Fragrance disappointments

leahrenee1(z9FL)January 21, 2013

Let me start by saying that I am not picky at all about the type of fragrance, but I really like things that have a strong fragrance and if it is strong enough to waft around the garden I will especially love it. Last two disappointments were:
Phlox midnight candy. The fragrance was pleasant but so faint... then the poor little guy died anyways so maybe it killed itself off before I could toss it!

The second is my mirabilis longiflora, (Fairy trumpets 4 O'clock) the poor plant is so stragly and the flowers just don't smell strongly at all. I keep hoping that it will perk back up in the spring and will be robust and strong smelling yet, but I don't know. My other 4 o'clocks that are just run of the mill from seed are unstoppable.

Please share yours.

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Tolip(Tropical)

Well there are many others that you can choose from and try.

Keeping a plant healthy ensures prolific flowering. The more flowers there are, the stronger the fragrance.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 9:31AM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

I have a notebook full of disappointments. ;)
Before I go into them I'm curious about your experience with Mirabilis longiflora.
I'm assuming you started one plant from seed?
I suppose there's the chance that the individual plant you grew from seed doesn't smell as strongly as others in that species.
Terrible news to hear really since I've always wanted to smell it (have the seeds but haven't gotten around to sprouting them yet).
You mention your regular four o'clocks (Mirabilis jalapa) flower profusely but you didn't mention your thoughts on their scent?
I always try to sniff them when I see them growing in gardens but have never been bowled over by their light scent.

Okay. Here are some of my disappointments:

Rondeletia splendens - Very light scent or no scent at all and when I could detect scent it smelled strangely like root beer/sassafras. Not worth the trouble.

Murraya paniculata - Strong scent however the scent didn't wow me. Seemed like a generic floral scent.

Hoya lacunosa - Smelled similar to Murraya.

Nicotiana alata - I like the scent however it's never been strong enough for me to justify growing it. Maybe if I grew more plants the scent might waft?

Jasminum nitidum - Gorgeous leaves and flowers however the clean soapy scent just wasn't strong enough for me.

Hemerocallis citrina - So far the scent has been light. They are young plants so maybe when more bloom at the same time I'll change my mind or maybe I'll try a different vendor for different plants. I could have received hybrids for all I know.

Hemerocallis dumortieri - The ones I got smelled like cat pee to me. Yuck! Again...who knows if I really got the correct species but they did look like images of that species I found online.

Brugmansia 'Cherub' and 'Baby Doll' - Again can't be certain I got the right variety but if so it didn't smell as strongly as my other favorite brugs. Might have needed to give them more time but I've only got so much space and resources. Sticking with 'Charles Grimaldi' and 'Betty Marshall' for now.

Passiflora mooreana - Strong scent however I didn't find it pleasant. Smelled sorta like grape soda to me. I'll stick with P. x belotii (alata-caerulea). This year I'm trying P. serratifolia but there are others I want to sniff eventually as well.

Hedychium 'Peach Delight' - Just didn't smell that strong to me. I'll stick with H. coronarium and 'Daniel Weeks' for now.

Plumeria 'Divine' - Too light of a scent. I want a plumie with tons of fragrance!

Okay...I've probably complained enough already. Laugh.

-Robert

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 2:31PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Robert, you just had to throw the Jasmine Nitidum in there..Ha..lol

Ok, if I am disappointed in its fragrance, what is a GREAT one you can recommend that is heavy and whaffs the air. That is what I really want! Thanks.

I would say...Hummmm, not quite sure yet, although I am was VERY disappointed with my Osmanthus this year. I couldn't smell a thing with all the flowers just to loose them in less than a week!

Mike

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 8:06PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Robert, you just had to throw the Jasmine Nitidum in there..Ha..lol

Ok, if I am disappointed in its fragrance, what is a GREAT one you can recommend that is heavy and whaffs the air. That is what I really want! Thanks.

I would say...Hummmm, not quite sure yet, although I am was VERY disappointed with my Osmanthus this year. I couldn't smell a thing with all the flowers just to loose them in less than a week!

