Roses forum→Fragrance: Can you smell the roses?

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Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Peonies Region: Pennsylvania Growing under artificial light Foliage Fan Bookworm Annuals
Roses Hostas Xeriscape Daylilies Aroids Region: Mid-Atlantic
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csandt
Jun 27, 2016 8:53 AM CST
I recently discovered that two of the four rose cultivars that I recently chose and planted for their strong fragrance are not at all fragrant to me! To be specific, Beverly and Savannah seem wonderfully fragrant to me; however, I cannot detect any fragrance at all in Wedding Bells; and Dark Desire seems only slightly fragrant (and not very pleasant) to me.

Beverly:



Savannah:


Wedding Bells:


Dark Desire:

Thumb of 2016-06-27/csandt/1f47ce

The phenomenon of individual differences in the perception of fragrance in roses is new to me. So I recently visited the Historic Rose Garden at Hershey Gardens in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on a mini-research mission to smell the roses there.

Here are some cultivars that seemed pleasingly fragrant to me:

Sunsprite:



Eternal Flame:





Good As Gold (wonderful lemon fragrance):



Elle:



Melody Parfumee (beyond peak; my apologies):

Thumb of 2016-06-27/csandt/4b458f

These cultivars were fragrant to me, but I did not find their fragrance to be very pleasant:

Dolly Parton:



Crimson Glory:



Chrysler Imperial:



Most of the other roses seemed to me to lack any fragrance at all.

Rose fragrance as perceived by different people has become an intriguing subject to me, and I would love to know about the insights and experiences of others on the topic of fragrance in roses.

I would also like to find a fragrant yellow rose that is healthy, strong and resistant to disease without chemical intervention. Any suggestions would be welcome.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jun 28, 2016 8:54 AM CST
I find the fragrance varies a lot due to temps at bloom time. Some that were richly fragrant in spring have little fragrance now that its hot. Dark Desire is new for me this year and was late to open its first blooms and didn't have much fragrance, but the potted Dark Desire I saw last spring had blooms that were nicely fragrant (and convinced me to order it this year).

Beverly is fragrant no matter when she blooms! Such a nice vigorous HT for me!
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Peonies Region: Pennsylvania Growing under artificial light Foliage Fan Bookworm Annuals
Roses Hostas Xeriscape Daylilies Aroids Region: Mid-Atlantic
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csandt
Jun 28, 2016 5:39 PM CST
gemini_sage said:I find the fragrance varies a lot due to temps at bloom time. Some that were richly fragrant in spring have little fragrance now that its hot. Dark Desire is new for me this year and was late to open its first blooms and didn't have much fragrance, but the potted Dark Desire I saw last spring had blooms that were nicely fragrant (and convinced me to order it this year).

Beverly is fragrant no matter when she blooms! Such a nice vigorous HT for me!


Neal,

Variation in fragrance with temperature is very helpful information.

Dark Desire was the latest of the four to open here too, and it was fairly hot when it did finally open.
Name: Christie
Central Ohio 43016 (Zone 6a)
Plays on the water.
Amaryllis Permaculture Sempervivums Roses Bookworm Annuals
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cwhitt
Jun 28, 2016 5:40 PM CST
My Radiant Perfume smells spectacular. I live and Ohio and it has done well in the 10 years I had had it. They only thing I have noticed, is that the Japanese Beatles seem to like it best of all my roses. I tip my hat to you.
Plant Dreams. Pull Weeds. Grow A Happy Life.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jun 28, 2016 5:47 PM CST
I've also noticed Japanese beetles prefer fragrant blooms.

CS, my Dark Desire has a couple of buds opening now and I made a point to check it for fragrance. This time, no scent whatsoever. It has been hot and humid here for a few weeks.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Peonies Region: Pennsylvania Growing under artificial light Foliage Fan Bookworm Annuals
Roses Hostas Xeriscape Daylilies Aroids Region: Mid-Atlantic
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csandt
Jun 29, 2016 5:52 AM CST
cwhitt said:My Radiant Perfume smells spectacular. I live and Ohio and it has done well in the 10 years I had had it. They only thing I have noticed, is that the Japanese Beatles seem to like it best of all my roses. I tip my hat to you.


CWHITT,

Thank you for sharing your experience with Radient Perfume (RP). It looks beautiful based on a Google search. That same search showed that some other growers have experienced fewer than the expected number of blooms with RP, so perhaps you have a particularly successful approach to growing it. Would you be willing to share your secrets of success? I am new at growing roses other than Knockout roses, so I am expecting some challenges, but prefer not to use pesticides. Thank you.
Name: Missy
SC (Zone 8a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: South Carolina Plant and/or Seed Trader
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Zazinnia
Jun 29, 2016 1:39 PM CST
For me, Julia Childs is a good yellow, fragrant, hardy rose. I find the scent strongest in the afternoon when the sun is hitting it.
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and the story never ends." Lyrics by Bill and Gloria Gaither

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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Plant Database Moderator Region: California Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Roses Clematis
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Calif_Sue
Jun 29, 2016 6:51 PM CST

Moderator

That was my first thought too, Julia Child.



