What roses scents take your breath away ?

Lilyfinch z7 mid tnJune 5, 2014

Just in case my climbing SDLM never stops balling , are there other roses that are just as lovely scented? It might be the best smelling rose I've had yet. I do love my darlows enigma fragrance too. ( still waiting for it to bloom , but had one before) .
Please give me some ideas ! :) I had a lovely cl SDLM in pa and it did ball too but seemed to kinda outgrow it. I love how vigorous it is and the way the buds stand up straight. I just wish It could be counted on in a prominent place.
Shrub forms as well as climbing roses are welcome ! Also if they need spraying , let me know . I'm sure this can help more gardeners that have a variety of care taking styles . I would love some more roses that waft and smell amazing. I know humidity helps with that and we have plenty here in tennesee ! :) feel free to entice us with pictures too !

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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

You should try the single-flowered form of 'R. moschata'. In full bloom during late Summer, it will fill the air with the scent of cloves.



    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 11:50AM
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I agree about R mochata. Wonderful rose, very fragrant, and it wafts.

There is one thing to remember about rose scent. There are fragrant roses you put your nose into and breath in the wonderfulness. Then there are roses that release the scent onto the air, the wafting roses, but have little scent when you try to smell them up close. It is pleasant to have a garden that includes both kinds, the kind that are free with their perfume and the kind that hold it close for you to discover.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 11:58AM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

Yes, Rosefolly, I completely agree! 'Marie Pavie' is another example -- up close, you get a mild-to-moderate scent. But twenty feet away, you can still detect it at the same strength as up close.

I also want to add that if you have enough roses with strong scents up close blooming at the same time in the yard, even those scents will waft.



    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 12:11PM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

Oh yes , I want both kinds ! Don't we all? :)
This r moschata sounds perfect for an area between our home and cow pasture. The cows aren't always there so it dosnt smell as bad as you'd think. I actually love the country farm scent ! Lol not so much manure , but it all recreates the feeling of being a kid and visiting my grandparents camp which was right by a farm.
I love oriental lilies and honeysuckles so I'll be growing those too .

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 12:41PM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

Are there any roses at the roses unlimited sale that are reccomended? I think I can treat myself to two . Or four . Lol

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 12:45PM
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poorbutroserich(Nashville 7a)

Lilly, I ordered this morning and several of my choices were sold out already. As for scents, Jude the Obscure has an amazing fragrance! I've been known to wander the garden with a bloom behind my ear just sniffing happily. It wafts a bit.
Felicia is a great wafter. Also, I planted ZD next to my screen porch and the fragrance was spicy and continuous. The Portland class does well for me---Indigo and Rose de Rescht but they dont waft.
MIP smells heavenly! Just be sure to put her somewhere other than a prime spot. Mine totally defoliated after the flush--yuck--but the bounty and fragrance are worth it.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 3:16PM
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No rose is more fragrant than Gertrude Jekyll, in my opinion. Abraham Darby is also delightful. However, I would not class either as very disease resistant in my climate ( Central Louisiana.)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 3:54PM
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Sweet Eglantine has the most wonderful leaf scent that wafts perfume after a rain or on a humid morning. I love to pet its resinous piney/apple leaves.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 5:35PM
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'Jaune Desprez' scents the entire yard with a very bright fruit scent which nearly makes you swoon when sniffed directly. 'Lemon Spice' really does smell like lemons. 'Gruss an Coburg' always reminds me of narcissus and, with this one, it really was love at first sniff. The fact that it is an all-around excellent rose here was noticed later.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 6:09PM
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Eyes for You and Blue for You! Heavy, sweet, dense spiced apples! Smelling freshly opened flowers when conditions are good for scent makes my stomach growl! Kim

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 6:15PM
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ArbutusOmnedo 10/24

A large shrub of White Lady Banks in full bloom is such a gorgeous scent. Like being showered in violets. Papa Meilland had me weak in the knees when I took a whiff of its wonderful fragrance for the first time. Etoile de Holland was almost as good as PM, but not quite. Sharifa Asma and Abe Darby are some of my favorite Austins for fragrance.

Rose de Rescht is fantastic when it's good. Bolero has a wonderful fragrance, but the plant is pretty awful here so far. One rose that isn't mentioned often here that I personally love the fragrance of is a Hybrid Tea called Orchard's Pride. It's not overwhelming, but I feel as though the scent was tailor-made for my nose. Boule de Neige has a similar quality to its bouquet.