Mike

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 8:07PM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Mike,

You know it! ;)

The best wafting jasmines in my opinion are the sambacs. My personal fav is Jasminum sambac 'Belle of India'.
J. molle is another heavy scented one though some people find its scent too heavy and disagreeable. One friend thought it smelled like old women's perfume (though I personally think he's a jerk and he says that about a lot of my plants. Laugh).

You should start a favorite wafting scent thread. :)

-Robert

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 9:10AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

I've never been disappointed with a potted flower, but in the ground...

Convallaria - lily of the valley. What is the point of a flower that's at ground level when it's cold and icky outside?

Dianthus except cheddar pinks. Same as above but at least the "pinks" make such a profuse amount of blooms that a little nosegay can easily be picked to enjoy.

Yarrow - the rated G version of what I think of this plant is that is stinks like dirty socks and underwear.

Roses that have no scent. Chainsaw them all I say!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 11:19AM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

oH nO pURPLE!!!! dON'T LET JODIK SEE THAT ABOUT rOSES!! LOL

Oh, and you are so right about Lilly of the Vallies..!
Lol I can't get rid of them! I have nevr smelled anything in the air from them, and they turn brown within days! If they are still white, they loose their in your face have to smell up close fragrance within a day or two!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 11:50AM
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roseyd(6)

Well Purple - that's just mean...

sure, it's not a great treat to see a beautiful rose and not be able to appreciate the scent - but, it's still beautiful and NOT deserving of chainsaws.

But I will admit, when I buy roses (and I do treat myself regularly) - I only consider the 'bunches' that have scents worthy of being in a vase. :) If I'm paying for an indoor flower - it better offer more than a good view.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 4:59PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Awww, I wasn't serious. Of course the roses without scent are pretty, but just taking up space where a real rose could go...

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 10:07AM
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malaxis

No wonder you're having problems with the two plants you mentioned. Neither will live up to their full potential where we live. Although both the Mirabilis longiflora and the Midnight Candy are zone 9 hardy neither like our Florida climate. They're both from mediterranean style climates. Our summer rain fall and high temps are horrible for them. That said I would suggest a plant that has the common name "chaya". Tall leafy plants that have an orange blossom type fragrance and edible leaves (have to be cooked first). Does very well here.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 1:35AM
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musaboru(Inland Calif.)

Speaking of Murraya paniculata, I dislike the scent. It is NOTHING like the citrus blossom scent described by Logee's. It is more like French Jasmine with that musky/indolic overtone. Citrus blossoms do not have that musky note, not in my opinion.

I smelled a Ylang Ylang candle at Target the other day and it reminded me of the smell of Murraya paniculata.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 10:00AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Southern magnolia, M. grandiflora - smells like lemon pledge to me.

Stapelia - did NOT stink like carrion. (First potted disappointment, a place of honor I guess.)

This has happened to me a few times - you *think* Narcissus smells good outside, so you cut a few and put them in a vase inside. Then later realize the source of the "rotten" smell you're trying to track down is the silly flowers.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 5:15PM
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musaboru(Inland Calif.)

Magnolia grandiflora does have lemon scent but I can also detect burnt rubber or the smell of those grey erasers among the lemon. Makes me wanna gag and its pretty intense too. Best not to sniff it up close. It's such a coarse, unrefined scent.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 6:36PM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Ha! Magnolia grandiflora does have a weird funk to its scent but after all it evolved to attract beetles so I'm not surprised.
I don't mind all the haters. That just gives me more blooms to sniff. ;)
I've got lots of memories attached to this fragrance so that's probably a lot of my fondness for it.

Here's my latest fragrant disappointment-
Hoya australis. Smells like hot chocolate/vanilla. Not what I'm wanting out of a flower. Very much reminds me of Sharry Baby (oncidium or at least the ones I've sniffed).

-Robert

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:19PM
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musaboru(Inland Calif.)

Hehe Robert. XD

I think that funky smell may occur in several other magnolias, I do notice a little tiny bit of it in M. virginiana, but its more tolerable there.

