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.