Myrrh Scent

bellegallica(9)July 31, 2008

Thanks to everyone who answered my question about Marie Pavie's scent. Everyone agreed that is has the musk scent.

Gardennatlanta agreed that Marie does not smell like Blush Noisette. I find that a little confusing since isn't Blush Noisette supposed to be half R. moschata?

Anyway, I want to know what myrrh is like. So how about everyone out there who likes--or doesn't like--the myrrh scent tell me the name of a rose that is typically myrrh-scented.

I know there are some people don't like myrrh, but who like Tamora, for instance, because the myrrh in that one is mixed with something else.

So in your opinion, what rose has the true, pure myrrh scent?

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jerijen(Zone 10)

It's my understanding that the scent of Fair Bianca IS "pure" Myrrh.
A fragrance, btw, which is not by any means limited to Austin roses.
(I have smelled roses that were intensely myrrh-scented in J&P's research field.)

The nearest I can describe it is black licorice.
Some think it a very medicinal smell.
In FB, to me, it has a rather "sharp" character.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 11:12PM
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No, it's not limited to Austin's roses, but one of the parent varieties he used extensively to create his roses (forget now which one exactly) had the myrrh scent and passed it along to a lot of the Austin progeny. I don't find it medicinal, but I know what you mean about the licorice. I don't find it exactly that scent, but it has something of that scent about it. I don't know how to explain it, but while those roses still smell like roses, the myrrh scent is distinctive.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 1:32AM
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Does Constance Spry have the scent? Did she get it from Belle Isis? I'm not sure either.

I believe that Ayshire roses may have the myrrh least that's why I added it to my collection. Mine hasn't bloomed yet though.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 5:27AM
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The best way to get to know the myrrh scent is to buy some myrrh. Look on Ebay.

Constance Spry has a strong sweet myrrh scent, perhaps caused by the Ayrshire rose ancestry of the Gallica Rose Belle Isis. I think it has the finest, sweetest myrrh rose fragrance in the world. Some say that myrrh scent in roses smell like Wrigley bubble gum, candy floss or medicinal creams. Not all like these myrrh scented roses, Constance Spry has enough "old rose fragrance" to balance the myrrh note. Other Myrrh scented Austin Roses are: Glamis Castle, Fair Bianca, St. Swithun, Scepter'D Isle and St. Cecilia. To my nose the Glamis Castle has the strongest most myrrh like fragrance among all roses. Even more than 'the Myrrh Scented rose' - Rosa Arvensis Ayrshire Splendens.

Here is a link that might be useful: Constance spry and myrrh scented Austins

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 6:48AM
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Out of modern roses that are not Austins, Fragrant Masterpiece has VERY strong myrrh fragrance.
I really LOVE FM fragrance and Constance Spry fragrance (my favorite of all myrrh scented roses)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 9:22AM
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I HATE myrrh, but I like Fair Bianca, which to me smells just like Noxzema face cream. The fragrance is so distinctive that Rob and I have nick-named her "MISS NOXZEMA JACKSON". On any other rose the unusual vapors would be awful but it somehow fits Fair Bianca's pristine whiteness and chartreuse button eye. My advice is to ALWAYS smell a myrrh scented rose first before buying. The only two that I've liked to date are Fair Bianca and Tamora. Constance Spry positively makes me want to retch. Besides, she doesn't repeat.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 9:50AM
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triple_b(BC 5b)

Doesn't Scepter's Isle have a myrhh scent?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 1:21PM
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I think it smells like paperwhite narcissus. I love my Fair Bianca, Glamis Castle and St. Cecelia, but I don't try to smell them. I prefer my Myrrh with a little fruit courtesy Jude the Obscure.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 3:18PM
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Myrrh scent is one of my favorites, although it can be so intense as to be cloying. The climbing species Rosa arvensis may be one source of this scent in European roses. It shows up in unexpected places, including in some polyanthas. Felicite Perpetue has myrrh scent and its presumed parentage includes Rosa sempervirens. If that is true, then that is another ultimate source of this scent in roses, and the genes may pop up unexpectedly, as it may be an ancestor to at least one noisette. I have myrrh scented ramblers like Long John Silver, an Austin or two like Tamora, polyanthas like Little White Pet and at least one mini, "Lindee."

Scents are interesting. I find a few of the more unusual scents in more than one species. For example, clove/cinnamon scent is found in roses as diverse as some R. californica and R. soulieana. Linseed oil is characteristic of not only R. foetida but also R. fedtschenkoana and R. webbiana. New research seems to indicate that Tea scent is the result of a mutation. We've got a lot to learn.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 3:55PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Cass is that clove/cinnamon scent in R. californica resident in the bloom?

There was one Shrub Rose out at J&P's place here that had gorgeous yellow blooms,
and perfect foliage.
Unf., its fragrance lay somewhere between old avocados and linseed oil.
Needless to say, that one has never been released. --veg--

They had no few roses with a strong myrrh fragrance, and no discernable relationship
to anything Austin.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 6:52PM
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So Fragrant Masterpiece is Myrrh scented? I didn't realize that. To me Fragrant Masterpiece smells like mint toothpaste. At first I didn't like it, but now I've gotten used to it. (I like the old rose damask scent and that is what I was expecting. Jude the Obscure is my favorite scent, but I think it smells more citrus than anything else - can't detect the myrrh in it.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 8:24PM
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I think it smells like paperwhite narcissus.

Fascinating! I would never describe it that way! I occasionally burn myrrh incense and while I like that, it's quite strong, even abrasive to my throat, and to my nose doesn't smell - even slightly - like paperwhites!

I don't for a moment doubt that while humans have a strong, and more or less uniform, sense of sight, humans do not have a uniform sense of smell!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 2:24AM
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