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Name: Christie
Central Ohio 43016 (Zone 6a)
Plays on the water.
Amaryllis Permaculture Sempervivums Roses Bookworm Annuals
Composter Hybridizer Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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cwhitt
Jun 30, 2016 8:50 AM CST
csandt said:

CWHITT,

Thank you for sharing your experience with Radient Perfume (RP). It looks beautiful based on a Google search. That same search showed that some other growers have experienced fewer than the expected number of blooms with RP, so perhaps you have a particularly successful approach to growing it. Would you be willing to share your secrets of success? I am new at growing roses other than Knockout roses, so I am expecting some challenges, but prefer not to use pesticides. Thank you.


@csandt - I do spread my coffee grounds, banana peels, and egg shells around the base of my roses. The banana peels I try to cover with a little soil though, so the pests wont attack. I seem to get plenty of roses. I tip my hat to you.
Plant Dreams. Pull Weeds. Grow A Happy Life.
Name: Pauline
Vancouver Island, Canada (Zone 8b)
PaulineB
Aug 28, 2019 5:14 PM CST
Can somebody help me. I would love to jump in on this topic. Signed up to this site very recently, but could not find instructions to get started, I do not think I have an ID or anything. I belonged to the Rose board of GardenWeb a long time ago and would now like to have somewhere to go again to hang around with rose buds of like interests. I just recognized California Sue from the older days. I am Pauline from Vancouver Island. ...and keeping on topic here, I am stumped over a fragrance issue and am hoping to get started and discuss it with my rose counterparts. Hoping you can help me or steer me to instructions where I can sign in to this rose board. I am really looking forward to it.
Pauline
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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porkpal
Aug 28, 2019 5:38 PM CST
Welcome Pauline! You seem to be here already. Click on the little blue person - upper right - and fill in the blanks. Glad to have you join us!
Porkpal
Coastal Southern California (Zone 13a)
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jerijen
Aug 28, 2019 8:13 PM CST
The sense of smell is very personal -- and affected by many things. Not just environmental, but personal. Years of allergies have robbed me of a lot of my sense of smell, and I can't smell much in the way of damask fragrances. But Wichurana's "green apple" fragrance comes through clearly, as does any variant of Musk.
Name: Pauline
Vancouver Island, Canada (Zone 8b)
PaulineB
Aug 28, 2019 10:02 PM CST
porkpal said:Welcome Pauline! You seem to be here already. Click on the little blue person - upper right - and fill in the blanks. Glad to have you join us!

Thank you Porkpal, that was just too easy!! I am looking forward to participating here. Having recently moved to a home with a much smaller garden, read "Sow's Ear-on-a-Postage Stamp", I have managed to transform it into the silk purse I had hoped. But can only squeeze in a fraction of the roses I had in my last garden, so have tried to pick some of my old favourites. Some I was able to bring with me, but most were ordered and delivered this Spring, which brings me to the original post here of Carol's. I am in a very similar situation and am baffled and very disappointed as I am sure Carol was. I ordered 1 doz in all and the first issue was with Pink Peace. Correct bush form long with straight canes, right colour, blooms semi double, but thought that could be because it was a baby, but absolutely no fragrance, which of course it is noted for. I began to think that the rose was right, but there was something wrong with it. Was so baffled, I thought of getting in touch with a rosarian at Canadian rose society, telling my story. Nobody got back to me, so then went to the American Rose Society and I did hear back, but the gent was not familiar with this rose, and suggested it to be mislabeled. I just thought there could be a scientific reason why this had no scent. Anyway, believing it as a mislabeled rose now, reported, and the suppliers will replace it. Then after waiting with bated breath for my new Chrysler Imperial to open up, I was even more disappointed to find that it had no fragrance either, the scent test was put to others and they agreed with me, virtually none. Anybody know why??? I was beginning to feel I had lost my own sense of smell, but it failed the test with other people even though they could smell strong fragrance on some of my other roses and moderate on ones to be moderate. I have performed the nose test throughout the day and at different temps. Blue moon also has no fragrance and Double Delight just never made it, so am missing a ton load of fragrance here. Fortunately my Austins are filling in the void, But would love to hear if anyone here has any answers. I honestly do not want Chrysler without perfume or Blue Moon too (Blooms very poor on that, semi double). What is happening in the rose world.
Sorry this is long, hope I get some answers. Pauline
Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Peonies Region: Pennsylvania Growing under artificial light Foliage Fan Bookworm Annuals
Roses Hostas Xeriscape Daylilies Aroids Region: Mid-Atlantic
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csandt
Aug 29, 2019 6:08 AM CST
PaulineB said:
Then after waiting with bated breath for my new Chrysler Imperial to open up, I was even more disappointed to find that it had no fragrance either, the scent test was put to others and they agreed with me, virtually none. Anybody know why??? I was beginning to feel I had lost my own sense of smell, but it failed the test with other people even though they could smell strong fragrance on some of my other roses and moderate on ones to be moderate. I have performed the nose test throughout the day and at different temps. Blue moon also has no fragrance and Double Delight just never made it, so am missing a ton load of fragrance here. Fortunately my Austins are filling in the void, But would love to hear if anyone here has any answers. I honestly do not want Chrysler without perfume