I haven't smelled Felicia or more than a handful of HPs, Gallicas, Centifolias, Albas, and Bourbons so I'm sure there are scents I have yet to come across that would make me swoon. I only caught a faint hint of Rosa moschata once, but it was a wonderful experience.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 7:50PM
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desertgarden561- Las Vegas Z9a

La Reine, Madame Isaac Pereire, and Gertrude Jekyll.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 8:48PM
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You will never forget Young Lycidas and La Reine.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 8:50PM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

As my roses begin to bloom here (for all but four, only their second season since coming as bands last year), the following have had rather "take your breath away" scents:


'Mme de Sevigne' (strong, heady, typical Bourbon -- which is like Damask plus sweetness)

'Mme Dore' (sharp, sweet, ginger and citrus, probably a Bourbon-Tea)

"Sophie's Perpetual" (looks like a China, smells like a sharp and sweet Bourbon)

'Souvenir du Victor Landeau' (strong, heady, typical Bourbon)



'Botzaris' (like sharp, heady Damask smoothed out with herbal Gallica and powder)

'Quatre Saisons Blanc Mousseaux' (typical sharp, heady Damask, with added balsam from the moss -- even foliage has fragrance when rubbed)



'Jude the Obscure' (not overpowering, but very distinctive and strong up-close, truly like sweet white wine with a dash of lemon)


Hybrid Chinas

'Duchesse d'Angouleme' (sweet and powdery, like an Alba)

'Nouveau Monde' (sweet and powdery, like an Alba, and being so large a plant, the scent is detectable from a distance)


Hybrid Musks

'Bubble Bath' (like Multiflora mixed with a hint of Bourbon, not strong up-close but travels far)


Hybrid Perpetuals

'Georg Arends' (very unlike my other HPs, which carry a Bourbon/Damask scent, this one is described by others as Centifolia scent, and very strong)

'Reine des Violettes' (strong, heady Damask with a hint of powder)

'Yolande d'Aragon' (VERY strong, heady Damask that carries when the air is warm and humid)


Hybrid Teas

'Crimson Glory' (strong Damask made less-heady with the addition of a fruit note)

'Mirandy' (much like Crimson Glory)


Portlands (Damask Perpetuals)

'Rose du Roi -- original' (smells like Botzaris but a little sharper)

'Rose de Rescht' (much the same as Rose du Roi -- original)



'Bermuda Spice' (literally like the smell of fresh cut red grapefruit)

I already mentioned 'Marie Pavie' (which has bloomed), and it's much like 'Bubble Bath' and others with strong Multiflora background -- the scents aren't particularly strong when you sniff a bloom, but it travels far. I find the same level of scent when I sniff a bloom up-close as when I'm within a 20' radius of the plant.

There are others I have that also smell nice (generally, I didn't buy any roses that weren't 4/5 or 5/5 for fragrance), but those are the ones that satisfy the title-question.



    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 9:45PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Oklahoma was the first rose that made my knees weak :-)

Nowadays I look forward to Rosemary Harkness blooms. It's sort of fruity with a hint of citrus, the type of fragrance, which makes you see clear and for a split second one become one with nature.

I love Sweet Chariot and Felicia. Though when in bloom there is no point sniffing them, as the garden smells of roses....

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 10:00PM
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Dinglehopp3r z7A. EastTN

So far, out of my very young garden, my favorite fragrances have come from:
Golden Celebration
Lady Emma Hamilton
Jubilee Celebration
Munstead wood

If my baby fragrant cloud would ever produce a bloom, I'm sure it would be in this list too.

I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of several roses I ordered based almost entirely on descriptions of fragrance alone (although the fact that they are all gorgeous doesn't hurt):

Jude the Obscure
Mme. Isaac Pereire
Abe Darby
Benjamin Britten

oh, I just can't wait!!!!


This post was edited by Dinglehopp3r on Wed, Jun 18, 14 at 20:19

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 10:08PM
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I know it's not an antique but Full Sail caught my attention. The strong perfume really pulls you in close. It's just to bad its such a weak plant at least in PNW but the scent is amazing...

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 11:41PM
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fogrose(zone 10/sunset 17)

Felicite Parmentier makes me want to cry because the fragrance is so wonderful. I love Kathleen for the musky scent. Mons. Tiller and Lady Hillingdon for the tea. Belle Amour for the myrrh fragrance and Tamora for the impossible to describe fragrance.

