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:
- How to take rose cuttings
- How to deadhead roses
- What to grow with roses
- How to grow climbing roses
- How to grow rambling roses
- How to look after roses in autumn
Browse our list of the most fragrant roses, below.
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'
'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.
- Buy Rosa 'The Generous Gardener' from David Austin
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.
- Buy Rosa 'Boscobel' from David Austin
Rosa 'Munstead Wood'
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.
- Buy Rosa 'Munstead Wood' from David Austin
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.
- Buy Rosa 'Lady Emma Hamilton' from David Austin
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.
- Buy Rosa 'Gertrude Jekyll' from David Austin
Rosa rugosa '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' 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' 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.