This reminds me--Clare_CA mentioned that she does not like the scent of M. champaca. I wonder if that funky note is part of the reason why she ranks it lower than M. alba. My mom did not like champaca either, she said alba is way better. I've yet to smell champaca though. ::

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 12:47AM
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fenius(9)

I love m.grandiflora too, although I understand why a lot say it's not a fine scent. I don't know why, but it seems it evokes a lot of associations in a lot of people even if they didn't grow up with it, maybe it is that it looks so primitive ...For me it was a description (smth about the oily scent) that I read in il gattopardo after I had lived in genoa for some years where the city was full of enormous trees that made it one of my favourite memories ever!! I personally think it is a combination of lemons and leather..

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 3:43AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

It seems that men appreciate M. grandiflora much more than women, and more women object to its' scent than men. Anyone else notice a gender divide with this one?

I don't find it upsettingly unpleasant, (like privet,) just not something I'll sniff purposely again, unless it's one of those with a morphing fragrance as the flowers age. A yellowed Gardenia flower does not smell good anymore to me, too sickly sweet. It might be better wafting than up close... don't think I've been in such a spot, never got a waft from an individual tree.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 10:45AM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

musaboru,

I still want to sniff M. champaca one of these days! And I really wish my darn M. alba would finally bloom! Laugh.

fenius,

I've often wondered how you've sniffed Magnolia grandiflora before. At first I wondered if you're originally from the states but now I see it's been planted around the world. :)
Oh, and you made me do my detective work to figure out you read about the scent in the novel 'The Leopard'.

purpleinopp,

Are you comparing us men to beetles? ;)
I will say it smells better outside wafting in the breeze than if you stick your nose right into the bloom.

-Robert

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 11:25AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

"Are you comparing us men to beetles?" Oh... no, never crossed my mind. I'm not one of those man-insulters, or insulter of anyone. Sorry for any unintended implication, and thanks for saying something so I could fix it.

Just extrapolating from the fact that men perceive some fragrances differently than women, and the aggregate of anecdotes here and in person, that this may be one of those gender divide fragrances. Don't recall reading anything about this one before in that way.

Nothing for or against either gender, good or bad either way, just something interesting to observe about nature.

This micro-subject is an ongoing, sporadic fascination that was originally sparked by a class in college where we were told of an experiment about this. Then years later I used to wholesale scented candles, so the curiosity was reignited.

...there are times when I know DH can smell the trash, sometimes his "oh really?" face doesn't quite make it. More research is probably needed... but I would never bash the person (or his entire gender) that I like enough to share my life, computer, heck I even let him drive my car sometimes. No women can say that. Smiles!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 3:18PM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Ha! I'm just joking with you though I'm sure there's scientific evidence to back up such theories over differences in genders.

Personally I think eastern noses may be better at detecting scents than western noses but maybe it's just a cultural thing and they've got tons more awesome stuff blooming than we do so they're more accustomed to sniffing flowers. Laugh.

-Robert

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 3:26PM
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No-Clue(So Cal Zone 9)

Ok here is my list.

CA Sally Plumeria - while it has large beautiful flowers, they smell like arm pits or locker room to me. Eck! Something is clearly wrong with my nose! LOL

Banana Shrub - EXTREMELY fragrant but sickeningly sweet. Doesn't help that I don't like to eat/smell bananas. But the after note on this flower is like nail polish remover. Not a good combination.

Vietnamese Gardenia - so sorry Kemistry. But it smells very sweet like a cheap perfume.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 12:55PM
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restoner(6B-7A)

To me, Cestrum nocturnum turned out to smell just like the urine cakes that another Gardenweb user described. Murraya exotica (the dwarf kind) is almost a disappointment, but it's okay - not that bad.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2014 at 9:36PM
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rafflesia

Try Murraya paniculata (orange jessamine) or Gardenia jasminoides. That is the two flowers with extremely strong fragrant i love. Cananga odorata and ylang-ylang are the dissapointment. Every time i sniff it to long, like 10 seconds or more i get a headache and want to throw up, like getting tipsy. but they have nice fragrance. as long as i don't sniff on it.

