Rosal or Gardenias (Gardenia jasminoides) have an incredibly strong scent that can permeate a large room. Native to Southern China, the plant now thrives in many parts of the world. Gardenias have these white blooms that get flatter as they matureâ€¦ they turn yellowish as they â€œripenâ€ and die off. Their leaves are a shiny dark green. The peak of the bloom is brief but the strength of the fragrance is truly intense. I can see why they often form the base scent of perfumes or room fresheners! At the market yesterday there was a vendor with thousands of gardenias for sale. I bought ten small bunches for PHP150 (USD3) and made two small arrangements. They will last just two or three days but will leave an impression on the senses. In the past, these flowers were often used for corsages but I havenâ€™t seen a gardenia corsage in many years.
We planted dozens of rosal plants at our place in Batangas years ago but I rarely manage to coax a bloom out of the bushes. Maybe the soil isnâ€™t acidic enough or they donâ€™t get enough sunlight. Or they realize I truly have a black thumb. Placing a single bloom in a bowl of water is perfect for a small bathroom, the fragrance is really amazing. At a dinner table, several arrangements can look visually stunning but I find the fragrance to be too intense and it can interfere with the food and more so if your guests are using all sorts of cologne and perfume. Best used in an outdoor table arrangement as the breeze or drafts of air reduce the intensity of the fragrance. Personally, I think the phrase should be â€œWake up and smell the gardenias!â€ instead of rosesâ€¦