Monday, January 12, 2009

OK, I Am So Over Paperwhites

This was my first attempt into the process of forced
bulbs. The idea was to bring some flower blooms into
the house for the drab, long winter months.
These two Paperwhite bulbs grew so fast, blooming only
after 14 to 15 days.
I am also trying some hyacinth bulbs for the first time
but they are growing very slowly.

When the Paperwhites sprouted right up and grew
so fast I was so excited at my first attempt.
And could not wait to see what they would smell
like, if I would enjoy the fragrance, and how
long the blooms would last.

The blooms started opening up and they were so
dainty, pure white, and beautiful.
I was quite please with my little experiment of
adding blooms to the living room in the dead of

For one and a half days I kept smelling this awful
or weird burnt rubbery smell in the house.
We had been having electrical outages because of
the ice and high winds, so I went searching all
over for an electrical shortage in the house wiring
or the appliances. Even had my son checking our
old fuse box to see if one was burning out.(this
had happened once) We could not figure where this
weird awful smell was coming from.
We sniffed around the living room like blood hounds
after a raccoon. Finally I thought of my beautiful
No, surely that could not be the awful smell.
We both took a whiff and gag, there was that
awful smell.
He told me to get rid of the things, not
appreciating the smell or the flowers.

They were so pretty, I just couldn't throw them
out, no one throws out flowers, especially a flower fanatic.
Besides maybe they would get better.
So I moved them into the washroom by the back
door. Every time we came in the back door there
was that awful smell. The scent floated into all of the
back section of the house.

Some may like the fragrance of Paperwhites, but
there are some fragrances I cannot handle because
they make me sick.I have to watch going into candle
shops or where there is a lot of potpourri because
certain fragrances give me severe headaches, nausea
and causes dizziness.
I kept thinking I had smelled that same fragrance
on some other flower. I kept probing my little brain
for a couple of days, then it hit me.


Last summer was the first time that I had grown
Datura and the Purple Swirl variety was just gorgeous.
I had several in containers outdoors in the flowerbeds.
I was in love with them, and their fragrance outdoors was
pleasant enough, even wrote a posting on how much I
liked them. Until I stuck my nose right up to a blossom.
Yuk! Gag!
But they were so pretty and outdoors the smell was
not hurting anything so they stayed in the garden.

It makes me sad but my adventure into forcing
Paperwhites is over.
I had to pitch out my beautiful white blossoming
. It hurt but the alternative of being
sick or keeping the flowers was not an option.
I only hope the Hyacinth's do not have the same effect
since this is a first time in trying to force them.


Victoria said...

That's such a shame, because they looked so lovely in your glass vase. I know lots of people find the scent a bit too much, but I'd never heard anyone describe it as a weird rubbery smell. However, as someone who is always smelling things (such as a dead mouse left by the cat under the coffee table) and being told I was "just imagining it", I am very sympathetic.

Anonymous said...

Oh Lona, we've had the same experience! This was the first time I forced paperwhites too, and I won't do it again. Pe-uw! Stinky! Like you, I couldn't stand to toss them out, but once I moved them into the dining room they were okay. I found if I didn't disturb them in anyway, including watering them, they don't put off that awful fragrance! The blossoms are almost dried up now, so soon they will be tossed out, never to return again!

Anonymous said...

It is curious how different smells affect different people. Your paperwhites are certainly pretty, though.

inadvertent farmer said...

ROFL...I planted daisies by our side entrance (the one everyone uses) and had so many complaints from my sons and hubby that I had to move them! Too bad things so pretty can smell sooooooo awful! Your paperwhites sure are pretty though! Kim

gardenerprogress said...

How disappointing since they look so pretty! Hope the hyacinths are more enjoyable.

spookydragonfly said...

Hey...A for effort! They are very pretty!

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one! I wasn't going to mention it because so many gardeners have been 'raving' about forcing their paperwhite bulbs. I did the bulb thing, too-and have had the same outcome! Although, I haven't dumped them...I'm just 'ignoring' the scent:) While I'm not fond of the smell, they don't make me 'sick', so I can hang on a while longer. But when my son smelled them (they're in the kitchen, so you notice it when you walk near the sink) he asked what they were and I said paperwhites. He said they smell like poopy-wipes. (Sorry. I just had to say it:).
C ya later...

Jenny said...

These flowers look like what we call johnquils, and yes the smell can be overpowering. Such a shame that something so pretty cam smell so bad.

Balisha said...

Hi Lynn, Ditto from me on the "fragrance " of paperwhites. I think you may like the hyacinths better...although they are very stongly scented. You wrote this pose very cleverly.

Susan Tomlinson said...

LOL! I had the same experience with PW many years ago. PW=Pee-yeeW!

Debbies Doodle said...

They are very pretty.. some people are like that tooo.. sooo pretty but just not what they seem to be..
Thanks for the sharing..

cindee said...

I have had this happen with things and it is a bummer. Oh well at least you tried it and they grew so that is fun!!! Hopefully the hyacinths won't do that. they are strong smelling though. I have the same problem when people marinate in their cologne. Yikes!

Barbarapc said...

I have a friend who swears they smell like cat pee. Needless to say, she only grew them once as well. I enjoy grocery store primula this time of year - they smell like spring to me.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Victoria; thanks for dropping by. At least your cat is working hard.:)

Robin; Oh Girl! I am so glad that I was not the only one!

Nancy; I wish the smell wouldn't have effected me so, very sensitive.

Kim; I have the same problem with marigolds. I think they are the rottenest smelling things.

gardenprogress: I hope I have better luck with the hyacinths too.

spookydragonfly; It was worth a shot, now I know.

Jan; I was afraid to mention it also since so many seemed to be writing about them and liked them.

Jenny; thanks for dropping by. To say the smell was overpowering was to say the least.

Balisha; Thanks for dropping by. I hope the fragrance from the hyacinths are not so strong the make me sick. I want them so bad...

Susan; Oh, girl if only you could have warned me :)

Deb; I have known some people like that :)

Cindee; Oh my yes, some people do not certainly know how much perfume they have on. Wow, that gets to me too.

Barbara;LOL, the burnt electrical smell was bad enough:), no cat pee smells please.

Thanks for the comments girls! I was almost afraid to write about the smell because so many people were writing about them and liked them. It is so good to know that I was not alone in my dislike of this beautiful flower. Great blooms, nasty smell.

Jean said...

It's so funny how different people experience the smell of paperwhites differently. A long time ago I worked at a florist and it was verboten to send a pot of them to a hospital. It was just too much for some people and we certainly didn't want to make anyone sicker!

I've never seen that datura before. It's really quite beautiful.

btw, how lucky for you to see a towhee in your backyard!

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Jean; OMG! I would have hated to be cooped up in a hospital room with one of the stinking things :) The Datura was beautiful and being outside it is tolerable it is over wintering down in the basement. I am experiment to see if will survive in Ohio winters and how it will come back. Thanks for dropping by.