Love Flowers But Sensitive to Strong Scents? Here Are Some Alternatives

Flowers, Planning Tips

So much of a wedding's design and décor revolves around flowers: bouquets, boutonnieres, altars, centerpieces, cake accents — the list goes on and on! And while flowers look absolutely stunning, not everyone is as big a fan of some blooms' heady fragrances. So if you're a bride who's sensitive to smells, what can you do to still get the wedding look you've dreamed of, but avoid the headache? We talked to Julie Robinson, lead designer and owner of Scottsdale's Juliet Le Fleur, about which flowers you should should skip — and which ones would make for equally gorgeous (and less fragrant) alternatives.

See more: 6 Wedding Flower Ideas Your Guests Have Never Seen Before

"If you're sensitive to smells, some more popular blooms that pack a punch when it comes to scent are peonies, garden roses, freesia, tuberose, gardenia, narcissus, and lilies," says Robinson. "The great thing is, there are other flowers that will give you the same shape and texture, but with little to no fragrance." Here are some of her favorite swaps:

  • For a fluffy, full effect similar to peonies, swap them out with hydrangeas.
  • If you love the rounded, multi-layered petals of garden roses, opt for ranunculus instead.
  • Dreaming of the sculptural bells of freesia? Mini calla lilies will give you a similar shape and size.
  • To echo the long lines and small blooms of a tuberose, replace it with a snapdragon.
  • An alternative to statuesque blossoms of gardenia is the equally architectural echeveria succulent.
  • For a spring wedding, skip the narcissus and instead use tulips.
  • Love large trumpeted lily blossoms? Amaryllis will totally capture your heart.

Even better news? Some flowers don't really have any scent at all, which gives you all sorts of additional options to play with. "You can mix in other unscented florals to the blooms above, which will give texture and depth," Robinson says. "We love cymbidium, vanda, and mokara orchids, anemones, dahlias, and proteas, which all have stunning, unique shapes but have little to no fragrance." If you're looking to add even more detail, organic textural accents such as scabiosa, lotus, poppy pods, brunia baubles, and blue thistle will give you extra volume — but again, no headaches!


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