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That’s why the flowers don’t smell anymore these days

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That’s why the flowers don’t smell anymore these days

Anyone who sniffs a bouquet of roses is often disappointed: many types of roses hardly have any scent at all. But why is that?

When you receive a bouquet of flowers as a gift, the first reaction of many is to smell it. Roses in particular are said to have an intense scent that has found its way into perfumes, shampoos, creams and scented candles.

But anyone who sticks their nose in a bouquet of roses will be disappointed more and more often. In fact, many roses almost no longer smell at all – or do not have the typical scent, but smell almost musty. But why is that?

There are countless types of roses, around 30,000 worldwide. The flowers were continually cultivated according to various aspects. This resulted in new colors or varieties that were more robust and long-lasting. And this is also the reason for the loss of the typical scent.

Transportability and robust plants are more important than scent

Nowadays, more emphasis is placed on factors such as transportability and longer and more frequent flowering times when breeding. However, these are characteristics that are genetically associated with a less intense scent of roses, as this is difficult to pass on. The genes for the smell of flowers are recessive. The gene is not passed on in the first generation when two fragrant plants are crossed.

If these roses were crossed with each other, fragrant roses would appear again in the second generation. However, this is a form of inbreeding, which in turn means increased care and less robust plants.

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The scent also causes the buds to open. This is particularly a problem with cut roses, because these days they mainly come from Africa and South America. They must remain fresh even over a longer transport route – and must not bloom during this time.

Since many breeders attach great importance to the transportability and resistance of roses, the scent falls by the wayside. It is now estimated that only ten percent of all rose species still smell. However, the demand for fragrant roses continues to increase. So you may soon be able to smell a pleasantly scented bouquet of roses again.

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