Also because I live near the ocean in a cool summer climate, many roses don't give off much scent outdoors but when warmed up from being brougt indoors give off much more fragrance.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 11:49PM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland

Angel Trumpets scent the night air of this entire neighborhood with a perfume too heavy to resonate with my soul, but one that most people like. Jasmine and orange blossoms -- now we're talking. I also like the fragrance of Wollerton Old Hall and Gertrude Jekyll. But what I really can't resist is sticking my nose into an Alnwick rose. I didn't think its fragrance wafted, but today several visitors to Humpty Dumpty House asked me why the Garden of Forgotten Dreams smelled of raspberries (Alnwick's strongest note), so it must, at least for some people. I think this little green guy likes it as well.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 5:03AM
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nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

For me, the clearest case of knock your socks off fragrance is Francis Dubreuil/Barcelona. Other intensely fragrant ones for me are Maggie, Mme. Isaac Periere, and Sharifa Asma. Given the dubious condition of my smelling nose, I'm afraid I can't smell much from either Reine des Violettes or The Alnwick Rose, but that's not necessarily the fault of the rose.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 3:01PM
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In my climate, I couldn't detect much scent from RdV blooms, either, Cynthia. But, I could detect the intense sweet, peppery scent from the peduncles, sepals and new growing tips, particularly during periods of warm (not blistering hot), damp weather. You might go out and "fondle" those parts them smell them and your hands before the oils evaporate. I think you'll like it! One of the most intensely scented roses like this is Grandmother's Hat. She stinks up your hands for hours after "molesting" her. Mutabilis can also provide the peppery scent from those parts, but not as intensely as these other two. Kim

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 3:15PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Reine des Violettes will knock my socks off in the spring flush. You can smell it half way across the yard. Rose de Rescht is good too.

Of the moderns Double Delight is still my favorite. My two Austins Golden Celebration and Graham Thomas are good and smelly as well.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 3:41PM
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Tessiess, SoCal Inland, 9b, 1272' elev

Felicite Parmentier, wafts, flowers are very fragrant individually, and is shade tolerant (once bloomer)

York and Lancaster, wafts, flowers are very fragrant individually, is shade tolerant, and capable of getting really big (once bloomer)

R. californica 'First Dawn' is a super wafter as it produces hundreds of strongly-scented flowers all at once, but I haven't heard good reports from those growing R. californica in your area of the country. This rose is shade tolerant and can climb (repeat bloomer)

St. Elisabeth of Hungary has very fragrant flowers which smell more like face powder than classic damask, climbs (repeat bloomer)

Stanwell Perpetual has strongly-scented flowers and blooms almost continuously here where it is a little over 5 feet tall

Portland from Glendora has very fragrant flowers and will climb (repeat bloomer)


    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 8:30PM
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I have many but I remember loving the smell of Lady Hillingdon. She is not a very happy rose in my conditions but when she blooms, wow!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 12:14AM
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buford(7 NE GA)

I too love the Lady Hillingdon fragrance. It's hard to place, sort of apricoty...

Right now my Bishop's Castle is really going strong. I kept passing by and was taken by the fragrance, but when I went up to it, I didn't detect it that much. But it's the only one blooming there, so it must be wafting out. Very nice rose, just not disease resistant.

I smelled Sugar Moon at a show, it won best fragrance. I may have to get that one.

And I'm glad I'm not the only one whose SDLM is a balling mess.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 7:48AM
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Diane/Melissa I agree about Felicite Parmentier. Blush Hip is another fantastic smelling one...as is Great Maiden's Blush As do hybrid musks. Felicia and Cornelia are both especially nice.

Sharifa Asma and Sonia Rykiel are newer roses that I think smell divine. (I lost my Sonia this spring and am rather heartbroken.)


    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 8:25AM
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This was the first year that Jude the Obscure smelled delicious to my nose. Previously I detected a bitter undertone that bothered me, perhaps it was the "grapefruit" scent that people talk about, or perhaps the "myrrh", whatever that smells like. But with our cool rainy spring and my hard pruning of it at the beginning of the growing season the fragrance is now perfectly and purely sweet. It has grown into a very large bush -- too big for my small garden and I am planning to move it to the back fence.

Munstead Wood, newly purchased and planted as a bare root, had one bloom, whose penetrating, fruity scent reminds me of Mirandy.

