The fragrance, which emerged about three days after the flower was fully open, has now changed, at day 12, from the light, clean scent of those cute little erasers from your childhood that had a bit of a scent to them to a more traditional "flower" scent that's just a teensy bit cloying, and a little more like lilies (although not that strong, thankfully. My husband's very sensitive to "stinky flowers" like Easter lilies and paperwhites and lilacs, but the orchid hasn't bothered him at all.)
But, gosh. Oh. my. gosh. Look at it.
How is such a flower even possible? I'm in awe. It's huge, too. As big as my hand, top to bottom. Amazing.
I know that cattleya flowers do not last as long as phalaenopsis, and this has been open an astonishing 12 days so far, so I suspect the change in the fragrance may be a sign that the flower is starting to decline. It's hard to tell by the stunning photos I was able to take today, but the color is just a hair faded over what it was yesterday; another sign. There is another flower sheath on the plant, but I have not seen the bud inside (when you hold it up to strong light, as if it were an egg you were candling) change much in the last few days, so I'm preparing myself for the fact that that second flower may crash and burn.
If so, I will live. I had this one to enjoy, I got many good photos of it, and six (!) of my seven phalaenopsis orchids are putting out flower spikes, including both (!!) my miniatures (Pictures of those at the bottom of this post) and Pirate Picotee, so there is more to come.