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Q: Smell of white lillies ( Answered,   3 Comments )
Subject: Smell of white lillies
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: tbrigham-ga
List Price: $3.00
Posted: 11 May 2005 10:25 PDT
Expires: 10 Jun 2005 10:25 PDT
Question ID: 520491
do white lillies have a good smell?
Subject: Re: Smell of white lillies
Answered By: justaskscott-ga on 11 May 2005 14:42 PDT
Hello tbrigham,

Good smell is somewhat subjective.  For example, some people will
smell a particular variety of cheese and say, "Disgusting!", while
other people will say, "How fragrant!"

Still, I think you can conclude that the white lily -- also known as
Madonna lily or Lilium candidum -- smells good to most people, since
it is commonly used in perfume.  See, for instance:

"Madonna lily" ["... white, bell-shaped flowers that yield an
essential oil used in perfumery"]

Here is a generally positive description of the smell:

"The flowers of the Madonna lily have a very sweet, heavy floral,
honey like fragrance with a short cresylic, ylang ylang like topnote
and, at other times of the day, a suave, balsamic sweet fragrance."

"lily absolute" [section entitled "Description"]
The Good Scents Company

But not everything about the scent is positive, even in that
description: some people might not like "a very sweet, heavy floral"
fragrance.  The following description confirms that the smell is not
uniformly good:

"The flowers ... have a strong, sweet, penetrating perfume, so
powerful as to be even annoying to some people."

"The petals communicate their fragrance to almond and olive oil, and
also to lard, and have thus been employed in the past by perfumers."

"Lily, Madonna" [last paragraphs of "History" and "Cultivation"] ["A Modern Herbal," by Mrs. M Grieve]

In sum, the white lily basically has a good scent, but not entirely or to everyone.

- justaskscott

Search strategy --

Searched on Google for following terms, alone or in combinations:

"white lilies"
"white lily"
"madonna lily"
"lilium candidum"
Subject: Re: Smell of white lillies
From: kriswrite-ga on 11 May 2005 16:00 PDT
While Madonna lilies are common, there are many different types white
of lilies, and the scent is different for each.

Subject: Re: Smell of white lillies
From: kriswrite-ga on 11 May 2005 16:01 PDT
I should add that I've never run across a lily that smells bad to my nose :)

Subject: Re: Smell of white lillies
From: justaskscott-ga on 11 May 2005 17:17 PDT
Kriswrite makes a good point.  I have answered the question according
to what seems to be the most common meaning of "white lily."  See, for

"white lily" [first definition]

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