Roses forum: Rose Scents--what is your favorite rose scent and your least favorite?

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Zone 9, Sunset Zone 9 (Zone 9b)
Roses
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Mustbnuts
Mar 3, 2019 8:18 PM CST
What is your most favorite rose scent and what is your least favorite rose scent?

For me, I tend to lean towards the citrus (lemony) scented one (although I have none of those in my yard). My favorite scented rose in my yard would have to be, hands down, Brother Cadfael. I just love the scent on that rose. Hard to describe what it smells like. The literature states is has an old rose fragrance. All I know is it can bring women to tears and make men swoon. It is delicious!

Least favorite scent for me is myrrh. Now, that being said, Mary Magdalene has a myrrh scent to her and I really like it. It is sweeter and softer than the myrrh scent on Ambridge rose (which I didn't like).

I also liked the scent on Evelyn and Sharifa Asma. Both had beautiful fragrances.

So folks, what are yours?
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses Clematis Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages Forum moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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zuzu
Mar 3, 2019 9:29 PM CST

Moderator

I like the raspberry fragrance of Madame Isaac Pereire and Zephirine Drouhin. First Kiss, though, has the best fragrance in my garden. It isn't too strong, but it does waft out at you as you walk by the rose bush. The climbing variety of Cecile Brunner also has a nice fragrance that wafts out as I walk under the arbor. I prefer fragrance that comes to me. I have so many bees in my garden that I've learned not to plunge my nose into a bloom.

I dislike any fragrance that brings back childhood memories of Pond's Cold Cream.
Name: Lola
Tasmania
Keeps Sheep Roses Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Birds Farmer
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LolaTasmania
Mar 3, 2019 11:06 PM CST
When I recently visited the National Rose Garden I took a good sniff of everything there and I think Jude the Obscure was the best. It was a refreshing perfume rather than cloying. At home I think Windermere is my favourite for perfume but I have ordered Jude this year so perhaps by December I can compare them.
Name: Carol
Alberta, Canada (Zone 3b)
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Canadian_Rose
Mar 4, 2019 1:42 AM CST
Oh, hands down...raspberry scented. I'm getting rid of The Alnwick Rose this year...but once when I smelled it...I smelled strong raspberries. Oh, swoon!!! After that ... no smell.

I've never smelled a lemon scented rose. But I'm getting one this year that's supposed to have a strong lemon scent.

Damask is a fabulous fragrance!!

I once had Distant Drums...but I had to dig it up, because the scent wafted around the whole yard, and I hated the smell (it was awful)...so I guess that's myrrh. But, like you, I've smelled myrrh based fragrances that have been lovely.

Carol
Zone 9, Sunset Zone 9 (Zone 9b)
Roses
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Mustbnuts
Mar 4, 2019 4:47 AM CST
Isn't that weird? Carol, I could not smell anything on my Alnwick at all. I thought once that I smelled raspberry at the tail end of a whiff but wasn't really sure. So, I wonder what a rose with raspberry scent smells like? I don't have any, of which I am aware, in my garden. I think my "new" old roses I purchased have a damask scent, so I hope I will like them. I also hope I will be able to smell them. Some folks state they can smell the roses in my garden and I can't smell a thing.

Zuzu, I am going to have to look up Madame Isaac Pereire and I didn't know that ZD had a raspberry scent. Pond's Cold Cream--do you think they put that on the advertisement that this is what the rose smells like? Do they even still sell that stuff? It has been a very long time since I smelled that.

Lola, I hope Jude is just a wonderful rose for you. I don't recall much, if any scent on him when I had him. Looking forward to your reports in the future.
Name: Mike
Long Beach, Ca.
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Roses Region: California Hummingbirder Farmer
Daylilies Cat Lover Bulbs Butterflies Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
Calsurf73
Mar 4, 2019 9:04 AM CST
For me it's a toss up between Chrysler Imperial and Julia Child.

KSPNW8
Mar 4, 2019 2:58 PM CST
For me Sonia Rykiel has an amazing, raspberry-laced scent. I adore that rose! Jude the Obscure is excellent for a fruity rose scent, but I also love the slightly citrusy scent of Abraham Darby. I think Sharifa Asma smells of lychee. Hybrid musk Felicia has a sugary, rose water scent to me (like rose candy). Gertrude Jekyll is such an intense old rose (I guess Damask? I've not yet grown a Damask rose so I can't say for sure) scent. Those are my current favorite rose scents, with honorable mentions to Munstead Wood, Souvenir de Saint Anne's, and Marie Pavie. Like Mustbnuts, I hate the "myrrh" fragrance. To me it smells of formaldehyde, not licorice (which some other people compare it to).
Name: Carol
Alberta, Canada (Zone 3b)
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Canadian_Rose
Mar 4, 2019 5:50 PM CST
KSPNW - Oh wow!! I'd love to be ablve to smell Sonia Sykiel!! Swoon!!! Lovey dubby

Mustbnuts - It's not surprising to me that you couldn't smell much on The Alnwick Rose...I never smelled much of anything except for the first time. What a shame that you can't smell Jude the Obscure. I had it for one season...but it withered away...but the fragrance was the best I've ever smelled!!

