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by Michelle Miley
Of the five senses, scent is the one most closely tied to memory. The fragrance of your favorite perfume may lift your spirits and make you unforgettable for someone else. You may have noticed that your signature scents often have the same fragrance notes, but it can sometimes be difficult to determine what you like when shopping for a new perfume. Although synthetic oils are often used in modern perfumes, many perfumers still count on Mother Nature to provide them with fragrant flowers from which to create their perfumes and fragrances. Keep reading to discover the best flowers for perfume.
Roses: Perfumes containing roses were used widely in Greek and Roman civilizations. The rose is still used in many perfumes today. The Arabic damask rose and the French rosa centifolia are the most common types of roses used in making perfume. Roses intended for perfume-making are typically harvested at night so they can be processed just before dawn when their scent is strongest.
Violets: Violets were once a common flower for perfume-making, with the Victoria and Parma varieties being the preferred types. Violets were popular with perfume makers because their fragrance is pleasing and different violet varieties produce different scents. Unfortunately, violets produce only a small amount of the essential oils needed to make fragrances, so synthetic violet oils are used far more often than organic ones.
Jasmine: Although the scent of jasmine is highly desired, it can be difficult to attain. Harvested jasmine flowers are kept in special baskets designed to keep the delicate blooms from bruising. Jasmine is harvested right before dawn when it is at its peak fragrance. It must be processed quickly because its scent fades rapidly after harvesting. Still, perfumers use jasmine flowers frequently.
Plumeria: Plumeria flowers are the vibrant and fragrant flowers used to make Hawaiian leis. These hardy blooms are also used to make perfume. Plumeria trees can bloom for up to three months at a time, and the flowers they produce can stay fresh for several days. Unlike many of the other flowers used to make perfume, the scent of the plumeria is strongest in the evening.