In the fifteenth century the nosegay (an appeal to the nose), flowers or herbs tied together with a sweet_smelling fragrance was worn around the neck for a satisfactory smell, and to mask foul odors. Proper women of the Victorian Era society carried these bouquets at most social gatherings and Judges would often carry them into their court room and wear around their neck to ward off the unpleasant smell of the streets.
Western style arrangements typically consist of a free form assemblage of flowers in a container. In contrast, Ikebana is more of a disciplined form of art, governed by well_defined rules, principles and techniques. For example, certain precepts regulate elements like the light and the shadows. There is also what is known as the three points of balance _ shin_fuku_tai in Japanese _ which symbolize man, heaven and earth, respectively, and that have to be in harmonious equilibrium in order to give true life to an Ikebana flower arrangement. This and the fact that stems and branches are used in addition to flowers, are perhaps the most obvious differences with western_style flower arrangement.