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What are your most fragrant roses today? 2020

Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago
25 days ago
last modified: 25 days ago

What are your most fragrant roses today? They don’t always have to be your favorites or your best garden performers, just those that have captured your olfactory attention in the moment.

First for me is a new bloom opening on my young ‘Munstead Wood’. This was a gallon-sized own root plant obtained from Roses Unlimired last month. Growing in a small pot it is giving me 9 blooms on its first flush! This one develops its fragrance as the bloom matures, especially mid-morning when warmed by the sun. It is not a classic rose fragrance to my nose. I smell a light (in character not strength) rose base with lots of citrus and berries and notes of cedar. It is pleasant, refreshing and very “Victorian.”



Next is this new bloom unfurling on my ‘Bolero’. Also a new gallon from RU this spring (obtained in late March), this is part of the second full flush for this plant under my care. It is a pure, sweet “white rose” fragrance with hints of citrus and ripe tropical fruits. It is strong and I can consistently smell it from several feet away!



Comments (139)

  • Nick 10bSW17
    21 days ago

    Currently Scentuous is the most fragrant in bloom with a strong sweet damask fragrance. Firefighter and Neil Diamond are out of bloom atm so I can’t compare the three, but to my recollection, I’d put ND 1st, with the other two tied for 2nd place. *All three were planted this spring so still babies in my garden. Scentuous had a slow start, but the second flush is significantly larger than the first with just under a month between the two cycles. I’m glad I ended up getting it as I removed it multiple times from my online shopping cart this spring trying to save money- clearly that didn’t happen. 🤣



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  • Diane Brakefield
    13 days ago

    Ann, you are a very lucky gardener. Our season is short up here, and the BBs started blooming a a couple of weeks ago, and will continue for another month or so, and that's it. They wind down and stay green until repeated frost/freezing makes them go dormant.


    Carol, our weather stinks so far this season. Our last heat wave ended yesterday, and now it's cold, windy, and tomorrow it rains. The roses that liked the heat will now be a mess, and the roses that like cooler weather have thrown down their blooms in disgust. Ascot, being tough in any weather is OK. Evelyn likes it hot and now will pout. Angel Face likes it hot, so she cut short her puny flush. Took a nap, and now is flushing again--she'll start pouting. I'm sick of all this. I hope your July is perfect. You deserve that, for pete's sake. Nothing smells here either, except the weather. I give up.


    Katya, Perfume Breeze is adorable. I can just imagine all the scents your roses have.


    Witchy, did you have a lot of freeze-thaw in the spring? What awful luck to still lose roses in spite of a mild winter. You might like Ascot, too, because it's so tough. Diane

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  • witchygirrl6bwv
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    Diane it got warm so long that everything started full speed growing, then we had a freeze. I was sure winter was long gone and so I poured fertilizer out. I probably should have known better, but I got excited. I really wasn't thinking. I usually look up the correct time to do stuff.. I didn't think it could go from 80 degrees to 30, but I was wrong. *example March 28th, it was 86 degrees here. It kept doing that, then boom winter again.

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  • Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago
    Original Author
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    Ann, Sweet Chariot is actually classified as a miniature but grows more like a small shrub. Mine is new this year. I planted it as a tiny, twiggy band from High Country Roses this spring and it has been a compact but very vigorous grower right from the start. Most people report it growing as a shrub 3-5 feet in all directions. It is an extremely heavy bloomer and is one of the few (maybe the only) non-hybrid tea/floribunda variety ever to win the Gamble Fragrance Award from the ARS.

    Diane, no need to apologize for side tracking. I am loving this thread! Your roses and buddleia are all so beautiful!

    Katyajini, your Perfume Breeze looks great! I am curious about the fragrance now. You described it as “very floral” but not really rose-like. That is often how I would describe scents derived from Rosa multiflora. And OMG, that Rosa moschata is amazing! It is one of my dream roses. I can’t wait to see more photos as more flowers open!

    Witchy, sorry to hear that your Don Juan and Chrysler Imperial might have died :(

    A new one blooming for me today is ‘Souvenir de St Anne’s’. I got it as a band this spring from High Country Roses and it got off to a pretty rough start. Shipping was delayed in transit and by the time I received it had completely yellowed and defoliated. I potted it up and it started regrowing it’s leaves only to be attacked by spider mites which stunted its progress. Knock on wood, it is growing extremely well now and is covered in buds. The petals have a gorgeous silky translucence that cannot be conveyed through a photograph. And the FRAGRANCE!!! Delicious, smooth, rich clove-like perfume is pouring out of the stamens and is enhanced by a light rosy tea scent from the petals. Close your eyes and it is like smelling stocks or dianthus at their finest!



    Crimson Glory (bush form) is performing well with the recent heat. If only I could convey the perfume through the photo. Imagine being enveloped in a gentle cloud of the most intense and delicious damask perfume, all with a subtle finish of spicy clove.



    Lemon Spice has such elegant buds, looking remarkably similar to a pale lemon yellow version of Tiffany. The fragrance of this one is so sweet, pure and refreshing:



    Barcelona/Francis Dubreuil keeps pumping out blooms. This one has now been open for several days and it is still extremely fragrant of damask with hints of fruit and wine. I love the blowsy rosette form of this stage:



    And Munstead Wood remains magenta in the heat but still strongly fragrant:



  • Rosefolly
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    Chris, a while back on this thread you mentioned roses from gardens past. That got me thinking.

