of them. Certainly, none come to mind. Maybe it's because I rarely leave the garden when the iris are blooming, and my senses are overwhelmed. During peak iris season here, on those rare occasions when I leave for a few hours and return, there's an overall musky scent to the garden that's not present otherwise.

Of course, living in the country, there's a lot of different scents that blow through here.

El, near Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Z3

----- Original Message ----- From: "elladan tds.net" <elladan@tds.net>
To: <iris@hort.net>
Sent: Monday, May 17, 2010 5:58 AM
Subject: Re: [iris] Iris fragrance... sort of.

This brings a few things to my mind.
Whenever anybody talks about fragrance I remember stilling in my
mothers garden when her iris were blooming (weeding of course) and the
entire yard smelled like grapes. Yum....  but then later I grew an
iris that had a strong smell, rather like old kitty litter, (to me
much worse than smoke). Yuck.

The first time I went to the local club iris show we walked around a
looked at the iris and smelled them also. We were quickly told by the
gentleman who seemed to be in charge of the show that iris are not
known for their smell, so we really should not be considering that as
a factor for if we like them or not, and that most have no smell
anyway. Or something to that effect. At any rate he told us not to
smell them. (we did anyway)

Also, some people, as they get older lose their sense of smell entirely.

For me, I love all the different smells they have. To smell an iris
always picks me up and reminds me what I do all this weeding for. But
it is not something I consider when I purchase them.


On Mon, May 17, 2010 at 5:23 AM, Paul Archer <pharcher@mindspring.com> wrote:
I was debating whether to mention this or not but maybe as a group we can sway Hybridizers/Introducers opinion on this. And maybe I have some clout now that many of you have seen my seedlings I've been working on and yet have still not Introduced a single one.

During my breeding efforts I have been purchasing new varieties over the years for one reason or another. Some were based on the applauded, described or registered fragrance.

I came across one variety I had purchased last year (not a 2009 Intro though) that had a distinct fragrance when it bloomed. Granted the description on their website has no mention of a fragrance and it is not registered to have one. This variety is from a well know Hybridizer. And no, no matter how much you ask I will not tell you who it is but I have seen them post in this forum. That also means I cannot tell you which variety it is either. That is beside my point.

The flower is nice, a little different than others I've seen recently, but not so spectacular that others from the same cross or near sibs could not have been chosen with a better fragrance I am most sure.

So you ask... What does it smell like? Well I smelled it and I asked a friend to smell it for me and tell me what they think. We both agreed without a doubt... STALE CIGARETTE SMOKE. And you would never guess from the registered name that it smells like that and actually the name suggests quite the opposite.

Lots of things come to mind why a hybridizer would introduce one like this. The obvious is to sell it an make money. The second might be they just aren't paying attention to fragrance as a selectable character. Third, they might actually be a smoker and can't smell it...haha. Fourth, maybe they thought they could get away with it (so far they have, right). I think those might be fair assessments for starters.

However, if a fragrance like this has not been caught during the seedling evaluation stage, it certainly could if the effort was made during the production phase or just prior to it and it's Registration.

Yes, I understand some may like that smell and waft nostalgic on the good- ol'-days-way-back-when. However, if one is going to Register and Introduce a flower that people are bound to want to smell this should be checked. And if a hybridizer wants to Introduce it knowing that is smells like that they should have the guts to describe it that way.

I'm merely making a simple request for Hybridizers/Introducers to check their fragrances and just be honest. People are paying you good money to purchase your plants and make their decisions on what to buy. They put their trust in you based on your judgement and experience.

Nuff said on my part.

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