Harry (entering the house): What is that horrible smell?

Me: Smell? You mean dinner?

Harry: No, worse than that. It smells like Sarah was sprayed by a skunk again. Did she?

Me: No skunk. Now that you mention it though, there is a rank odor in here.

Harry (following his nose): UGH. It’s these things!

Me: By “these things” do you mean the hyacinths?

Harry: Is “hyacinth” the word for stinky flower?

Me: Aren’t they pretty? I forced them in these cute little hyacinth vases.

Harry: You forced them to do what? Smell bad?

Me: No, silly. Those are the bulbs you kept asking me why I was keeping them in the refrigerator. But now that you mention it, I have had a dull headache since they started blooming. But aren’t they pretty?

Harry: Okay, but they stink. Can you put them somewhere we can see them but can’t smell them?

Me: Good idea.



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  • Karen says:

    I’ve heard that paperwhites smell bad. I’ve never had success forcing them, myself!

  • Vicky says:

    Ha! You make me laugh. I found your blog through Black Walnut Dispatch (which also makes me laugh). I love how your Harry said the flowers smell worse than your dinner. Kudos for you for not seeing an implied insult to your culinary skills and understanding what was really meant.

  • Renee says:

    Paperwhites are the worst!!! We played the “what’s that horrible smell” game last year and were so disappointed to find the source. Such a shame pretty flowers smell so foul!

  • Robin Ripley says:

    Karen and Renee – Yes, if anything can smell worse than hyacinths, it’s paperwhites. Every year I keep trying and every year they still stink.

    Hi Vicky – Ah, Harry actually likes my cooking!


  • Oh they are so beautiful – I didn’t know they smelled bad! I love the photos of the bad boys outside with their sign :)

  • Carol says:

    That’s funny. They give me a headache, too, sometimes. Good solution.

  • Roberta says:

    Awww….poor hyacinths. I almost re-gifted bulbs for forcing last year. Glad I didn’t. When I opened the box they were nothing but dessicated husks. At least yours got to see the light of day before being banished.

  • Claire says:

    Good things come in small packages! I think that a little of that scent is great but can become overwhelming with a whole windowsill of flowers. Personally I like the scent, but I think you either hate it or love it!

  • Jenni says:

    Haha, that is too funny! That reminds me of some flowers we had in our wedding. They were yellow balls on the end of a stick (no leaves, and I have no idea what they were). After the wedding we filled our house with vases and vases of flowers from the wedding and my husband swears that the yellow balls smelled like farts, and complained about it often. LOL

  • Karla says:

    All the flowers in here looks beautiful..Thanks for sharing your funny story..

  • Anna says:

    Hah! I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t like hyacinths.

  • Daylily Soup says:

    LOL. I don’t blame you. I had the same experience with paperwhites! They smelled terrible! Love the photos! :-)

  • Esmeralda says:

    I love your blog…and I got a good laugh out of the Hyacinth post. I forced some bulbs also and they finally bloomed last month. I had left one in the pot that they came in in my back yard and to my surprise it was flowering so much better than the ones I had to force.