Observations of Beautiful and Redolent Flowers

A collection of observations and musings of flowers with exotic appearances and pleasings smells.

Bloom 1

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Photo: Boripat Lebel

Frangipani. My favorite flower. Simple elegance and a divine smell one can imagine Aphrodite wearing as her choice perfume.

Bloom 2

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Photo: Boripat Lebel

A gorgeous light orange flower, the shape of which reminds me of a submarine propeller. The smell is a strong ylang ylang type scent that is just divine.

Bloom 3

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Photo: Boripat Lebel

A full bloom lotus flower of a Persian pink variety. Quite gorgeous indeed.

Bloom 4

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Photo: Boripat Lebel

Like how experience and time makes us wiser, in time, the young white flower on the right will age into the yellow flower to its left, and thence emit a richer fragrance.

Bloom 5

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Photo: Boripat Lebel

A gorgeous cluster of sunny frangipani perfuming the air with its potent, intoxicating scent.

Bloom 6

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Photo: Boripat Lebel

Ylang-ylang is a perfumery flower of a goldenrod hue. Its shape resembles that of a fried octopus.

Bloom 7

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Photo: Boripat Lebel

A small fly taking a respite on the petals of a bright yellow flower as it waits for the wind to settle down before resuming its flight.

Bloom 8

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Photo: Boripat Lebel

Majestic orchids of a magenta hue, worthy of belonging in the Garden of Shalimar.

Bloom 9

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Photo: Boripat Lebel

A pretty and cute little flower blushing with the tones of youth and joy.

Bloom 10

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Photo: Boripat Lebel

An exotic flower of a light pink hue stands tall as it prepares to bloom out with floral gusto.

Bloom 11

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Photo: Boripat Lebel

Standing tall and proud among the forest of blossoms that carpet the garden, is this light magenta flower reminiscent of an elongated lotus bloom. It is a resilient species, weathering the inclemency and elements with floral determination. What it lacks in smell it makes up in bearing; decidedly haughty and aristocratic.

Bloom 12

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Photo: Boripat Lebel

This is an unusual though not uncommon garden flower. Its shape resembles that of an impractical but very chic cocoon chair, and the color a lipstick shade of glossy coral. The white stick in the middle brings to mind the image of a big maggot. In other words, this is an exotic and flamboyant flower that just happens to make one think of a maggot sitting in business class.

Bloom 13

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Photo: Boripat Lebel

A tropically flamboyant flower that looks like a seductive combination between an orchid and a Chinese hibiscus, with the voluptuous petals resembling those of a lotus. And while it may not exude a discernible honeyed scent, its exquisite form and sensuous hues are the main attractions. Simply put, this is a flower worthy of belonging in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Bloom 14

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Photo: Boripat Lebel

A cluster of sunny frangipanis imparting the surrounding air with an intoxicating fragrance, inviting all noses to take a dip and snort the particulate substance with aphrodisiacal gusto. Also known as plumeria, in honor of the French botanist whom documented its existence during his tropical travels, the flower was later fashionably referred to by the former moniker, after the Italian noble Signore le Marchese di Frangipani, who formulated a stimulating perfume based on this most exquisitely redolent of flowers. Simply put, it is a bloom worthy of belonging in the Garden of Aphrodite.

Bloom 15

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Photo: Boripat Lebel

Indubitably, frangipani is one of the most exquisite smelling flowers of all the varieties of flowering plants recorded in the history of botany. The one captured here is a slightly smaller variant of the traditional white-petalled, yellow-centered bloom associated with the tropics. To the nose, the smaller frangipani smells sweeter and more powdery than the larger type; an eau de parfum compared to an eau de toilette, or, for the fragrance connoisseurs, the difference between J’adore and J’adore L’absolu. Albeit, it is possible that the concentrated redolence of the former might be in large part due to the denser clustering of the smaller flowers. Regardless, both variants are an aphrodisiacal pleasure to smell. Though it should be noted here, that on a hot afternoon when the air is appropriately heated, a breath full of the small frangipanis might be a bit too intoxicating for some to withstand.

Bloom 16

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Photo: Boripat Lebel

Hibiscus is a common and familiar ornamental plant found in many tropical gardens in East Asia. Nicknamed the “rose of China,” its paper-thin vermilion petals is an exquisite red color that powerfully seduces the attentions of hungry nectarivores and floral enthusiasts alike. Meanwhile the anthers, coated in fine pollen of a brilliant yellow hue, bedazzles the staminal column like the flames on a torch. Capable of blooming all year round, providing perennial pizzazz to its vicinity, the plant is worthy of flourishing in the private gardens commissioned by an Emperor for his beloved Empress, whose peerless beauty and graceful bearing inspired the construction. Because of its large build and defined parts, hibiscus has become a staple in many primary school biology classes, wherein it is often dissected, and its internals examined with botanistic gusto.

Bloom 17

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Photo: Boripat Lebel

Bougainvillea, so named after the French explorer Monsieur le Comte de Bougainville, is an extremely common, weedy plant that thrives in warm climates and is infamous for its resiliency. The flower, it should be noted, is the small and cute white bloom at the center, while the “petals” surrounding it, evoking the image of wrapping tissue associated with expensive gifts, and which come in a variety of pigments depending on the variant of the bougainvillea, are actually just leaves, this is true. Despite being the “daisies of the Tropics,” an original appellation yours truly would like to claim credit for when it is globally acknowledged in the dictionaries and encyclopedias of the world, not to sound vain and glory or anything like that; anyway, the plant, when luxuriantly covered in its papery, brilliant-hued flowers, can actually produce a rather pleasing vision of color contrast, and thus qualifying as an ornament in any dandy garden. As a side note, bougainvillea is a pretty name, is it not? I particularly enjoy its pronunciation, which rolls off the tongue with an aristocratic flicker.