I noticed that the fragrance of some roses (e.g., Sunshine Daydream) varies seasonally. I also found that fragrance sometimes increases with age of the plant (e.g., Dark Desire). Sunshine Daydream is registered as having no fragrance, but it has a wonderful lemon fragrance in September, according to my nose that the noses of others. Dark Desire is supposed to have a very strong fragrance, but it was undetectable to me and others until the second of third season in my garden.
Name: Pauline
Vancouver Island, Canada (Zone 8b)
PaulineB
Aug 29, 2019 8:24 AM CST
Thanks Carol. I will see how Chrysler fares with first flush of next Spring ...and Blue Moon too. Also, I should have a new Pink Peace planted by then and hope to post some glowing results at that time.
Pauline
Name: Carol
Alberta, Canada (Zone 3b)
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Canadian_Rose
Aug 29, 2019 10:27 AM CST
Hi Pauline Group hug Welcome!! Lovey dubby
I have found that some roses (many for me...maybe it's because it's cool here?) take 2 or 3 years for fragrance to come in. In fact, this is the first year for Grand Dame to have fragrance...and I've had it for 4 years!...but I do grow my roses in pots...so that could be it too. So, yes, definitely give them another year at least. Green Grin!
Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Roses Garden Photography Region: Michigan
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seilMI
Aug 29, 2019 11:39 AM CST
I don't have a very keen sense of smell. And I can't distinguish what the smells are. I wouldn't know the difference between all the scents. All I can tell is either it smells good to me or not. It's the same as wines for me. I never taste any hints of this or that in a wine. Either it tastes good to me or it doesn't. That's all.

I can tell you that a few of my favorite rose fragrances are Reine des Violets, Golden Celebration and Double Delight. Those have fragrances that stand out in my memory as being beautiful. A lot of the HTs that people say are very fragrant I don't recall having much if any fragrance and I can't think of any minis that I can smell.
SW Ohio River Valley (Zone 6b)
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vaporvac
Aug 29, 2019 3:41 PM CST
Seil, you make me anxious for my RdV to grow up already and bloom!
Name: Pauline
Vancouver Island, Canada (Zone 8b)
PaulineB
Aug 30, 2019 8:48 AM CST
Canadian_Rose said:Hi Pauline Group hug Welcome!! Lovey dubby
I have found that some roses (many for me...maybe it's because it's cool here?) take 2 or 3 years for fragrance to come in. In fact, this is the first year for Grand Dame to have fragrance...and I've had it for 4 years!...but I do grow my roses in pots...so that could be it too. So, yes, definitely give them another year at least. Green Grin!

Yo! Carol Hurray! Thanks for the welcome and your thoughts on fragrance which will help my patience until next Spring. So glad to be with a Rose group again after all these years. Is there a place on the Rose forum I can introduce myself, or what I have posted here maybe enough? I have done a bit of reading through the Rose forum now and coming up with some more familiar names. I think you may remember me, I hope so! I remember your big dramatic move to Calgary! Sounds like you are well settled in now and growing roses like a determined Calgarian, well done.
...and back on the fragrance topic, you mentioned you have Barbara Streisand. I tried to get it last year but got a mislabeled Neptune instead. Would you recommend it, Do blooms keep shape and form or do they blow easily? Much appreciated. Pauline
Name: Pauline
Vancouver Island, Canada (Zone 8b)
PaulineB
Aug 30, 2019 9:04 AM CST
Seil, Thanks. At least I can still smell my Golden Celebration along with Jude and a few others so I do not think I am the problem Smiling But there is something about the fragrance of Chrysler Imperial that I yearn to have again. Nice seeing you here too! Pauline Smiling

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