Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Perfume Your Garden and Home with Gardenias

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One of my favorite plants is the large white-flowered Mystery Gardenia (gardenia jasminoides) that grows to about 5' tall and wide. The perfume-like scent adds an exotic feeling to gardens. Plus, the large white flowers show up well in moonlight when many people more likely get a chance to take pleasure in their garden.

If you want to enjoy gardenias, plant them where they get sun. Most people plant gardenias in the shade because these plants love the same soil as shade-loving camellias and azaleas. However, gardenias can take full sun and prefer at least half a day of sunlight. Gardenias will not bloom well in the shade.

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Don't over water your gardenias. Keep the soil surface moist, but not soggy. Don't let them dry out too much during flowering or they will drop their buds. To keep your plants from drying out, mulch well.

Gardenias also like rich organic soil, azalea/camellia fertilizer, and iron. If your gardenias get yellow leaves, they most likely need more iron. During the growing season, feed your gardenias every three weeks.

Don't get harsh when pruning gardenias. They need some leaves left on the stock so they can get nutrition. Prune after blooming but before fall so the plant gets a chance to grow and form new flowers for the next spring bloom.

Gardenias bloom from late spring well into summer. Besides the glorious creamy-white blooms, they give your garden a gorgeous deep green backdrop all year long.

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Plant gardenias near your entry door to welcome guests and yourself with the invigorating perfume-like scent. Just one or two flowers floating in a bowl of water fills your home with natural fragrance. With over 200 species of gardenias, you're sure to find just the perfect variety at your local nursery for your garden.

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Copyright © 2005 Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved.

Jeanette Fisher, author of Joy to the Home and other books, teaches interior Design Psychology. Free "What Is Design Psychology" Report

Differences Between Perfume And Perfume Oils

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The history of perfume oils dates back to ancient Egypt when these fine scented oils were presented to royalty as gifts. In modern times, however, when the word "perfume" is said, most people think of department store fragrances, which consist mainly of the concentrated oil and alcohol solution. Nevertheless, as more and more people are finding out about them, perfume oils are experiencing great popularity. Here are some interesting facts about perfume oils:

1) Strength of smell - Perfume oils are highly concentrated and up to ten times more concentrated than department store perfumes. This quality allows oils to last longer than their eau de perfume counterparts.

2) Alcohol - Perfumes have alcohol in them, which creates different smell effects. Most body oils use carrier oils like jojoba or grapeseed oil in place of alcohol. In some fragrances, the smell can change as the alcohol evaporates different scent notes through time. With oils, the scent is more constant.

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3) Price - A noticeable difference between perfumes and perfume oils is price. Perfumes have a very high markup and great profit margins, which is perhaps why many celebrities have embarked on the trend of creating their own perfumes and colognes. Perfume oils can be sold very cheaply, or even more expensively than the perfumes, depending on how they are positioned in the market.

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4) Body chemistry - Just because a perfume or cologne smells good on you, doesn't mean that the oil version will. Perfumes only have a small percentage of oil, so they are quite different than pure body oils. This interaction between the fragrance and your body may produce a different scent perception altogether.

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5) Packaging - Clearly, department store perfumes are very nicely packaged and thus make great gifts for friends and family. Many perfume oils are sold in less attractive containers, which is part of the reason for their lower price.

6) Uses - Perfumes are only intended for use on the body, but perfume oils can be used to create a variety of scented products, like soap, candles, bath oils, air fresheners, and many other types of scented products. Be aware that there are different types of fragrance oils and that pure uncut oils are not safe for use on the skin.

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In summary, whether you choose to use perfume oils or not will depend on the factors above. Try out a small sample first and who knows, you might just discover a delightful new product to add to your personal inventory.

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Criss White is a professional web writer on baby and new mother topics for baby and pregnancy websites. See Body perfume oils and Designer Perfume Oils for more perfume oil information and supplies. Note: If you find this article useful, you may reprint it on your website, e-zine, or in your newsletter as long as the credits and resource box remain in tact and the hyperlinks are active.