Stop and smell… a hyacinth

From January to March potted hyacinths are available in all their colours: pink, blue, purple, white and more recently a pale yellow and even red. They are all different, but common to all hyacinths is their embodiment-of-spring fragrance.

Growers in the Netherlands have been working on a fragrance code so that people can select their hyacinths not just for colour and size, but also for the potency of their fragrance. The three categories of fragrance are strong, medium and light. Here are some examples.

Light fragrance

‘Pink Pearl’ (bubble-gum pink), ‘White Pearl’ (snowy white), ‘Blue Jacket’ (dark blue with purple stripe on each petal) and ‘City of Haarlem’ (soft, primrose-yellow; shown right)

Medium fragrance

‘Atlantic’ (amethyst-violet), ‘Jan Bos’ (fuchsia-red) and ‘Anna Marie’ (pale pink)

Strong fragrance

‘Delft Blue’ (soft, lilac-blue)