Integra: Erin’s asleep again, so I’ll be handling the strip today. The question: “Is it only garlic flowers that can repel vampires?”
In Dracula, Van Helsing gives a wreath of flowers to Lucy, whom he suspects is the victim of a vampire. Lucy protests: “Why, these flowers are only common garlic.” Van Helsing insists that there is “virtue” in the flowers. He also rubs flowers on the windows.
But it isn’t about the blossoms; it’s “to ensure that every whiff of air that might get in would be laden with the garlic smell.” Over and over, the scent is emphasized.
When the Professor makes specific statements, he says that “garlic” — not “garlic flowers” — is something “which the UnDead cannot bear.” “Garlic” is one of those “things which so affect [the vampire] that he has no power.”
One last detail: During the pursuit of Dracula, the protagonists stay briefly at the house of a superstitious woman who realizes that Mina is under a vampire’s influence. Mina records in her journal: “I believe they went to the trouble of putting an extra amount of garlic in our food, and I can’t abide garlic.” Even the seasoning has power.
So why did Van Helsing only give Lucy the flowers? Because Lucy was an airhead who liked flowers, that’s why.