Mike - I really like the fragrance of Julia Child too! You'd probably really like White Licorice too...fabulous rose! What do you think of Chrysler Imperial as a flowering shrub? Lots of flowers??

I love the smell of Acapella. I've had it for about 3 years...so far not the best rose bush...but I keep it for the fragrance...banana candy!!

Carol
Name: Mike
Long Beach, Ca.
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Roses Region: California Hummingbirder Farmer
Daylilies Cat Lover Bulbs Butterflies Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
Calsurf73
Mar 4, 2019 7:42 PM CST
@Carol: I have White Licorice and yes, it's smells great !
Chrysler Imperial hates my climate and was always covered in Mildew, so out it went. We had a huge one when I was growing up which thrived on neglect but smelled amazing.


Sheila's Perfume is also very potent !
Name: Carol
Alberta, Canada (Zone 3b)
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Canadian_Rose
Mar 5, 2019 12:02 AM CST
Mike - yes, I've been trying to get Sheila's Perfume from Hortico for a few years...last year they had a crop failure on that one. Ewww...I hate mildew...I have no patience with it...out goes the rose.

Carol
Name: Kris Legault
Southern Oregon (Zone 8a)
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Kristinelego
Mar 6, 2019 8:55 PM CST
Munstead has such an intoxicating fragrance and Memorial Day is wonderful. I don't think I have any that I dont like
You can't plant your new favorite rose if you are still watering your least favorite
Name: Carol
Alberta, Canada (Zone 3b)
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Canadian_Rose
Mar 7, 2019 12:31 AM CST
I've had Memorial Day for about 6 years in a pot (soil never changed either Whistling ) and it was so wonderful last summer. Soooo many blooms...and the fragrance! This rose is a winner!

Munstead Wood, for me, had been a total dud for 3 years. I wiiiiish I could grow it. The one or 2 blooms it had...had no scent at all. I wish we had smell-o-vision...then I could smell yours, Kris.
Name: Bonnie
Texas
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RosesnTx
Mar 7, 2019 7:13 AM CST
I love the smell of Souvenir da la Malmassion and Maggie, and if you touch them behind the bloom you have the smell
On your fingers too. I also love the smell of my pink Don Juan which smells better than red Don Juan in my option and my husband says it's what a rose is supposed to smell like lol. I also love the smell of Mrs. B R Cant, she has a lovely tea smell. My other favorite is Marie Pavi and Perle de Or, both waft for me and have a soft rosy smell. I am looking forward to Madame Isaac Pierre and Felicia blooming so I can get a good whiff of them this spring! And I'm terrible at describing smells lol
Long Island, New York, USA (Zone 7a)
Region: New York Roses
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Ray_Gun
Mar 7, 2019 8:30 AM CST
Mister Lincoln's heady damask fragrance is exceptional! It's also one of my first two rose varieties when I started my garden last year so not a ton of experience to speak from lol. I have a hard time imagining him being knocked from the top spot but we'll see if my opinion changes this season.
Name: Carol
Alberta, Canada (Zone 3b)
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Canadian_Rose
Mar 7, 2019 11:40 AM CST
Heady damask...what's not to love. Smiling
Zone 9, Sunset Zone 9 (Zone 9b)
Roses
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Mustbnuts
Mar 7, 2019 4:51 PM CST
I hope I will soon find out what's not to love with a damask scented rose. As far as I know, I have had none but now have with my new roses. I keep looking at them each day to see if they are growing. They are just starting to leaf out. Can't wait!
Name: Carol
Alberta, Canada (Zone 3b)
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Canadian_Rose
Mar 7, 2019 6:06 PM CST
Sweet!! Or rather...Damask!! Hilarious!

I can't remember which ones you're expecting that have damask fragrance...Yolande d'Aragon and Jaques Cartier ... like I'm getting?
[Last edited by Canadian_Rose - Mar 7, 2019 6:07 PM (+)]
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Zone 9, Sunset Zone 9 (Zone 9b)
Roses
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Mustbnuts
Mar 7, 2019 10:53 PM CST
Carol, all three of the roses I ordered are supposed to have a strong Damask scent. Yolande, Marchesa and Portland from Glendora.
SW Ohio River Valley (Zone 6b)
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vaporvac
Mar 7, 2019 11:45 PM CST
Sugar Moon!
Name: Carol
Alberta, Canada (Zone 3b)
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Canadian_Rose
Mar 8, 2019 2:03 AM CST
Mustbnuts - I've never heard of Portland from Glendora. I looked it up on hmf...it looks glorious!!! Wowza!!

Vaporvac - I had Sugar Moon barereoot last summer....it only had 2 blooms, and there was no fragrance. I was so disappointed. I'm hoping for much, much better from it this year. What does it smell like?

Carol

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