Roses forum→Most fragrant rose

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Name: Rosemary
Sacramento, CA (Zone 9b)
May 26, 2019 2:57 PM CST
Just wondering what one rose stands out to you above all others among the roses you have ever smelled. For me it is Souvenir de la Malmaison, although I do not have this rose yet. Of all the roses in the old Historic Rose Garden Cemetery in Sacramento, it took 1st place according to my nose. Not all the roses were in bloom yet when I came across this one, but for me it stood out among all the ones that were in bloom end of April, beginning of May, and surpassed any in my garden (mostly HT's, but a few OGR's which I grow for their fragrance.

May 26, 2019 3:25 PM CST
My favorites for scent among the roses I grow are currently Gertrude Jekyll, Abraham Darby, and Sonia Rykiel. I'm hoping to get more space and be able to add more once-blooming old roses to my collection, and I expect that my favorites may change at that point.
Name: Lola
Keeps Sheep Roses Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Birds Farmer
May 26, 2019 3:32 PM CST
My hayfever has nearly obliterated my sense of smell so there are some roses that I can't detect a scent from at all. The one rose in my garden that always makes me think, "I could run naked through a field of that perfume", is Windermere. There is no part of the scent from the top to the base notes that is not sensuously divine.
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin (Zone 8a)
Roses Dahlias Irises Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
May 26, 2019 5:43 PM CST
I holding myself but...there are quite a few that really are outstanding to me in my yard:
William Shakespeare 2000
Summer Song
Abraham Darby
Geof Hamilton
William Morris
Mary Rose
Sceptered' Isle
Graham Thomas
The Prince

Mme Isaac Pereire
Rose du Rescht
Marchesa Boccella
La Reine
Comte de Chambord
Mrs Benjamin R.Cant
Nuits d'Young
Souvenir de la Malmaison

Souvenir de Philemon Cochet
Maria Rosario
Rosa rugosa scabrosa
Therese Bugnet
Frederic Mistral
Caprice de Meilland
Senator Burda
Eté Parfumé
Reine France
Anne Marie Trechslin
Malicorne = Beverly Hills
White Christmas
Marcel Pagnol
Just Joey
Old Time
Rosemary Harkness
Elizabeth de Glamis
Fellowship= Livin' Easy
Louisa Stone
Abbaye de Cluny
Margaret Merril
Pat James
Don Juan
Bettina ( climbing)
Polka ( climbing)
Crimson Glory ( climbing)
Gloire de France
Souvenir de Mme Leonie Viennot

These listed are all very young bushes. So as they mature they will probably become much more fragrant. My rose garden in within the first five years of getting herself settled in... Sighing! Crossing Fingers! Whistling


Name: Rosemary
Sacramento, CA (Zone 9b)
May 26, 2019 11:38 PM CST
Wow, that's quite a list, Arturo! I would love to see your garden and experience their fragrances! I have Abraham Darby which is a favorite. It is my only David Austin.

Lola, Windemere, sounds amazing. I'm going to seriously consider adding it next year!

KSPNW8, I've always heard Gertrude Jeckyll is at the top of the list of DA roses for fragrance.

I think taking time to smell the roses is therapeutic in more ways than one, being the best form of aromatherapy!
Name: Carol
Alberta, Canada (Zone 3b)
May 27, 2019 12:29 AM CST
I love this thread!!!

Lola - I love your sense of humor!!! Windemere sounds amazing!!!

For me it was Jude the Obscure...which I don't grow...but did smell. Oh my heavens!!!

I also love the smell of Acapella...which just won't grow for me very well....but I keep it because the blooms smell like banana candy!!!
Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
Charter ATP Member Bulbs Bookworm Amaryllis Houseplants Annuals
Garden Photography Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Foliage Fan Bee Lover Region: United Kingdom I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
May 27, 2019 1:11 AM CST
I agree about Gertrude Jekyll, for me the absolute tops for pure strong "old rose" scent.
Name: Merlena
Oklahoma (Zone 6b)
May 27, 2019 7:03 AM CST
Many of my roses are fragrant at times, but not necessarily consistently.
The ones that are:

Francis Meilland
La France
Pink Peace
Mme Ernest Calvat
Kathleen Harrop
Memorial Day
Chrysler Imperial
Melodee Parfumme
Grande Dame
Royal Amethyst
Forgotten Dreams
Neil Diamond

I planted a few this season that I hope prove to be very fragrant!
[Last edited by MGKing - May 27, 2019 7:06 AM (+)]
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Zone 9, Sunset Zone 9 (Zone 9b)
May 27, 2019 7:37 AM CST
I would have to say my best smelling rose (so far) is Brother Cadfael. His scent is enough to make you swoon!

I have three more "good smellers" but they are less than a year old, so the jury is still out on them--Yolande, Marchesa Boccella, and Portland from Glendora .

