Fragrance contributes much to the enjoyment of roses. It is also one of the most subjective of topics when discussing roses.

Fragrance or perceived fragrance depends upon many factors: variety of rose, time of day, weather, growing conditions, the person smelling the rose, living flower vs. cut flower, etc. Each person’s sense of smell is different.

A rose that is very fragrant to someone, may be not at all fragrant to someone else. Roses are most fragrant around mid‑morning on a warm day with no wind and moderate or high humidity. Their can dozens of components in the fragrance of a rose, but rose scents are usually categorized with such descriptions as “spicey”, “tea”, “old rose”, or “fruity”.

Here is a list of some very fragrant roses as recommended by posts to the newsgroup rec.gardens.roses.

  • HT: Double Delight (mentioned most often), spicey, red‑white bicolor
  • HT: Fragrant Cloud, reddish‑orange
  • HT: Mr. Lincoln, dark red
  • HT: Crimson Glory, red
  • HT: Chrysler Imperial, red
  • HT: Papa Meilland, dark red
  • HT: Perfume Delight, pink
  • HT: Secret
  • ER: Gertrude Jekyll, pink
  • ER: Othello, dark red
  • Alba: Felicite Parmentier, once‑blooming
  • Damask: Mme. Hardy, white, once‑blooming
  • Tea: Sombreuil, cream‑white
  • Bourbon: Souvenir de la Malmasion
  • HP: Souvenir du Dr Jamain

Many of the David Austin roses are fragrant. So are many of the Old Roses, such as the Damasks.