Rosa St Ethelburga

Top roses for scent

Discover some of the best scented roses that you can grow, filling your garden with colour and fragrance.

In addition to beautiful flowers and good disease resistance, scent can be an important factor when choosing a rose for the garden.

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Watch our video guide to planting roses.

Here are some of the most fragrant roses you can grow.

Scent can be an important factor when choosing a rose for the garden.

Rosa ‘St Ethelburga’

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

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Rosa ‘The Generous Gardener’

‘The Generous Gardener’ has 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 climber. 

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Rosa ‘Boscobel’

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

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Rosa ‘Munstead Wood’

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

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Rosa ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’

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

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Rosa ‘Gertrude Jekyll’

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

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Rosa rugosa ‘Roseraie de l’Hay’

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

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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.  

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Rosa ‘Compassion’

‘Compassion’ bears scented apricot flowers from July to September. It’s ideal for growing up a pergola, so that you can enjoy its wonderful perfume.

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How rose oil is made

Rose oil, as opposed to rose hip oil, is usually made using damask roses (Rosa damascena) and centifolia roses (Rosa centifolia). Three methods are usually used that extract the aromatic compounds – steam distillation, solvent extraction and carbon dioxide extraction, which yields the highest quality essential oils.