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One of the most valuable elements of a fine perfume is provided by the rose, known as the "queen of flowers". Rose perfumes were very popular with the Romans and the Greeks. Rose flowers are gathered at night since they carry fragrance before sunrise. The two main species of roses used in perfume are the Rosa centifolia, found in the South of France, and the rosa damascena (Damask Rose) located primarily in Arab countries. The damask rose is most widely grown for perfumery.
Jasmine, another "absolute," or pure essence, gives a perfume a well-rounded, finished quality. Jasmine flowers are harvested when their fragrance is at its peak just before dawn. The flowers must be processed immediately before their freshness and fragrances fade away. The jasmine must also be placed in special baskets to prevent the flowers from bruising, and unbalancing the flower's natural bouquet.
Violets have been used in perfumes throughout the ages because of their varied fragrances. They used violets in both perfumes and medicines. There are two varieties of violets most commonly used in perfumes, the Victoria Violet and the Parma Violet. Violets only produce a scant amount of essential oils, and are rarely used today. A synthetic replacement for violet is most commonly used, along with other essential oils resembling the violet.
The Lily (Lillium) is a hearty bulb that can be planted in fall or spring. In the whole lily spectrum, there is something for everyone, from easy-to-grow, long-lived garden plants to the more difficult and rare species. Their summer blooms are the highlight of the garden, and they are long-lasting as cut flowers. Most lilies bloom between June and August, and the large, trumpet shaped flowers feature a variety of colors, designs and fragrances.
Learn More about Fragrances of Some Specific Flowers