The market for common scents

March 30, 2010
Written by
March 30, 2010 – I'm a flowers guy on Valentine's Day, and have been for a long time. (If I've been particularly lax in helping out about the house or remembering special occasions – birthdays, anniversaries, licence plate renewals, etc. – I'll throw in a box of chocolates; sometimes I'll throw in the chocolates as a pre-emptive measure against future lapses.)

This year, I selected a potted heather plant as my gift to my wife. It was big and fragrant, and fragrance is a major criteria for my wife in her choice of flowers. Most members of the lily family are sure to please. (For me, tomato plants are especially fragrant; but they don't always travel well in bouquets.)

Fragrance is an area where the industry has fallen down quite a bit. It's not high enough among the traits bred into new introductions, and that's too bad. There's a large market segment of fragrance aficianados not being served, or who would buy more flowers if there were more scents available in their gift-giving, gardening and home decor options.

Breeders have gone over the top with ensuring shelf life for cuts, and extended flowering performance in the garden, and those are important traits. But I wonder what studies have been done to see how much trade-off consumers might make with shelf life and flowering power in exchange for a little more fragrance?

Are we ignoring a significant consumer base?

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