My First Peony!

I planted a peony a bit over a year ago, and it just produced its first bloom! We can’t grow peonies very well here because our winters aren’t cold enough, but some varieties will bloom. This flower is enormous – just over 8 inches in diameter. The scent is green and earthy, with what seems like salicylate notes, plus a little subtle spiciness. I don’t think this variety is one of the best for scent, but the bloom is spectacular. The peony notes I’ve smelled in fragrances seem fresher than this and are often combined with rose notes, whereas this real-life blossom seems earthier. It’s fun to finally have a peony flower!

About Laurie E

artisan perfumer and owner of Sonoma Scent Studio
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8 Responses to My First Peony!

  1. Undina says:

    When I read the headline I thought you were working on a peony perfume! I’m slightly disappointed 🙂 But your flower looks beautiful!

  2. AnnYM says:

    Undina just provided a segway for my response – Maybe this will be an inspiration to a new perfume!

    • Laurie E says:

      It does give me ideas. I didn’t realize peonies smelled like this. I’d love to smell a few more and see if this one is typical. Mom is trying a deeper magenta colored one, so maybe she’ll get a bloom too.

  3. Ayala says:

    Congrats! Peonies are lovely. I find that they vary in scent quite a bit and are not consistently “pleasant”. Some of them could even smell like compost… But the good ones smell rosy and green-fresh, with hints of clove-like spiciness, and have less of the compost/earth/green rot smell. I tried to recreate it with naturals, and it always boils down to the fact that it’s really too similar to rose and carnation to be a good stand-alone scent. It needs some extra something that will create the olfactory illusion of something that it’s not… At least with my limited palette, that is 😉

    BTW – Your garden is so beautiful. I’m also very inspired this spring to do some planting (in my planters, ahum…) and couldn’t stop doing so since I returned from my trip last week. So nice to have flowering plants and fragrant herbs around!

    • Laurie E says:

      Thanks for explaining that! I think mine must be more for the giant flowers than for scent. It was mostly green floral with a soft hint off spiciness and a little rot too, lol. I couldn’t smell rose in it the way I do from perfumes that have peony notes, so I’ll have to sniff some peony varieties with better scent sometime.

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