A Sparkling Vintage Life


I’m head-over-heels for this new (well, new to me, anyway) scent from Bath & Body Works, Enchanted Orchid. It’s light and fresh for summer but very traditionally floral. I’d like to affirm that it’s a true orchid scent, but as I’m no authority on orchids, I’ll have to take their word for it. All I know is, my morning is already looking brighter for having smoothed it on my skin.

I’m told that orchids grow in most parts of the world, but I haven’t spotted very many here in North Idaho–not outdoors, anyway. I think of them as a tropical plant suited to warm-weather climates like Asia and the American South. But there are many, many varieties, so I suppose they can grow all over the world. They have a reputation for being fussy and high-maintenance, which is probably a function of trying to grow them in an area not well-suited. Still, the orchid’s delicate nature has contributed to its reputation as the diva of the plant world.

Did you know that the vanilla bean is a member of the orchid family? Well, now you do.

orchidOne source I consulted says the word “orchid” comes from Orchis, a character from Greek mythology who was turned into a flower. Another source claims it is Latin for a portion of the male anatomy and thus, when taken in elixir form, is an aid to reproduction.

Orchids have long been the stuff of romance, a favorite centerpiece of bouquets and corsages. They are also a symbol of luxury and opulence.  “In [her daydreams] she wore or carried flowers . . . and she saw herself glamorous with orchids; discarded these for an armful of long-stemmed, heavy roses; tossed them away for a great bouquet of while camellias; and so wandered down a lengthening hothouse of floral beauty, all costly and beyond her reach except in a wistful day-dream” (Booth Tarkington, Alice Adams). Of course, those who have read the book know that poor Alice ends up carrying to the dance violets she has picked herself in the public park. Only the rich girls get to wear orchids.

How do you feel about orchids? Do you like them? Have you grown them successfully?