This post was edited by rafflesia on Fri, Oct 31, 14 at 10:36

    Bookmark   October 31, 2014 at 10:24AM
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charlottelily

Well, I love the smell of my southern magnolias, so not sure what that says about the gender divide:) I love love magnolias/michelias and I think their scent wafts farther than anything else. My m. alba truly fills the house with scent, more so than the gardenia (several rooms as opposed to 1 room, haha)
When the m. maudiae blooms, neighbours down the block mention it. You won't get that from a rose (though I love them too).
I guess the one disappointment is the camellia. My pursuit of the scented camellia leads me to believe the fragrance is slight and a bit too musky for my liking. But they are beautiful so very much worth planting.

Maggie

    Bookmark   November 4, 2014 at 4:08PM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Ugh, now I want to grow Magnolia maudiae! Laugh.

Have you ever tried Camellia âÂÂScentuousâ (a Camellia lutchuensis hybrid)?
I've been told it has an awesome scent! I bought one from Logee's this year and am hoping to get some blooms though I doubt the fragrance will waft. :)

-Robert

Here is a link that might be useful: Camellia âScentuousâ

    Bookmark   November 4, 2014 at 4:24PM
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charlottelily

I haven't been able to source 'Scentuous' or I would totally buy it. We definitely have less access to plant varieties here in Canada. A couple of years I managed to find a nursery in the US that shipped to Canada and I got a couple of scented camellias, including 'Spring Mist' which is billed as one of the most fragrant Lutchuensis hybrids. I've found the fragrance to be very slight.

In that same mail order, I also bought a calycanthus f. 'Venus' which was beautiful. Then the neighbour's cats had a fight and broke the trunk right in half! Arggghh! Now I can't source it although I'll keep trying. Talk about heartbreak

    Bookmark   November 5, 2014 at 1:54PM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Well poo. If Spring Mist is not so strongly scented then Scentuous will probably be the same. At least the blooms are gorgeous to look at! :)

Speaking of scent disappointments I had Calycanthus x 'Venus' and found the scent a bit off with a weird burnt rubber or some odd scent mixed in. Loved the gorgeous flowers but didn't find it worthy to take up so much space if it didn't smell good to my nose.
I hope your plant recovers but it sounds like that's not so.
Mine was quite vigorous and healthy before I dug it up. Laugh.

-Robert

    Bookmark   November 5, 2014 at 2:10PM
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charlottelily

Nope - it's just a little stump that I haven't had the heart to dig up yet. I agree the scent was a bit underwhelming. In my case, not unpleasant but a bit elusive. Like at certain times of the day, you nmight catch a nice whiff. But the flowers were so nice. Aagh, wish I could have taken yours!!

Maggie

    Bookmark   November 6, 2014 at 12:41PM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Well I hope it comes back from the roots next year!
And you made me laugh. It is a shame I don't have fragrant lovers living next to me so they can take advantage of my disappointments! :)

-Robert

    Bookmark   November 6, 2014 at 1:30PM
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poohbearlvr(S.Fla ,Z10)

I don't understand your reply robert1971. my 4 0 clocks are seedlings now and I am planting them now in my yard, I still do not know if they will have a fragrance or not. What this has to do with my neighbors I don't know.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2014 at 4:45PM
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poohbearlvr(S.Fla ,Z10)

what are you talking about Charolettlily?? What plant do I have that you are talking about?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2014 at 4:48PM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Hi poohbearlvr,

This thread was created by leahrenee1 back in January of 2013 where they asked us to share our fragrance disappointments. That's what we've been doing.

If you want to know if Mirabilis longiflora is fragrant or not like purpleinopp suggested you'll probably get more answers by posting a new thread with your question.

-Robert

    Bookmark   November 6, 2014 at 5:14PM
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ordphien(9)

My biggest disappointment was Night blooming Jasmine.
When I finally smelled it.....
It makes my whole block smell of hay.

I have two scented camellia, but the fragrance is light.
I might not see either bloom this year.
This winter is extremely warm.
It's 90 today. In November.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2014 at 5:43PM
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