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Five Fragrant Flowers

The Martha Stewart Show, September 2009

The next time you're tempted to reach for that air freshener spray, grab some freshly cut flowers instead. There's no better way to add both fragrance and beauty to your home.














Here are some of Martha's favorite fragrant flowers:

Freesia

It has a lovely citrus fragrance and is available in both single and double flowers. It's easy to grow in your own garden: Plant the bulbs in March or April because the cool nights help them set their blooms.

Roses

With hundreds of varieties and colors, roses are wonderful for any season. Keep your roses in a cool place, away from direct sunlight and drafts. Also, don't forget to remove submerged leaves -- they can rot and spur bacteria growth, shortening the life span of the bloom.

Tuberose

As the main ingredient in Fracas, Martha's favorite perfume, tuberose has a bold and sultry scent. The flower is native to the Southwest, but its intoxicating and calming effects make it a favorite for ceremonies and rituals across the globe.

Lilies

They're known for their bold appearance, but they're wonderfully fragrant, too. Make sure to pinch off the anthers, which are the pollen-coated tips at the end of the stamens, or else you'll risk staining your clothing and upholstery. Ensure that your lilies last by periodically recutting the stems, changing the water, and adding flower food.

Gardenias

They're some of the prettiest scented flowers of all, and they look great in a variety of arrangements. For an elegant touch, try floating one or several blossoms in a bowl of water for a table decoration or centerpiece.