Erlicheer in Focus

There aren’t many scents sweeter than that of the jonquil.

Daffodils, jonquils, paperwhites, pearls and erlicheer all belong to the same family and although they’re usually known as the first flower of spring (bringing ‘early cheer’), in Melbourne we can enjoy the cut flowers as early as April. The flower market is the most beautiful place to be on a cold winter’s morning – and even moreso when filled with these spring beauties! The scent wafts out of the main hall, bringing a smile to my face before I’ve even seen a single bloom.

If you enjoy the sweet, intoxicating scent of this delicate spring bloom as much as I do, then I’m sure you’d fall in love with Grasse, France – the home of French perfume.

Of course, if  your budget doesn’t quite stretch that far, you could simply buy 3 bunches to enjoy while watching the film ‘Perfume‘ for a glimpse of the perfume trade in 18th century France. It’s almost as good as being there. Almost.

Five Facts

  • Following the Greek legend, the narcissus requests ‘a return of affection’. This vain youth fell in love with his own reflection in a stream so the gods changed him into a flower, eternally gazing down at its reflection.
  • Originally daffodils, narcissus and jonquils were all separate flower species and also represent ‘new beginnings’.
  • ‘Narcissus’ comes from ‘narke’; a Greek word meaning to numb; possibly named for the flower’s ability to cause a headache for anyone sharing a small space with it.
  • Jonquils and daffodils release a toxic sap that may kill other flowers, therefore it’s best to recut the stems and stand in a separate vase of cold water 24 hours before arranging.
  • The sap might also cause an allergic reaction in some people.