This past Christmas we received a nice gift of some scented candles. I'm not a candle fanatic like some people, but I really do love some of these "flavors" -- and I have to call them "flavors" because they're usually so strong they fill my entire head.
I don't know if the "bamboo" scent was chosen specifically for me (the person who gifted me has never visited my garden) or if it was a happy coincidence. I was eager to find out what they thought bamboo smells like.
You see, in my experience, bamboo doesn't have much of a scent at all. Some of the species release a faint fragrance if you rub the culms (canes), but it usually just smells like generic green leaf, or a bit wood-like.
In fact, if you asked me to make a list of plants in my garden that have the most fragrant foliage, bamboo wouldn't even get consideration. My list would probably be:
I would at some point mention:
- Freshly-mown turf grass
If you made me rank all of the foliage based on fragrance I would eventually get down to the stinky genus:
Then the bottom of the list would be every plant that just smells like "leaf" to me, or is scentless:
- most trees and shrubs
So the thought of a "bamboo" scented candle was intriguing.
Let's pop the lid and sample the exotic scent...
Cough, cough, gasp, wheeze!!
It smells like old-fashioned perfume! Strong old-fashioned perfume. My bamboo certainly doesn't smell like that!
Let's find out what's going on here...
Gardenia, jasmine, lavender, lilac, and rose. Every one of those would make a strong candle fragrance alone, but mix them all together and wow.
Bamboo -- even if it had a fragrance -- wouldn't stand a chance, no matter how you "layered" it. (They could have replaced the bamboo with "dead mackerel" and I bet you would not be able to tell.)
We keep the lid on this candle most of the time, as it's just too overpowering.
No need to even light it when we do want some fragrance though -- just pop the lid for a few minutes. Makes my eyes water just thinking about it.
Do I need to mention that the photo on the candle label isn't even bamboo? It's Dracaena sanderiana, or "lucky bamboo". Sheesh.