Cestrum nocturnum disappointment

kubileya(7a)September 23, 2007

My night blooming jasmine has bloomed for the first time, and I really do not like the fragrance at all. To me, it smells like artificial cherry air freshener that you hang from the rearview mirror of your car with a slight hint of urinal cake. I think I'm going to give it until the end of this blooming cycle to grow on me or it is outta here.

Anyone else find that this plant smells bad?

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I think I feel the same way. About 12 years ago, I had one and when I came home on the first blooming night, my whole apartment smelled like some sort of cleaning solution. I got rid of it.

Now, years later, I second guessed myself and bought one again. It's currently blooming, and this time, I'm not sure whether I like the smell. I think I only like some aspects of it. It only stinks up the bathroom because of how the air flows in here, so it's not overpowering the whole apt. like last time. I might let it live this time.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 11:02AM
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Glad to find others who don't think the fragrance is wonderful. My husband and I used to think it smelled of hominy grits and old lady bathpowder. But this year it bloomed right next to some ginger and they combined nicely.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 2:07PM
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Hey, I LOVE the smell of urinal cakes! Not that I know what they smell like because I'm a lady...

LOL! Thanks for the advice, they seem pretty gross smelling to me. ;)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 5:20PM
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Gentlemen in the know refer to them strictly as "hockey pucks." ;>)

Count me in the negative camp -- they can be nice when wafting from a distance, but up close or indoors, they're overpowering and a bit rank. I'm wondering how much variation there is in the species, and whether some plants "smell better" or it's just individual taste?


    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 8:54PM
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Mine are outside and I love them. Even outside they can get too strong smelling, though, and I usually have to move the pots a little bit away from the porch so that it isn't overwhelming. I don't blame any of you for hating the smell if the plant was inside with you, I can't even imagine how strong it must be.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 9:25PM
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Glad I'm not the only one.

After three nights, I'm still not sure whether this plant's a keeper or not. I think the night air is too chilly now to get much waft, so you have to get right up to the plant to smell it-- maybe that's part of the problem. I have noticed that it smells better to me early in the morning than it does in the evening.

Maybe I'll just keep all the buds cut off while I'm wintering it over in the house and move the pot somewhere away from the house next summer and see how that goes.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 7:44AM
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A friend was over tonight and said it smelled like Sani-Flush. Whoever coined the term Night Scented Jasmine for it must have been insane. Or maybe it just smells good to some people and terrible for others. I'm going to give mine away, and free up the window space for a different plant with a better fragrance.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 11:09PM
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Mine reached 6' tall this year and finally had thousands of buds. I waited in anticipation for a week and then they finally bloomed. I went to work that day barely able to wait until the late evening to enjoy the scent. At 9:30 after the kids were in bed I got my tea and went out to the front porch to enjoy the waft I have heard so much about. I opened the door and took a deep breath and almost screamed out loud when the stench of a skunk that have just sprayed my front yard hit my olfactory system. I almost cried.

However; the skunk smell was gone the next day and I did finally enjoy a week of Cestrum paradise. I do have some comments that may help others in their love/hate on Cestrum:
- In North Vancouver we suffer from relatively cool summers and normal humidity, this results (in my garden) in Cestrum being a mild but pervasive pleasant background scent that fills the neighborhood. It is most enjoyable, but not overpowering at all (my wife is hypersensitive to scent and she gave it a clean bill of health which is highly unusual for her and any smell).
- I agree with all of you that up close the smell is not pleasant - I don't like it.
- The plants are over wintering now in my house in the workshop with a 1000W grow light system (along with my plumerias, some lemons, some hedychiums, gardenias, Ugnis, etc.) and the light stays on during the night so that they only give off odor during the day when we are not home. The scent can be detected in a few rooms and it is very light and pleasant.
- I suspect that regions with higher temperatures and humidity would have more powerful wafts and those may not be pleasant.

That's my take on them.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 11:20PM
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Mine are outside and I like the smell but I couldn't imagine having it inside. It would be overpowering. I think it smells like a mix of juicyfruit gum and cheap perfume. lol

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 8:43AM
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i have to agree - i don't like the smell either. when mine died, i was quite relieved. i don't like the smell of hoya either but it doesn't bother me as much as the night jasmine. i still have the hoya and it blooms continuously all summer. I guess that is why i keep it.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 4:52PM
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I have had mine for over 10 years and I LOVE the scent!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 11:57PM
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jeelli(5/6 CT)

My Cestrum Nocturnum smells very sweet- like candy or sugar. It's indoors on my dining room table under a grow light, and it just finished a blooming cycle. Our whole downstairs would smell like the Cestrum once it was dark for a bit.
I think even Gardenias, Jasmine, and citrus are kind of sickeningly sweet, but I like them anyway.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 2:09PM
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Anyone know what is the cause of no fragrance at all

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 2:14PM
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I saw this discussion was going on, I meant to walk to my neighbor's front door to smell her Cestrum Nocturnum that she has for over 17 years. She always told me when the night falls, she would standard next to the plant to inhale the fragrant. Last night, I finally went over there and smelled the intoxicating fragran... I love it!. It smells sweet sugar+ hint of spice, liliac spice maybe + other can't-name fragrant. I can't get enough of it and can't wait for mine to bloom.

wwww.... Sorry, can't count how many "w" you have. Are you sure yours is the same variety?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:00AM
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Are you sure it isn't a cestrum diurnum, they look fairly similar but the diurnum doesn't smell much at all.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 2:54PM
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A captivating blend of artificial cherry air freshener with urinal cake. Sadly, this is absolutely true!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 9:56PM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)


This totally made me laugh! I can definitely see how this plant is not for everyone and not for sniffing up close. Much better wafting in the breeze. ;)
The first time I sniffed it medicinal cleaner came to mind. The scent is not like any other flower I've sniffed.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 10:02PM
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Well, I have a baby one on my window sill and I'm waiting to see if it'll bloom this season. Yes, inside - after the mixed reviews here - I do wonder if it'll be a positive or negative event, and how my cats will 'take' it. :D

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 9:07AM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Ha! Let's hope your cats don't spray it! Laugh.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 9:30AM
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Well, my cats are more well behaved than that! :) they have pretentions of grandeur (being cats which are a much higher 'class' than dogs). My cats are princesses, and my sole boy is king. There ya have it... quite spoiled and they know it. They rule the house, and I just give them what they want, when they want it.

But, yes, If said plant is especially odorous - I sure do hope that they can handle it. :)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 9:48AM
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