"What's that, you say? Aren't all roses fragrant? And don't they all just smell like ... roses? The answer to all three questions, quite simply, is no. Some roses lack any kind of fragrance altogether, and the ones that are fragrant offer an unexpectedly wide variety of scents. Granted, they will all start out with something of a rosy scent, but from there you might be surprised at the additional aromas that exist in the rose world. Here are six kinds of scents you can find and flowers that deliver; take a peek — or a sniff — for yourself.
1. Clove. So many flowers have a sweet scent that it's refreshing to find some that drift over to the spicy side. Spices like clove and cinnamon remind me of the holidays — they offer an instantly homey scent and feel.
'Fragrant Cloud' has a wonderful spicy aroma on 5-inch coral blooms in USDA zones 5 to 9. This early-summer bloomer, growing up to 5 feet tall, is right at home as a hedge or in the back of a border or bed.
Other spicy bloomers include 'Scent from Above', 'America', 'Sweet Intoxication', 'Westerland', 'Strike it Rich' and 'Lilian Austin'.
2. Licorice. Who doesn't love a sweet anise scent? This old-fashioned aroma puts me in my happy place; it's reminiscent of childhood visits to candy stores.
This rose, 'Julia Child', honors its namesake well with its golden 4-inch blooms and quaint scent. It's a smaller shrub rose, growing up to 2 1/2 feet tall and wide, and blooming in late spring to early summer in zones 6 to 9. It's also remarkably heat tolerant and disease resistant — a plus in any garden.
More licorice-scented roses include 'Summer Nights', 'Tahitian Sunset', 'Monkey Business' and 'Butter Cream'.
3. Antique. This is the scent most of us imagine when we think of roses; if you're looking for a strong rosy addition to your garden, these are the flowers you want.
One of the best is 'Melody Parfumee', a gorgeous dark lavender rose growing up to 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide in zones 5 to 10. It's an early- to late-summer bloomer with ruffly flowers in clusters.
More classic rose scent can be had with 'Gertrude Jekyll', 'The Countryman', 'Falstaff', 'Harlow Carr' and 'William Shakespeare'.
4. Fruit. The fruity roses are a large bunch, with scents ranging from apple to citrus. I love these roses because they seem very fresh and clean, marrying well with other scented flowers.
Try 'Midas Touch', a strong yellow hybrid tea rose with 3- to 4-inch blooms from early summer to midfall. This is a smaller rose, growing only 3 feet tall and wide, so it's perfect for the front or middle parts of your beds. Grow it in zones 7 to 10.
Other fruity roses include 'Pink Promise', 'Olympiad', 'Enchanted Evening' and 'Wild Blue Yonder'.
5. Raspberry. Yes, I know raspberry is a fruit and we've just talked about fruity scents, but it'sraspberry. Any flower that smells like a raspberry deserves a separate mention, in my opinion.
Take a look at 'Moondance', a stunner that by virtue of its color and scent reminds me of raspberries and cream. White blooms with creamy centers appear in early to late summer, reaching heights up to 5 feet and widths up to 4 feet. Grow it in zones 4 to 10.
More raspberry-scented roses include 'Alnwick' and 'Madame Isaac Pereire'.
These shown above offer color and scent, a winning combo. Our rose bushes are loaded with buds, but have not opened yet. I can hardly wait. Some of the roses touted here will be added to my list of roses to purchase for a scent area near our deck so we can enjoy both the gorgeous color and aroma attributes of these beauties.