Hand anyone a flower — any flower — and the chances are they will bring it up to their nose to give it a sniff. Sadly, there are plenty of pretty plants in Thailand, such as the ubiquitous orchids, that disappoint with their lack of olfactory pleasure, despite their enchanting appearance. But there are also others that are known for their aroma and ability to fill a room in ambrosial scents.
Here are some of the fragrant flowering plants commonly found in tropical gardens in Thailand
. You may also find them either on the table or in the garden at your private villa.
Jasmine (Jasminum Sambac)
The fragrance of jasmine flowers known as "dok mali" in Thai — is widely adored and has even been adopted by the world of perfumery, making up the grace notes in everything from Bvlgari Jasmin Noir to Chanel No. 5 and Kenzo Flower. The small flowers, usually white in colour, can usually be found dotting evergreen shrubs. Its pervasiveness and coveted floral aroma, especially during its bud stage, make it one of the main components of Thai floral garlands as well as spa products.
Ylang Ylang Vines (Artabotrys Siamensis)
Commonly known as Ylang Ylang vines or climbing Ylang Ylang, these evergreen vine flowers are not the most delicate of flowers, with thick and somewhat rubbery petals. Native to Thailand, and called "gadang nga" locally, they turn from green to yellow. Looks aside however, when the flowers are in their "ripe" yellow stage, they emit an aromatic floral fragrance with hints of a banana, and are most pungent from dusk to dawn.
Champak (Michelia Champaca)
Like jasmine flowers, champak, or champaca as they are sometimes referred to, are commonly featured in Thai flower garlands. The tree flowers are mainly in creamy white and yellow variations, and have also lent their sweet fragrant properties to perfume including Tom Ford Absolute and Calvin Klein Euphoria. Traditional Thai ladies can sometimes be seen wearing a champak flower behind their ear, or a handful of the flowers can be found floating in a bowl of water as a home-scenting accessory.
Frangipani (Plumeria Obtusa)
One of the most visibly identifiable of fragrant flowers found in Thailand is the frangipani, or "leelawadee" in Thai. The flowers bloom in small clusters near the tips of branches on the otherwise bare and gnarly trees. The centre of the flower is most commonly yellow, outwardly melding into pure white, but they can also be found in other colour combinations involving varying shades of red, pink, blue, and orange. Their smooth fragrance is strongest at night, and fallen flowers are often used to decorate water bowls and to add fragrant floral touches to the living spaces and bedrooms in private villas.
Gardenia (Gardenia Jasminoides)
Growing on evergreen shrubs with waxy green leaves, pure white gardenia blossoms or "dok puk" in Thai, somewhat resemble roses with their velvety petals. In terms of fragrance, however, the scent is more akin to the sweet jasmine flowers, and most pungent at night. Their lovely accompanying foliage and redolence make them popular for decorative floral arrangements.
Water Jasmine (Wrightia Religiosa)
Called "dok mok" in Thai, these white flowers are also known as wild water plum or water jasmine. Their appearance as small dainty white flowers, hanging off the tips of thin branchlets have also earned them the common name of 'lady's earrings'. Their unique, fruity
fragrance has also made them popular garden shrubs and they can often be found near Thai temples. Their evergreen and fast growing properties have also made them a favourite with bonsai tree enthusiasts.
by LVH Marketing