Fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses

Spring is here although in some areas the season has been slow in starting with unusually cold, frosty mornings contrasting with high daytime temperatures. Patience is needed, as I wait for the leaves to sprout on the bare root roses. I can see that the sap is moving and there are signs of life and movement but it’s hard not to be impatient for full Spring bloom.

Photo by LexScope on Unsplash

Perfume is the essence of a rose for many people, for me though, it has always been the colours that are my real passion. This season, however, I’ve planted roses for fragrance and in reading have discovered that colour and scent are closely linked. It appears that the dark petalled roses have a stronger fragrance whilst the white roses smell of lemon, nasturtium and violets. On the other hand, orange and deep yellow roses have a fruity scent.

Soft Yellow rose blooms in France

The concept of scent and fragrance is new to me because I have always been allergic to strong scents, especially in commercial perfume. Like many people, heady fragrances can cause breathing problems and headaches. This is especially evident with shrubs such as English Privet (a noxious weed in Australia) Mock Orange, Abelia and if masses of it, White Star Jasmine. Nonetheless, I love and welcome fragrances in the garden especially in roses.

White Star Jasmine In Italy completely covering a restroom block

This year I am eager to see and smell the blooms of some of the roses I have planted specifically for their gorgeous fragrance. As the blooms unfold I will post images of these roses but unfortunately, I cannot share their fragrance!

Deep Pink to Red Roses planted for fragrance – Parole, Sweet Intoxication, Parfum de Paris, Sour (Sister) Emmanuelle, Forget Me Knot, Fragrant Cloud, Chartreuse de Parme, Best Friend, Avignon, Kiss Me Kate, Fragrant Plum, Belle Parfum, Per-Fyoom Per-Fyoom, Fiona’s Wish, Grandma’s Rose, Fruity Perfuma, Guy Savoy and Parole.

White to cream roses planted for Fragrance – Madame Anisette, Father of Peace, Coeur de Neige, Château de Versailles, Wollerton Old Hall, Windermere, Penelope. Spirit of Peace, Shirley’s Rose and La Vie En Rose

White to cream roses for Fragrance – Madame Anisette, Father of Peace, Coeur de Neige, , Château de Versailles, Wollerton Old Hall, Windermere, Penelope. Spirit of Peace and Shirley’s Rose.

Pink roses planted for Fragrance – The Children’s Rose, Heaven Scent, Nahema Climbing, Souvenir de Louis Amade®, First Crush, Heritage, New Dawn, Royal Highness, Grand Siecle, Olivia Rose Austin, Jubilee Celebration, Boscobel, Alnwick Castle, Fantin Latour, Scepter’d Isle, Sharifa Asma, The Wedgwood Rose, Princess Alexandra of Kent, Addictive Lure, Mothers Love, Lichfield Angel, My Hero, Pretty Jessica and Violina.

Yellow, Orange or Peach roses planted for fragrance – Just Joey, Rose Belle du Seigneur®, Honey Perfume, Jude The Obscure, Côte D’Azur, Mitsouko, Jardins de Bagatelle, Julia Child’s Rose, Graham Thomas, Ambridge, Sweet Juliet, Shropshire Lad, Eglantyne, Tamora, Bengali, Augusta Luise, Apricot Nectar, Lady Of Shalott, Peace, Soul Sister, Tintern, Versigny and Westerland.

Apricot Nectar rose

Lilac to Mauve roses planted for fragrance – Charles De Gaulle, Dioressence, Blue Emotion, Gra’s Blue, Dusky Moon, Vol De Nuit, Lilac Wine and Simplicity Lavender.

Colours and fragrances vary from rose plant to rose plant and our sense of smell can also vary from person to person. No two people will have the same experience of the scent of a rose. Our perception of rose scent will also change from day to day depending on us and the weather, the sunlight and the soil. It will change with the age of the flowers, the weather, the season and even from year to year, so smell as many roses as you can as often as possible.

The scent of roses is very good for you and is epitomised in the adage ‘to stop and smell the roses’. Meaning we should slow down and appreciate what we have in life and to take the time to enjoy the process rather than rushing and not experiencing life to the fullest. I agree and think perhaps if we smell rose fragrance more often it can both raise our spirits and calm us at the same time.

From time to time I do pick rose blooms for the house or to give to friends, but the blooms for me are meant for the garden. After all, the fragrance is not really there for us. Roses emit their beautiful fragrance when ready to be pollinated. The scent is smelt long before the blooms are full. Often this means that the scent is very powerful when the buds are only half-open.

There are five types of rose fragrance, see (The Perfumed Garden Post) Damask, Nasturtium, Orris, Violets, Apple, Clove, and Lemon. Within each group there are variations. like vanilla, green tea leaves, cloves, raspberry, bay, spice, musk, parsley, wine, lily of the valley, linseed oil, fern, moss, hyacinth, orange, anise, honey, marigold, banana, apricot, quince, geranium, peppers, melon, myrrh, honeysuckle, moss, hyacinth, and raspberry. The scent in roses is in the bloom or petals although in some flowers the stamens hold the fragrance.

There are far too many fragrant flowers to list but interestingly, the scent from the following plants comes just from the leaves – Lavender, Lemon Verbena, Creeping Thyme, Nepeta, Scented Geraniums, Rosemary, Tansy, Wormwood, Tricolour Sage, Lantana, Bee Balm and Yarrow. The fragrance comes out when you brush against the foliage. Have a go and plant these scented leaves near where you walk. I suggest the soft downy leaves of Peppermint geranium or the lemon scent of lemon verbena, lemon balm or thyme. The aroma will drift in the air as you pass and is absolutely gorgeous.

Title quote from George William Curtis

Words and Images Di Baker All Rights Reserved

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