Sweet Peas and Fragrance
One of the main reasons I grow sweet peas is for the fragrance. A little bouquet of these beauties really can 'perfume a room'!
To some people, the fragrance is the most important aspect of the sweet pea, to others the color must be just right, but most are happy to have a sweet combination of the two.
About Fragrance in General
Not everyone has the same sense of smell. Some people are more receptive to fragrance than others and your sense of smell is also going to be affected by what else you have been smelling. Perfumers say that "nasal fatigue" sets in after smelling three fragrances.
In other words, your nose is saturated and your ability to capture the true nature of a fragrance has significantly diminished. I definitely notice this with sweet peas – after I have taken in the scent of a few varieties, they all start to smell the same and often I just can't smell anything at all.
If you are trying to gauge the scent of your sweet peas or any other flowers, take a break of 'smelling' after you have sampled three to give your nose a break and become "refreshed".
Also remember that the fragrance emitted by sweet pea flowers will be different at different times of the day. Heat, cold, rain and even the age of the bloom will all affect the amount of scent you can expect from your sweet peas.
How Long Will Sweet Peas Hold Remain Fragrant in the Vase?
Sweet peas that have been cut should keep their fragrance for about 3 days. You can expect a vase life of about 5 days (give or take), but after about the third day, the fragrance will be mostly gone. So simply place them in the compost heap and cut fresh ones!
Different Sweet Pea Scents
A perfumer will tell you that when they smell a perfume they can identify many different 'notes' - "Woody", "Oriental", "Fresh" and "Floral" being the four main areas. To me, sweet peas have a fresh, citrus smell, but it would be interesting to know what a professional perfumer can smell. What scents do you pick up when smelling sweet peas? Put your thoughts in the Comments section below and don't forget to include the variety you are referencing.
The Most Fragrant Sweet Peas
We often receive emails asking us which are the most fragrant sweet peas (and if we have seed available). This year I am happy to be able to offer sweet pea seed for three of the most fragrant sweet pea varieties: 'Heaven Scent' Sweet Pea, 'High Scent' Sweet Pea and 'More Scent' Sweet Pea. Over time, the consensus has been that these two varieties have a stronger than average scent.
Their names really give away that every single stem will fill the air with a deliciously sweet, fresh fragrance.
High Scent Sweet Pea
Soft cream-colored flowers with a delicate lavender edge and delectable scent. This variety is generally used as the benchmark for fragrance in the sweet pea world and I have really found it to be the most fragrant variety I have grown to date.
Heaven Scent Sweet Pea
Tips the scales in both fragrance and the deliciously soft peachy-pink blooms. Less intense scent than 'High Scent' (in my opinion), but prettier color and form.