Top 10 Fragrant Roses to Grow

What separates the good roses from the exceptional roses is the dimension of fragrance. The roses listed here were chosen by the All-America Rose Selections (AARS) as having "fabulous fragrance."

The AARS sorts through all the new rose introductions each year and chooses only one of a handful of the top performers to be awarded their Rose(s) of the Year designation. Out of all the winners since the 1960s, this collection made their list of top ten for fragrance.

  • 01 of 10

    Double Delight

    Double delight roses
    Ryan Somma/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

    Double Delight, a hybrid tea rose with a long season of bloom, was an AARS winner back in 1977. The double blossoms have a rich, creamy white to pale pink center with deep, ruby edging. They have a bushy habit, growing to about four to five feet with a two to three-foot spread.

    Double Delight shows good disease resistance, although less so in wet weather. Expect a sweet, spicy scent.

  • 02 of 10


    Elle hybrid rose
    OliBac/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Elle, a 2005 winner, is another hybrid tea rose. She displays above average disease resistance, especially to black spot and mildew. The blossoms are a soft, shell pink set off by glossy, dark green foliage. They give off an intoxicating spicy, citrusy scent.

    Elle promises to make an excellent cut flower, with four to five inch wide blooms held on 10 to 14-inch stems.

  • 03 of 10

    4th of July

    Fourth of July climbing rose
    Ryan Somma/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

    In 1999, Fourth of July was the first climbing rose to win the AARS award in 23 years. The blossoms are everything you'd expect from a rose named 4th of July, clusters of large, four-inch flowers in vibrant red with white stripes, on 10 to 14-foot arching canes.

    As with all the roses listed here, the scent is exceptional. Fourth of July has the bonus of being a repeat bloomer.

  • 04 of 10

    Honey Perfume

    Honey Perfume Rose
    chipmunk_1/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

    Not many floribunda roses boast any scent, let alone deserve the name of Honey Perfume. A wonderful spicy scent and apricot yellow blooms truly set Honey Perfume apart from the already wonderful category of floribundas.

    Growing up to four feet high and up to three feet wide, Honey Perfume makes a great specimen or low hedge. It also exhibits very good rust and mildew resistance.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Memorial Day

    Memorial Day roses
    Wendy Cutler/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

    Memorial Day is arguably the front-runner for fragrance. As AARS puts it, "experts say one bloom perfumes almost an entire room." This is another of the popular hybrid teas and was an AARS winner in 2004. Memorial Day has five-inch clear pink blossoms that emanate a lavender glow.

    The fragrance is described as similar to the old-fashioned damask roses. Their cutting stems are nice and long, and the bushes are an especially good choice for hot climates.

  • 06 of 10

    Midas Touch

    Midas Touch yellow rose
    Drew Avery/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Midas Touch won its AARS prize in 1994 and can be found in many gardens today. It shines with golden yellow four-inch blossoms on an upright five-foot plant. Midas Touch is yet another hybrid tea beauty with a warm, musky scent.

  • 07 of 10

    Mr. Lincoln

    Mr. Lincoln red rose
    Tracie Hall/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

    It's hard to believe Mr. Lincoln won his AARS distinction back in 1965. The velvety, deep red hybrid tea is still one of the most popularly grown garden roses.

    Beautiful as well as strongly scented, Mr. Lincoln's blossoms are held are stiff, upright stems. The bushes can be expected to grow up to five feet tall and about two feet across.

  • 08 of 10


    Pink and White Scentimental Rose
    Garden Photo World/Georgianna Lane / Getty Images

    This spicily scented floribunda was the first striped rose to win the AARS award. With burgundy and creamy white stripes, Scentimental hardly needs its wonderful fragrance to attract attention, but that's what made it an award winner in 1997.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Sheer Bliss

    Sheer bliss rose
    Katherine Porter / Flickr / CC By 2.0

    Sheer Bliss is a delicate, pale pink hybrid tea. While it needs a bit of winter protection, its delicate beauty, and mild, but the sweet fragrance and repeat blooming habit make it a standout favorite. The large flowers bloom on long stems, perfect for cutting.

    Hardiness info is scant, but most agree it will survive to Zone 6.

  • 10 of 10

    Sun Sprinkles

    A closeup of a sun sprinkles rose
    Forest and Kim Starr/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Sun Sprinkles, a miniature rose, won its award in 2001. Brilliant yellow blooms open early and repeat all summer. With excellent disease resistance, Sun Sprinkles is a great choice even in a garden with limited space.

    Growing in low and mounded up to as much as 24 inches, Sun Sprinkles can be used as an edger, in containers or as a specimen. The spicy, musky fragrance and vivid color will make people stop for a closer look.

It's never a bad idea to fill your yard with sweet-smelling roses. Choose your favorite rose from this list, find the perfect spot, and plant. You'll enjoy the beauty and wonderful aromas for years to come.