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Aquatic flowers are known most for their beautiful, yet short lived blossoms, and many have unique and delightful scents. The most popular of the aquatic flowers used by perfumers are the lotus and water lily. Many people think they’re the same thing, and common names can be confusing, but they are separate species with similar, yet distinctive scents. Interestingly, the similarity is that their natural environment comes through in their fragrances: a hint of green and earthy, since their roots reside in rich silt; a brightness like the sunshine they rise to greet; and a little of the the sheer, flowing quality of water. It's this balance that makes them unique among floral scents and popular with those who aren't too fond of intensely floral fragrances.

Wonderful water lilies

Have you ever been hiking in the woods and come upon a sun-dappled pond with flowers in it? Those delicate, beautiful flowers are water lilies. The leaves rest directly on the surface, and the spiky-looking flowers with thin, waxy petals can emerge slightly above the surface, like a dainty cup and saucer. The blooms come in a wide variety of vivid colours, including red, blue and purple.

Enjoying the scent of a water lily in nature might require a walk through the muck, but you can experience it in concentrated form with Glasshouse Candles’ Kakadu -Water Lily. Because their candles are triple-scented, the water lily comes through sparkling and breezy, like sunshine glinting off the water droplets scattered on the petals. Seagrass & Waterlily, by Ecoya, has the same refreshing yet calming effect with crisp watery notes, delicate blossoms and a hint of musk.

Alluring lotus

The lotus, on the other hand, is almost exclusively found in equatorial climates. They love hot, rainy weather and are found in the lush green landscapes of the tropics. The lotus is an important symbol in many cultures and religions. True lotus flowers only come in three colours; pink, white and yellow, and they have very wide, papery petals. Lotuses also have a very distinctive barrel-shaped centre where the seed pod forms. The scent of the lotus is very popular in many parts of the world, and it has been used in perfumery for centuries. While the scent of water lily is like a cool shower, the scent of lotus is like a warm bath.

Glasshouse Candles features this aquatic blossom in their scent Kyoto -Camellia & Lotus. This one is rich and sensual, with a softness that keeps it from being overwhelming. Ecoya's Lotus Flower is more subtle; ethereal and warm, but slightly sweet. Lotus Garden by Pacifica opens with a bit more crispness from citrus, and then warms to the soft and spicy-sweet scent of lotus. For an oriental scent as serene as a morning in a Japanese water garden, try Jaye Niemi's Ginger Lily & Water Fruits, with the clarity of sparkling floral and light green notes to compliment the scent of lotus blossom.


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