I always wonder if one's brain isn't influenced by the dark color in perceiving these scents. My friend, who is a "perception psychologist" interested in these matters, says you really have to do blind smell tests to be sure of accuracy. But on the other hand, what the brain puts in is an important component of enjoyment. I can see quickly becoming very enthusiastic about Munstead Wood.

Mostly, I worry that these modern reproductions with their exaggerated proportions will upstage the subtle, understated appeal of the old roses. But one needs some bloom after the first flush.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 9:44AM
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It shouldn't surprise you Jude smells differently, Monarda. Yes, just as we "eat first with our eyes", vision and prejudices affect scents and our perceptions of them, too. Myrrh smells like licorice, Anise or Fennel. Too intense and it is extremely bitter. The worst for that to my nose was Cressida. The myrrh is so concentrated in that flower, pulling an opening bud open earlier resulted in one of the most intensely bitter stenches I've ever found in a rose. When I'd smell it, I had to make sure not to actually touch the bloom with my face as my mustache and nose would stink with that bitter stench for hours. If I let that same flower age in the heat a while, the intensity of the scent would diminish, leaving more of the sweeter elements which were far less objectionable. Few are single note scents. Pretty much all are combinations of multiple components which evaporate at different temperatures, humidities and times. What can start as lemon can quickly devolve into something entirely different. Kim

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 1:36PM
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adamharbeck(WA Aust)

Radio Times has a delicious fruity old rose scent that will fill a room. I also have to second peoples comments about Francis Dubreuil and Madame Isaac Periere but my favorite scent is Tipsy Imperial Concubine which smells of strong honey and marshmallows.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 7:21PM
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I used to love the scent of Memorial Day, speaking of cut roses. Alas, it proved to be not entirely hardy. I also like Blossomtime and the soft scent of James Galway. There are so many marvelous scents in roses, really, it's a cornucopia!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 7:38PM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

'Orfeo' has started blooming -- a little. This is its second year in the ground from a band, and has focused more on growing. But I have to say that if you want a vigorous climber with deep red, fragrant blooms, try it. It smells just like 'Crimson Glory', its grandparent.



    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 7:58PM
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I would love to say my new Evelyn but she isn't as fragrant as I heard she would be, maybe because she is new? Love to smell my Don Juan and SDLM and my sun sprite. But I am most anticipating the smell of zepheriine drouhin, just planted her 2 weeks ago so I guess I have to wait until next spring.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 9:52PM
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nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

Monarda, it's a relief to hear you say Memorial Day isn't hardy for you (though sympathies, of course). I've tried that one in two or three locations here and it has wimped painfully through a winter or two but never got above 6 inches, and my last two tries have failed entirely. I think I'm moving on with that one - there are other nice pinks.

Kim - thanks for solving part of the mystery of the peppery foliage smell! I get that lovely clove-pepper smell on my hands most times I'm out deadheading, and I always vow I'm going to try to sniff after every bush, but I never identify the culprit. I have RdV as well Grandmother's Hat, but neither can be the only source of this smell, as RdV is essentially once-blooming for me and GH is toward the back of the bed and less frequently deadheaded. I'm pretty sure there are more pepper-scented foliage roses in my hot sun bed - could Mme. Isaac Periere be a candidate, or maybe Vick's Caprice? How bout any of my teas?

I was also wondering if the questionable parentage of some RdV plants led to the lack of fragrance in mine. Some people say their RdV is thornless, and those might be the ones with scent. My RdV is notably thorny, so maybe it's a misnamed cultivar that's circulating, like the Sombreuil/Colonial White or Hannah Gordon/Nicole mixups out there.

Sadly, none of these scents waft even in our relatively damp weather lately. I have to stick my nose right in even the most intensely scented ones to smell them.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 1:25PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

It's funny Kim, I have the same sensation (though not as intense) with Tamora as you have with Cressida.

Normally when I smell a rose, (Hybrid teas/ musks) to put it symbolically, I have a feeling as if my soul elevates or blooms with the flower. Yet each time I smell Tamora, the feeling is the contrary: as if something is try to stifle my soul. It is quite surprising and disconcerting and part of my brain refuses to accept that such a beautiful rose can smell so bad.

On a lighter note, I've noticed that Felicia, at some instances, has myrrh undertones, especially as a cut flower indoors, when inhaled in close quarters.

