Roses are well known for their scent. Rose fragrances can be categorised into types such as fruity, Tea, myrrh and musk. As well as the types of fragrance, some roses are dramatically more fragrant than others. These are the roses to grow next to a path, bench or front door so you can take advantage of their scented blooms as you sit or walk past them. Scented roses make excellent cut flowers, too, offering a sensual treat as well as being visually striking.


As a general rule, the most fragrant roses are English Roses and Old Roses. However there's a wide variety of shrub and climbing roses that offer a wealth of fragrance for your garden and home.

More on growing roses:

Browse our list of the most fragrant roses, below.

More like this

Rosa 'St Ethelburga'

Rosa St Ethelburga
Top roses for scent - Rosa 'St Ethelburga'

Rosa 'St Ethelburga' is a strongly scented, old fashioned hybrid tea rose. It flowers prolifically from late spring into autumn.

Rosa 'The Generous Gardener'

Rosa The Generous Gardener. Image courtesy of David Austin Roses
Top roses for scent - Rosa 'The Generous Gardener' (photo credit: David Austin Roses)

'The Generous Gardener' is a shrub rose with a traditional musky old-rose fragrance and double, soft pink to pale white-pink flowers. Grow it as shrub or trained against a trellis as a short climbing rose.

Rosa 'Boscobel'

Rosa Boscobel (Auscousin). Image courtesy of David Austin Roses
Top roses for scent - Rosa 'Boscobel'

The flowers of Rosa 'Boscobel', also known as 'Auscousin', have a strong myrrh fragrance with hints of elderflower, pear and almond. It's a bushy shrub rose, with red buds opening to large, salmon-pink flowers throughout summer.

Rosa 'Munstead Wood'

Rosa Munstead Wood. Image courtesy of David Austin Roses
Top roses for scent - Rosa 'Munstead Wood' (photo credit: David Austin Roses)

The dark crimson blooms of Rosa 'Munstead Wood' have very fruity fragrance. It's a classic English shrub rose which flowers over a long period, and has good disease resistance. Grow at the front of a border.

Rosa 'Lady Emma Hamilton'

Rosa Lady Emma Hamilton
Top roses for scent - Rosa 'Lady Emma Hamilton'

Rosa 'Lady Emma Hamilton' has a fruity fragrance. It's a tall, English rose with red buds that open to orange flowers. Grow it at the back of a border.

Rosa 'Gertrude Jekyll'

Rosa Gertrude Jekyll
Top roses for scent - Rosa 'Gertrude Jekyll'

Rosa 'Gertrude Jekyll' is a classic English shrub rose with a beautiful fragrance. It flowers continuously all summer and makes a lovely cut flower.

Rosa rugosa 'Roseraie de l'Hay'

Rosa Roseraie de l'Hay
Top roses for scent - Rosa 'Roseraie de l'Hay'

Rosa rugosa 'Roseraie de l'Hay' is a large, dense rugosa rose with fresh, green leaves and wine-coloured flowers with a good fragrance. It can be trimmed into a flowering hedge and is tolerant of poor soils.

Rosa 'Charles de Mills'

Rosa Charles de Mills
Top roses for scent - Rosa 'Charles de Mills'

Rosa 'Charles de Mills' is a gorgeous gallica rose with an intense fragrance. It's loose habit makes it ideal for an informal mixed or cottage garden border.

Rosa 'Compassion'

Rosa Compassion
Top roses for scent - Rosa 'Compassion'

Rosa 'Compassion' bears scented apricot flowers from July to September. A scented climbing rose, it's ideal for growing up a pergola, so you can enjoy its wonderful perfume as you sit beneath it.