Bloom 18

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Photo: Boripat Lebel

Stop and smell the roses is an idiomatic advice I like to take literally. With this in mind, upon coming across such a gorgeous cluster of roses, a shade between lava and Ferrari red, all my faculties for the next few minutes were applied towards appreciating the dimensions of its lusty beauty. Eyes tracing the voluptuous curves of its bloom, fingers caressing its supple petals, and nose greedily inhaling whiffs of its redolent scent, a fragrance so beautiful I suppose it could be ascribed to Aphrodite’s pheromones. The sensitivity of the human sensorium, combined with the vainglorious mind of a young gentleman obsessed with ancient nobility, evoked the scenes of an intoxicated Roman Dominus lounging hedonistically while partaking one of the many potent indulgences, Assyrian opium, provided at a Saturnalia hosted by a libertine friend at a splendid villa uncommonly luxurious even for its class, and one which critics (that is to say, those who are not invited) would sententiously censure as a pleasure palace and pantheon to Dionysus.

Bloom 19

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Photo: Boripat Lebel

At the risk of incurring the wrath of censorious botanists and floral enthusiasts alike, I would like to humbly submit an inexpert opinion as to the designation of this white-petalled flower, to which my attentions fell upon during a late afternoon walk around the neighborhood, the weather being pleasantly accommodating for such exercise. The flowers were part of a forest of plants that could collectively be classed a “lazy garden,” as it proliferated like weeds on the grounds of an estate long abandoned for decades. As for the purpose of my being thereabout, you will forgive me if I so graciously decline in providing a satisfactory answer to that pertinent question, based on the grounds that it might surely incriminate me on charges of trespassing.

But returning to the flower which had caught my eye, its simple nature and rustic beauty had the effect of evoking scenes of the idyllic countrysides depicted in dramatic works written before the 20th century that I have read, like to read, and only read; for there is something exquisitely appealing in the style of writing in those narrations composed prior to the viral introduction of 1900s abstractionism, which usurped its predecessor and became a lasting fashion, its meanings of which continue to elude me today, and so I avoid its corruptions. However I digress from the point I desired to make at the beginning of this long relation. So returning to that time, before I added the verbose distractions that is commonly practiced (and appreciated) in the glorious days of yore, the point of the matter is, I do believe, with no evidence or experience and qualifications to speak of, that this flower is most likely, perhaps so to a certain degree though I could be wrong, plus or minus a few genes, a daisy, I think.

Bloom 20

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Photo: Boripat Lebel

A beautiful lotus of a loud hue basks under the golden rays of the afternoon sun; reminiscent of an ancient garden of the Nile, wherein a pond blooms luxuriously with Egyptian lotuses, and a Queen of a great Pharaoh lies in languor fashion under gossamer shades, her eyes admiring the varied colors of the sacred pool. A slight breeze disperses the lotus’s redolent scent in the vicinity, stimulating the nasal sensorium of a passerby, who, if familiar with expensive smells, would be reminded of Un Jardin sur le Nil by Hermès; a harmonious blend of mango and lotus notes, a sweet kind of freshness quite pleasing to the nose.

Like the coy frangipani, the dangerous rose, or the bold ylang-ylang, the lotus too, with its lithe petals and bright personality, commands a power of seductive allure, the charms of which cannot be resisted once beheld or inhaled. Though not a femme fatale, a designation of which might be attributed to a rose, the lotus flower is that fashionable lady in society with the handsome looks and a dowry worth her name, whose contemporaries want to be and the dandies want to be with.

Bloom 21

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Photo: Phimphakan Lebel

No, this is not a plant ornamented with bottle brushes aimed at parodying a Christmas tree; though that would be an interesting statement to make against the extravagance of a holiday many use as an excuse to bedazzle an evergreen conifer with tinsel and gewgaws. But I digress. Returning to the matter, this is an Australian native flowering plant of the genus called Banksia; including over a hundred species, some trees others shrubs. Not all Banksias produce blooms that resemble a cleaning tool for tubular containers, to be sure, in fact some look more like toilet brushes. So saying, one cannot help but wonder if the Banksia flower could be used as a sustainable substitute for plastic brushes.

Shapes aside, the flowers are loaded with honeyed nectar and come in a variety of hues; from monochromatic orange gibbon to yellow bristles with Persian pink tip highlights. Indeed, the colors are loud and the smell great, contrived to attract specific nectarivores essential to its propagation via pollination. All in all, lovely brushes these Banksia flowers are.

Bloom 22

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Photo: Phimphakan Lebel

It’s a crisp sunny day and the clouds are sparse, conducive to a perfect stroll; the kind of walk where the eye travels and the mind wanders. Canola fields abound in this rustic area of Western Australia; yellow blooms spanning as far as observation allows, appearing all the bit resplendent under the bright rays of the noon sun. An engrossing vista indeed, akin to the lavender fields of France.

Published by Boripat Lebel

Boripat Lebel is a research coordinator at the Unit for Social and Environmental Research at Chiang Mai University. He authored the eBook “A Vomit of Diamonds.” Boripat can also be found on LinkedIn .

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