So, I tend to sniff at it intimately outdoors (though it tends to waft) and look at it wearily indoors from a respectable distance :-)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 1:58PM
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Hi Cynthia, you're welcome! Yes ma'am, there are many sources for the plant scents that linger in the air and on your hands. MANY (if not most) European OGRs and the Asian ones not heavily influenced by "Tea" genes possess growing scents. These can vary greatly from pepper, cedar, pine, even "Juicy Fruit Gum". Molest the growth tips, sepals and peduncles of R. Foetida and its close descendants. They smell just like Juicy Fruit gum! Most species also have scents to their green parts. If you have Austin roses not bred from Aloha, they may be the culprits. I've detected green scents from quite a few of them, too, but usually not from those containing Wichurana through Aloha. I associate the peppery scent with China roses as they tend to have that as a base where other types seem to only contain it if they are known to also contain China. Wichurana and Tea genes seem to polish that out of them as those known to contain those combinations usually don't express the scents. Both of the OGRs you listed could easily be the source of what you smell. I can't remember detecting growing scents from any Teas I've tried. I've often been teased because of my sniffing plants. A cousin used to tease me that I had the only "scratch and sniff" garden she knew of. I scratch and sniff plants everywhere. I have since I first discovered they smelled, decades ago. For scents to "waft", the temperature and humidity have to both be in the appropriate ranges simultaneously. Tweak one off too much in any direction, or add wind and it's a no go.

Sure, it's possible some other OGR is being distributed at Reine des Violettes, or there may be a degenerative sport making the rounds. It's also possible it's just that variable. Most "thornless" roses throw prickly shoots. It isn't natural for a rose not to have prickles. Grab something to magnify the sepals and peduncles of the roses you question. Look for scent glands like these on them. They're the source of the smell. Moss roses are the ultimate expression of them as the glands occur on modified prickles. This is a crested seedling of mine and is nicely scented, both on the outer parts and the flowers.

I believe you, True-blue. Change the weather/climate, the chemistry of the individual "sniffer", time of year, etc. and the "same" scent can be perceived completely differently. Kim

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 3:29PM
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nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

Thanks again for the great tutorial on rose foliage scents, Kim! Odd that descendents of R Foetida should actually be notable for smelling nice. I don't have any species roses or Chinas, but there are quite a few Austins that are probably among the non-Aloha descendents that carry that peppery smell when deadheading. Offhand, I can think of Queen of Sweden, Wm Shakespeare 2000, Charles Darwin, Graham Thomas, and Scepter'd Isle in that particular section of the bed that usually has the peppery scent, on top of Vick's Caprice and MIP. Now that I'm sure RdV has that scent I'll have to go deadhead a leaf just for that lovely fragrance. Can't hurt her, being once blooming for me.

Speaking of stinky Austins, though, the one that I try to avoid smelling in my yard is Scepter'd Isle. I'm OK with the myrrh smell if it stays on the anise side of things, but all I get sniffing Scepter'd Isle is a mild but persistent Eau de Pepe LePew. Bleccch - too bad she's one of the few roses that's upright and blooms profusely just at nose height. I suppose that's a musk scent that lingers for me, but it's one I make sure not to let touch my (metaphoric) mustache. Given the title of the original post, that's one that takes my breath away in the unpleasant sense of the word, as in holding it till I'm past.

Along the same lines, do the hybrid musks carry that same odor of, well, musk? Anika mentions Felicia and Cornelia as having a wafting smell, but I have both in my yard and I can't smell anything even with direct nose contact. If they have that musk aroma, perhaps I'm glad. True-blue, you mention not particularly liking this smell particularly indoors, so it's a good caution for me.

Regardless, this thread has been a good education, as well as a regret for the things my nose cannot smell. Kim has mentioned Velvet Fragrance knocking off his socks, but even on a calm day I stuck my nose directly in some newly opened blooms and got absolutely nothing beyond a snozz full of pollen. Good thing roses have that great variety of scents, so we can all detect at least some of them.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 3:16PM
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You're welcome Cynthia. One of the more fascinating aspects of scent is how the linseed oil of Foetida massaged OGR scents into "fruity" types. You don't have to cut off the new foliage to smell the growing scents. Simply rub the new growth, peduncles and sepals then smell your fingers and the plant. Of course, the strongest scents are from new, soft growth during humid warmth. The hotter and drier it gets, the harder the growth gets. Then it loses a lot of the ability to express scent.

