Fragrance Free Environments
Are you finding that a beautiful flower arrangement arrives in your home or office and someone starts sneezing, has a runny nose, watery eyes, itchy throat and eyes, or even migraines? More individuals are suffering from allergies. Unfortunately allergies can be caused by a range of cut flowers that are very popular. As florist we are finding that the number of ‘fragrance free’ zones is increasing. These now include many offices and public buildings. For years, hospitals have been totally fragrance free and some of our local churches have the policy.
Allergies are frequently caused by fragrance and pollen, both types can be culprits in flowers that are in our homes, especially since our homes tend to be confined spaces. And it is the close contact to these flowers in our living and work space that amplify the resulting discomfort.
Strongly fragrant flowers are Oriental Lilies. These stunning, pink and white blooms quickly lose their popularity when their fragrance becomes a problem. Freesia, stocks, some carnations, chrysanthemums are fragrant as well, but a much milder, softer fragrance that is easier to deal with. Herbs have also become popular in floral design, but their intense scent is very potent. Rosemary for instance is lovely growing outside or used in cooking, but inside – beware – keep a box of tissues close by!
And there is the ‘pollen alert’ which can cause irritation. As lilies open, their pollen develops during the maturing process – dynamite for allergies. It is best to remove the irritating pollen, and this will also increase the longevity of the lily blooms. Most garden type flowers do have pollen, especially asters, dahlias, daisies, gerbera daisies, chrysanthemums, larkspur, delphinium, baby’s breath and alstroemeria.
Allergy alerts are also becoming important in the selection of wedding flowers. When brides discuss their floral requests with us, we do need to point out to them that there could be fragrance concerns.
Over the last few years, with Pinterest being so popular, brides are introduced to and love the look of lavender bouquets and boutonnieres. And they do look stunning. But, for lavender to make impact in bridal work, a large number of stems have to be used, increasing the intensity of fragrance tremendously. At that time, bridal party members currently oblivious to allergies, might have to deal with unexpected discomfort with the overwhelming fragrance of so much lavender.
What is the ideal choice when allergies might be a concern?
dendrobium or cymbidiums