10 Types of Fragrant Roses to Grow

pink rose bush

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

Roses are one of the most popular flowering shrubs for the garden. And the Rosa genus includes more than 300 species of perennial plants and thousands of varieties from which gardeners can choose. Today, most roses used for landscaping are hybrid cultivars, developed for certain desirable qualities. And what separates the good roses from the exceptional roses is their fragrance.

The American Rose Society has designated the following roses as having "fabulous fragrance." The organization sorts through all the new rose introductions each year and chooses only one out of the top performers to be awarded its Rose of the Year designation.

This collection of roses is considered tops for their fragrance.

  • 01 of 10

    Double Delight (Rosa 'Double Delight')

    Double delight rose
    Aflo / Getty Images

    Double Delight, a hybrid tea rose with a long season of bloom, was an American Rose Society winner back in 1977. The double blossoms feature a creamy white to pale pink center with deep ruby edging. They have a bushy habit, growing to about 4 to 6 feet with a 2- to 3-foot spread. Double Delight shows good disease resistance, though less so in wet weather. Expect a sweet, spicy scent.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 7 to 10
    • Height: 4 to 6 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 02 of 10

    Elle (Rosa 'Elle')

    Detailed portrait of an orange ELLE rose head in bright sunshine
    TeleMakro Fotografie (Ina Hensel) / Getty Images

    Elle, a 2005 American Rose Society winner, is another hybrid tea rose. It 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. The plant gives off an intoxicating spicy, citrusy scent. Plus, Elle promises to make an excellent cut flower, with 4- to 5-inch wide blooms on 10- to 14-inch stems.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 10
    • Height: 2 to 3 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 03 of 10

    Fourth of July (Rosa 'Fourth of July')

    Fourth of July rose flower in the field, Ontario, Canada.
    JHVEPhoto / Getty Images

    In 1999, Fourth of July was the first climbing rose to win the American Rose Society award in 23 years. Its blossoms are everything you'd expect from a rose named Fourth of July. The plant features clusters of large, 4-inch flowers in vibrant red with white stripes on 10- to 14-foot arching stems. Its scent is exceptional, and Fourth of July has the bonus of being a repeat bloomer.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 9
    • Height: 10 to 14 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 04 of 10

    Honey Perfume (Rosa 'Honey Perfume')

    Honey Perfume Rose

    chipmunk_1/Flickr/CC By 2.0

    Not many floribunda roses boast any scent, let alone deserve the name 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 4 feet high and up to 3 feet wide, Honey Perfume makes a great focal point or low hedge. It also exhibits good rust and mildew resistance.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 6 to 10
    • Height: 3 to 4 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Memorial Day (Rosa 'Memorial Day')

    Rosa 'Memorial Day'

    阿橋 HQ / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

    Memorial Day is arguably the frontrunner for fragrance. As the American Rose Society puts it, "Experts say one bloom perfumes almost an entire room." This is another popular hybrid tea rose. It features 5-inch pink blossoms that emanate a lavender glow. The fragrance is described as similar to the old-fashioned damask roses. Stems are nice and long for cut flowers, and the bushes are an especially good choice for hot climates.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 7 to 10
    • Height: 4 to 6 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 06 of 10

    Midas Touch (Rosa 'Midas Touch')

    Niagara Midas Touch rose 2016
    emkaplin / Getty Images

    Midas Touch won its American Rose Society prize in 1994 and can be found in many gardens today. It shines with golden yellow 4-inch blossoms on an upright 5-foot plant. Midas Touch is yet another hybrid tea beauty with a warm, musky scent. And it is a great plant to attract bees and other pollinators to your garden.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 7 to 10
    • Height: 5 to 6 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 07 of 10

    Mr. Lincoln (Rosa 'Mr. Lincoln')

    Rosa Mr Lincoln - Rose
    mtigrek / Getty Images

    It's hard to believe Mr. Lincoln won its American Rose Society distinction back in 1965. This velvety, deep red hybrid tea is still one of the most popular garden roses. Beautiful and strongly scented, Mr. Lincoln's blossoms are held on stiff, upright stems. The bushes can be expected to grow up to 5 feet tall and about 2 feet across.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 9
    • Height: 4 to 6 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 08 of 10

    Scentimental (Rosa 'Scentimental')

    Pink and white Scentimental rose

    Garden Photo World/Georgianna Lane/Getty Images

    This floribunda with a spicy scent was the first striped rose to win the American Rose Society 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. This plant is excellent at attracting butterflies to your garden, and it makes for great cut flowers.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 6 to 10
    • Height: 3 to 4 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Sheer Bliss (Rosa 'Sheer Bliss')

    Rosa 'Sheer Bliss'

    rmgardener / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

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

    • USDA Growing Zones: 7 to 10
    • Height: 5 to 7 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 10 of 10

    Sun Sprinkles (Rosa '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. Growing up to 2 feet, Sun Sprinkles can be used as an edger, in containers, or as a specimen planting. The plant is fairly resistant to disease. And its spicy, musky fragrance and vivid color will make people stop for a closer look.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 6 to 10
    • Height: 1 to 2 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun

It's never a bad idea to fill your garden with sweet-smelling roses. If you're looking for other fragrant flowers, consider gardenias, jasmine, or lilacs.

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  1. Disease-Resistant Roses Make Gardening Life Easier. Oregon State University Extension.

  2. US Patent: Hybrid tea rose plant named 'MEIBDEROS'. Justia Patents.

  3. Rosa JAChal: Sun Sprinkles. North Carolina State Extension Gardener Toolbox.