I wrote an article about polys, Lambertianas and Hybrid Musks illustrating how "hybrid musk" is NOT "musk", but multiflora. Unfortuantely, I can't find the article in any of the places I know it was printed. The original is on a dead hard drive on an old lap top. The entire classic "hybrid musk" class is based upon Aglaia, which is a multiflora X Reve d'Or hybrid. Reve d' Or resulted from Mme. Schultz seed with no stated pollen parent, thus was likely a self. Mme. Schultz has no known parentage, but was presumed, based upon appearance, to be of "musk" origin. By Aglaia, we were already at least three generations away from the presumed "musk". Trier, seedling of Aglaia (probably self seed) was what was used to generate the class and was, by definition, the first "Hybrid Musk". Whatever "musk" there may have been was already greatly diluted by Trier, while the multiflora is documented and much more represented in the gene pool. The "musk" scent so often waxed poetically about in them isn't "musk", but multiflora. It is multiflora which provided the shade tolerance, though musks are rather tolerant of some shade. Ballerina has been over used to create more "hybrid musks", though Ballerina is EXTREMELY multiflora.

Polyanthas are multiflora based. Lambertianas are moderate climbers out of multiflora. Hybrid Musks are usually larger, more double flowered, stiffer wooded Lambertianas. Climbing polys are larger Lambertianas. They are all pretty much the same genes from the same roses, only expressing themselves in generally recognized shapes and sizes. Boil it down further and the floribunda class is large flowered polyantha as it was based upon them, hence multiflora. Iceberg IS a "hybrid multiflora" as is Sally Holmes. Both are first generation crosses of polyantha or "hybrid musk" (multiflora - Ballerina).

Try cutting your Velvet Fragrance in bud and bring it inside to open. If that doesn't drive you out of the room, I'll be surprised! LOL! Kim

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 5:06PM
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In their book, The Fragrant Year, Helen Van Pelt Wilson and Léonie Bell maintained that the musk scent was more detectable wafting from a distance than from close up. They said the odor in those roses comes from the pollen and smells a bit like a frying pan heating up (if I recall). Sort of a strange simile! For me, my friend's Buff Beauty smells delicious. My own Cornelia, which Wilson and Bell thought was the best of all, doesn't have a lot of scent to my nose -- although it is detectable when you pass it by. That's how it is with me, the flowers in other people's flowers occasionally smell better than those in mine. The moral of that is enjoy them in the moment -- wherever you are -- moments are immaterial things that can't be possessed for long. Bell and Wilson also thought the scent of the new canes in fall sometimes was different than that from wood in the spring.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 5:10PM
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Z 7a E Tn

My favorite fragrant roses-

Maggie- When she's in full bloom. There's a lovely rose scent and up close there's a sort of peppery smell. Thanks, Kim for explaining where it comes from.

Marie Pavie- As others have mentioned, the fragrance wafts, especially when the air is still, warm and humid.

Sweet Chariot- To me, it has a wonderful old-fashioned rose scent and sometimes, even a bit like fragrant violets. For me, this rose is covered with blooms during its spring flush so that I almost can't see the leaves and the fragrance is memorable. Only two of its exceptional attributes.

Anna Marie de Montraval- (Hope I spelled that right.) I remember reading that the flowers have a lily of the valley scent. I was skeptical. The first season I had it (last summer), it smelled OK but nothing to write home about. However, when it bloomed this spring and the air was cool, still and damp, it did indeed smell like lily of the valley.

Most of my roses are fragrant, even those that aren't noted for their fragrance. These are special.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 7:01PM
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Kronprincessin Viktoria has the same scent as SDLM and it never balls here I am a great fan of this kind of fragrance. I love most Bourbons!
I also love the Fragrance of La France but it was always a blackspotted mess here from July on so I finally got rid of it.
I also like Madame Hardy!
I don't have a single Rugosa but I love so many of them for their fresh clove/rose fragrance.

Souv de Philemon Cochet is a beauty if it's cool it fries quickly in the heat but has the great fragrance blanc double de courbet.
Roseraie de la Hay has a great fragrance

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 10:09PM
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Malmaison and Souv. de St. Anne's grow at a client's house. Both are really NOT good plants for this climate (chronic mildew, balled blooms and more than their share of black spot) but she loves them when she gets a reasonable flower. Particularly St. Anne's has the sweet, peppery scent to the growth. I knew it but didn't think of it earlier until I was dead heading it and cutting out this month's die back. It smelled heavenly (so did my hands all the way home!). Kim

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 10:29PM
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I love that scent that it leaves on your hands.
It rained so much here during May I was certain SDLM would be a big balled mess. It came through pretty well.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 11:24PM
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I know the pepper scent of China roses and have wondered why 'Bermuda Spice' sometimes smelled of pepper and why one day instead of pepper it smelled of grapefruit or citrus. I couldn't tell the change was due to weather or humidity, it being summertime in north Alabama. I grew the rose up here, just for the scent, but it was never warm enough during the three years I had it for the scent to develop. Sad.