Other roses that have a nice scent to them are Mary Magdalene, Princess Alexandra of Kent, Jubilee Celebration, Sharifa Asma, Pretty Jessica and Bunch of Grapes aka Vineyard Song.
SW Ohio River Valley (Zone 6b)
May 27, 2019 11:51 AM CST
For me, La France, Sugar Moon, Bolero, Scepter'd Isle, Nahema, Summer Romance, Cl. Crimson Glory, Barcelona. In regional gardens, Memorial day, White Licorice. I generally only buy fragrant roses so these are the best for consistency, bud to bloom, dry heat and humidity.
[Last edited by vaporvac - May 27, 2019 11:53 AM (+)]
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Name: Rosemary
Sacramento, CA (Zone 9b)
May 27, 2019 12:26 PM CST
Carol, I've read Jude Obscure is tops. Hmm, banana candy from Acapella. That definitely sounds exotic! I don't know if that appeals to me, though, since bananas are one of my least favorite fruits, but maybe the fragrance is better coming from a rose!

Mustbnuts, Brother Cadfael is also DA, correct? I used to think all DA's were fragrant, but Princess Anne which I also have besides Abraham Darby (of the DA's) doesn't have much of a scent for me. Thank you for your other suggestions.

Merlena, I have Tiffany, Pink Peace, Chrysler Imperial (and agree they are nicely fragrant) and new this year, Francis Meilland and Sunsprite. Sunsprite has no fragrance for me so far with the first bloom, and I just donated it to family needing some roses since I hadn't decided on a spot for it. I've read it's in the top ten fragrances for modern roses, though.

Arturo, of your roses listed, besides Abraham Darby, I only have Rose de Rescht of the OGR, Therese Bugnet of the Rugosas (new this year), Just Joey (new this year and hasn't bloomed yet), and climber Don Juan (new this year). But I have others that are pleasing fragrant, mostly classic HT's that are no longer under patent.

Name: Rosemary
Sacramento, CA (Zone 9b)
May 27, 2019 12:30 PM CST
vaporvac, I agree Sugar Moon is very fragrant! I noted that one recently when I visited one of our city rose gardens. I'll have to keep my eyes open for the others ones.
Name: Carol
Alberta, Canada (Zone 3b)
May 27, 2019 1:30 PM CST
I'm loving this!! Lovey dubby
PNW (Zone 8b)
May 27, 2019 4:40 PM CST
So far my most fragrant roses are Bolero, Ispahan, Hansa, Aloha, and an unknown HT which I think it may be Crimson Glory. Midnight Blue smells good, but I can only detect its wonderful fragrance in the first day it blooms. I'm expecting Sharifa Asma, Whisky Mac, Heirloom, Secret, and Princess Alexandra of Kent. They all have a few buds now.

All of my roses are in their first year and stay in the pots. I hope they can do better as older.
[Last edited by Aerith - May 27, 2019 4:42 PM (+)]
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Name: Lynnez
N. California (Zone 9b)
May 27, 2019 7:54 PM CST
Lola, you are so funny Smiling Smiling Smiling
I think the rose I asked to identify and you said could be Windermere is actually it. It has amazing fragrance and made me running back to smell it multiple times!!!
So my top choice is Windermere! Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Lola
Keeps Sheep Roses Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Birds Farmer
May 27, 2019 8:16 PM CST
Lynnez, I have 4 Windermeres dotted around the place so when I am on my sunset wander around the garden admiring and sniffing I can get a hit of that fragrance after a couple of not so lovely scented roses. Ambridge is not a lovely smelling rose but Windermere is right next to it so I go from "meh" to "ohhh yeah" within 5 feet.
Name: Lynnez
N. California (Zone 9b)
May 27, 2019 9:32 PM CST
Lola, you are right about Ambridge, heard a lot of complains about it.
Envy you!!!
I will get a Windermere for sure.
Long Island, New York, USA (Zone 7a)
Region: New York Roses
May 28, 2019 9:36 AM CST
Well unfortunately I don't have many just yet but definitely Mister Lincoln Lovey dubby

Earth Angel is supposed to be really nice so we'll see once it blooms.
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin (Zone 8a)
Roses Dahlias Irises Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
May 28, 2019 6:30 PM CST
Yesterday I went back to my almost dormant rose garden and started recognizing a few more that I would add to my initial listing i.e: Mildred Scheel, Eroika, Le rouge et le Noire, Blue Perfume. Actually I'm following some ancestral mandate around fragrance in roses. They "have" to be fragrant if deemed being called a rose. This is from the female side of the family (late wife, mother, aunts, grandma ). Since my rose garden is a memorial garden for all of them , if given the possibility I search for fragrance. D.A's are a very interesting lot and most of them are quite fragrant although not necessarily strong. I have a wimpy Gertrude Jekyll that hopefully will overcome its linguine sized twigs and grow fat canes. Perhaps then it will be included in my above listing.
I've recently read ( in HMF) that fragrance is associated with soil fertility specifically around above ph7 manures. Apparently the higher ph draws sweetness while acidity draws old rose fragrance. Having both types of manures will allow me to assess this further these coming seasons.- I'll report back when I have direct personal data.
Name: Carol
Alberta, Canada (Zone 3b)
May 28, 2019 7:10 PM CST
Arturo - that's interesting about the fragrances...we're planting roses this year with manure/fishy soil along with the regular coir/peat moss. Last year I tried using the 5:1:1 method...and I don't think it was as good as adding manure, etc with the peat moss/coir. So I'll see how it goes...I'll have sweetness and acidity in the pots. I agree...I have to have fragrance in my roses, especially since they're all at nose level being in pots. If I had to kneel down to smell a rose, I wouldn't care. I love the idea of a memorial garden. What a great way of honoring your loved ones.

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