18 Fragrant Roses to Perfume Your Garden

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but some are sweeter than others. Try these 18 favorite fragrant roses in your garden.

Few can resist the allure of a rose garden… seemingly endless variety and color, accented by the intoxicating perfumes that fill the air. Roses come in an array of scents, including spicy, anise, citrus, fruity, and the classic old rose. In fact, for many folks a rose without fragrance (and there are a surprising number of those) just isn’t worth growing. If you feel that way too, we’ve rounded up 18 fragrant roses that will fill your garden with aroma all summer long.

Roses take patience and care, so read up first and learn how to give them the TLC they need to thrive. Then, choose roses suited to your climate and growing conditions. Be ready to prune and fertilize regularly, and cover them to survive the winter in colder climates. If you give them the care they need, you’ll be rewarded with fragrant roses all season long. Here are a few resources to help you get started.

David Austin Roses

Mister Lincoln

Hybrid Tea

Possibly the best red rose of all time, Mister Lincoln won an All-American Rose Selections award in 1965 and has been popular ever since. The strong fragrance is often described as “melon-scented.” This rose grows tall and blooms all season long in a variety of weather conditions. Zones 5 – 10.

Buy It: David Austin Roses

Edmunds' Roses

Ebb Tide

Floribunda

Ebb Tide’s masses of deep purple blooms are true show-stoppers. Cut a cluster or two and bring them inside, where the long-lasting flowers fill the room with a spicy clove fragrance. Zones 4 – 9.

Buy It: Edmunds’ Roses

Jackson & Perkins

Citrus Splash

Shrub Rose

The vibrant orange and pink petals of Citrus Splash are gorgeous enough on their own, but when you add in the citrus-sweet scent, you know you’ve got a winner! This variety is known to be a somewhat slow starter, so don’t be surprised if it takes a couple of years to truly reach its spectacular potential. Zones 6 – 10.

Buy It: Jackson & Perkins

Edmunds' Roses

Secret’s Out!

Hybrid Tea

There’s something so alluring about an all-white rose. Secret’s Out! looks sweet and pure, but boasts a strong spicy fragrance. The plant is compact but the blooms can grow up to 6 inches, appearing all season long. Zones 5 – 9.

Get It: Edmunds’ Roses

David Austin Roses

The Poet’s Wife

Shrub Rose

Bred by famous rose breeder David Austin, The Poet’s Wife is a classic yellow rose with a lovely fruity aroma. The prolific blooms are very full, but the plant’s smaller size makes it excellent for containers. Zones 5 – 10.

Get It: David Austin Roses

Jackson & Perkins

April in Paris

Hybrid Tea

The tea rose fragrance is difficult to describe, but very distinctive. April in Paris fills the air with this sweet scent and delights the eye with soft pink petals edged in a slightly darker hue. Zones 5 – 9.

Get It: Jackson & Perkins

Edmunds' Roses

America Climber

Climbing Rose

Looking for a fast-growing rose to cover a fence or light post? America Climber is just what you need. The coral flowers emit a powerful spicy scent all summer long while the plant climbs to six feet or more. Zones 4 – 9.

Get It: Edmunds’ Roses

David Austin Roses

Lady Edna Hamilton

Shrub Rose

The fruity perfume of Lady Edna Hamilton seems to match its rounded yellow and orange blooms. This free-flowering shrub rose is excellent in borders and mass plantings. Zones 5 – 9.

Get It: David Austin Roses

Edmunds' Roses

Double Delight

Hybrid Tea

This rose has been delighting growers for more than 40 years with its striking blooms and splendid spicy scent. The tall stems make this rose perfect for cutting, but they thrive on the bush too, even in strong summer sun. Zones 5 – 9.

Get It: Edmunds’ Roses

Jackson & Perkins

Julia Child

Floribunda

Any rose named for the indomitable chef must have a distinctive aroma, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Julia Child smells of spicy black licorice – not what you’d expect from the sunny yellow blooms! This minimal-care rose has a place in just about any garden. Zones 5 – 10.

Get It: Jackson & Perkins

Edmunds' Roses

Tropicana

Hybrid Tea

The brilliant coral hue of this popular rose is matched by the bold fruity fragrance. The large blooms arise in flushes throughout the season amid glossy green leaves.  Tropicana is sensitive to cold, so protect it well over the winter. Zones 6 – 9.

Get It: Edmunds’ Roses

Jackson & Perkins

Honey Perfume

Floribunda

Many gardeners struggle with roses in hot humid climates, where they’re subject to powdery mildew and black spot. Fortunately, sweet and spicy Honey Perfume is a champ under those very conditions! The flowers change color from gold to yellow to cream as they age, with all shades often appearing on the bush at the same time. Zones 5 – 10.

Get It: Jackson & Perkins

David Austin Roses

Jude the Obscure

Shrub Rose

The unique chalice-shaped blossoms of Jude the Obscure absolutely cover the bush, emitting a fruit-and-wine redolence that will fill your garden. In warmer areas, Jude the Obscure may be trained as a climber. Zones 5 – 10.

Buy It: David Austin Roses

Jackson & Perkins

Scentimental

Floribunda

Who can resist the swirls of deep pink and white that blanket this bush all summer long? Though you might expect them to smell of peppermint, these glorious flowers have a robust spicy scent. Scentimental is an easy-care rose suited to a variety of sunny conditions.

Buy It: Jackson & Perkins

Edmunds' Roses

Wild Blue Yonder

Grandiflora

The ruffled petals of Wild Blue Yonder give this rose an appearance similar to a camellia, especially when they open fully to display the yellow centers. The blossoms, which appear in flushes throughout the season, have a citrus and true rose fragrance. Zones 5 – 9.

Get It: Edmunds Roses

Jackson & Perkins

Don Juan

Climbing Rose

Perhaps the most beloved of climbing roses, Don Juan is a classic that’s been around nearly 60 years. The deep red flowers are ideal for cutting, and they radiate the quintessential rose perfume. This rose easily climbs 12 – 14 feet high, and has excellent heat and humidity tolerance. Zones 6 – 9.

Buy It: Jackson & Perkins

David Austin Roses

Gertrude Jekyll

Shrub Rose

If you love the floral bouquet of traditional old rose, you need Gertrude Jekyll in your garden. This standout has been voted England’s Favourite Rose, and the large pink blooms will became a favorite of yours as well. Zones 4 – 8.

Buy It: David Austin Roses

Jackson & Perkins

Sweetness

Grandiflora

This soft lavender rose has a powerful lemony scent, with blooms appearing in flushes throughout the summer. The large flowers are lovely when cut and displayed in vases indoors. Zones 5 – 10.

Buy It: Jackson & Perkins

Jill Staake
Jill lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes about gardening, butterflies, outdoor projects and birding. When she's not gardening, you'll find he reading, traveling and happily digging her toes into the sand on the beach.