I love Duplex's buds, sticky and resinous to the touch and smelling so sweetly, like candy or maybe Juicy Fruit gum.

I didn't know the myrrh scent until I began growing Ambridge Rose; I find it also in the hybrid tea Sebastian Kneipp. It is probably my favorite scent. And Sebastian Kneipp is a tremendous bloomer here, healthy and very fragrant.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 12:19AM
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Sebastian Kneipp seems to have been withdrawn from the market for being an unruly grower -- or something. Can you tell us more about it? Does anyone still sell it? It sounded so intriguing.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 10:24AM
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Sebastian Kneipp seems to be best in a shorter summer, deeper winter area. I picked him up several years ago based upon the praise of his exceptional health. It was "OK", but the rose loves to run rampant in the heat and flowers far less than I would expect. I planted him in a client's border where he grows less and flowers little. The foliage is nice, though. I'm not knocking the rose for every area, but he hasn't shown himself worthy of growing in a long, hot, dry summer area with less cold and virtually no winter rains. Kim

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 1:46PM
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AquaEyes 7a New Jersey

'Jude the Obscure' opened a couple new flowers today, and once again I got to enjoy that distinctive scent of sweet white wine mixed with tropical fruit.



    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 2:02PM
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hi, Monarda,

Mine came from Pickering which no longer sells it, but it is available on the Hortico site. RU may still carry it, I don't know.

It behaves like a climber with long canes. Mine does not have the blind shoots that others have complained about on helpmefind. It is vigorous and thorny. The older canes don't seem to develop the stiffness of say, New Dawn, but it is only about three years now, and it's been moved once when I realized it was going to need more room than its previous spot had.

Blooms develop at the end of canes or laterals, if canes are moved horizontally. It develops a lot of bud breaks along bent canes. The blooms are beautiful and fragrant. It is not a small rose as it is about 7 feet tall and still growing. I am going to prune the laterals back a lot after the first flush and see what happens. It is very disease resistant here.

I think it would be best grown as a climber with the canes grown laterally. I had no idea what this rose would develop as here. I thought it might be a tall stiff hybrid tea, but it is not that at all. It is a climbing rose. How large it is actually going to be I am not sure. It is not in the best spot now and will probably have to be moved again so it can spread out more than it can now.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 2:13PM
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I just read Kim's comment about SK, and it makes me wonder something.

This rose develops a strong scent up here, where night temperatures stay between 45 and 55 usually and there is just not much heat in the daytimes. Warm here is 75. Based just on that observation, I'd tend to agree with Kim that it is probably not a rose for long hot summers.

Maybe it is just totally obvious but the roses that I've grown in the south and tried to grow here because of their fragrance have not developed any scent. Bermuda Spice, Field of the Woods as well as the teas I've grown here - even if a bloom opens well, it hasn't had the same scent I remember.

Again, probably obvious, but it makes me wonder if they have needed heat to develop their scent, maybe they also are roses that will do better in warm places.

The exception to this that I have is Le Vesuve; it grows and blooms well here, and it has a nice tea (?) scent, but I didn't grow it in Alabama, so I don't know what it smells like down there. Anyway, just an observation and mostly curiosity about heat, lack of heat and blooms.

I know that the china blood added remontancy to modern roses; did they also add the kind of rose oils that require heat to express fragrance?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 2:54PM
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"I know that the china blood added remontancy to modern roses; did they also add the kind of rose oils that require heat to express fragrance?"

Hi Gean! You've beem missed! That is very likely a very good observation/idea. Why wouldn't they have provided oils and other elements requiring heat to express? Developing in hotter climates would have provided those with traits to attract pollinators and seed spreaders with increased ability to survive. "Survival of the fittest" means just that. Those with the best traits necessary to succeed in that environment become the most successful. Move them to a totally different environment and they wouldn't be as "fit" for those conditions. Good observation! Thanks. Kim

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 4:51PM
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