    My own favorite fragrant roses that I no longer grow are Oklahoma, an amazingly fragrant older HT, full sibling to Mister Lincoln and I think even nicer; and a more current HT Pope John Paul II, rich in old rose fragrance. I took Oklahoma out when I cut back the size of my rose collection due to water shortages. A lot of roses that I quite liked ended up being given away or simply shovel pruned. I found homes for all that I could. I replaced my three PJPIIs more recently with charming but smaller, non-fragrant polyanthas White Pet. Since we live in fire risk area (meaning the entire state of California) we should not have any large plants growing right up against the house. We've also removed flammable mulches 8'-10' feet away from the house and garage.

    I find I don't miss them as much as I thought I would. I still grow 80+ roses and that is plenty for me. That gave me room to add all sorts of interesting new plants which I thoroughly enjoy. What I do miss is the enormous explosion of the rose spring flush. It is a quieter explosion these days, still pretty, but not as stunning. Then when it is over, other nice plants offer their beauty at a time the roses suffer from the heat.

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  • Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    Rosefolly, it is interesting how our gardens and our tastes and our specific needs all change with the passing of time. I no longer want to have a garden jam-packed with roses. I have always loved growing roses and yet I would now rather have a good, carefully selected dozen with thoughtful companion plantings rather than the huge number I used to grow. I find I enjoy myself, and my roses, so much more now. Each flush of bloom is a treasure. Thank you for your glimpse into gardens current and past! :)

  • Ann-SoCalZ10b SunStZ22
    13 days ago

    Chris: just beautiful!... I wish someone would invent technology that would allow us to smell all these roses. Hearing Your description of the scents... I can almost smell their lovely fragrance.

    Question: it’s a “band” when it relates to roses?

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  • Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago
    Original Author
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    Ann, thank you for your comments. I love smelling roses and trying to describe their fragrances :)

    A band is a term for a small rooted cutting grown in what nursery people refer to as “band” pots. These are taller, narrow square pots. They tend to be very young roses, ranging in age from barely rooted to a few months old. Many are quite delicate at this stage but just as many can surprise you with their vigor.

  • Ann-SoCalZ10b SunStZ22
    13 days ago

    Chris: what are the benefits of growing from a band?

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  • Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    Ann, many older or hard to find roses might only be available from specialty nurseries as bands. And some people (me included) enjoy the challenge and satisfaction of raising a rose from band size into a full size, thriving bush.

  • Ann-SoCalZ10b SunStZ22
    13 days ago

    Chris: how many years does it usually take you to grow a rose from band before it really starts taking off for you? And where do you order them from?

    What are some of your favorites that you’ve grown from band?

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  • Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago
    Original Author
    12 days ago

    Ann, I have been growing roses from bands off and on for nearly 30 years. It entirely depends on the individual rose (and even the individual vitality of the cutting itself) how long it takes to mature. The very fastest might become a mature bush in a season or two. Some might take 5-6 years to slowly build up. And some might languish and die without growing up at all.


    I think High Country Roses is currently the only place I get bands from, though other nurseries (Northland, Rogue Valley and Burlington) also sell them. I buy most of my roses as gallons from Roses Unlimited.


    As for favorites, two roses come to mind: Madame Plantier and Felicite Parmentier. Two lovely once blooming alba shrubs obtained as bands from the old Heirloom Roses. I know longer grow them but sometimes wish I still did!

  • Diane Brakefield
    12 days ago

    Chris, I loved your description of Souvenir de St.Anne's fragrance and delicate look. I'm sure your garden smells luscious about now. Are you having hot weather? The roses in your photos look so cool and crisp. Our weather changed from heat to record cold and drizzle all day long. The mountains even got snow--and we're not far from them. Now it will promptly heat back up--it's like a seesaw for the plants. But I did go outside, and Evelyn had lots of heavy blooms at the peak of their beauty. The trouble was many were hanging straight down from the weight of the rain. I had the pleasure of making some Evelyn bouquets, and the scent was lemony delicious. My bouquets aren't fancy--just stuff as many blooms as possible in a vase. I rarely take photos, but did today, and all are on a memory card in my camera. I'm so old fashioned. But if you don't grow Evelyn, you might try it for her beauty and scent. She's very tough in the heat, and likes lots of sun. Diane

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  • Diane Brakefield
    12 days ago




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  • rosecanadian
    12 days ago

    Witchygirl - you have problems with red too...maybe it's a Canadian thing? LOL Just kidding. I'm sure my Chrysler Imperial will be dead next year...it's a red rose. BUT...my Lasting Love is lasting. :) I was just reading about your terrible spring weather...boldl fluctuations of temperature. Blech. You need wonderful weather...I wish you the summer of your dreams!!


    Diane - I laughed and laughed...nothing smells here but the weather. LOL Yeah, I was even saying to my husband today that I should choose another passion instead of roses. He rolled his eyes and said, "yeah, sure." LOL I went out today for a walk and then went outside to see my roses (we had a brief period of warmth today with temps of 19C/66F) I luxuriated in the heat (for here LOL) and my roses looked so healthy and happy and ready for their buds to open. It was magical!! Last year was the year from hell for my roses...nothing looked healthy (tried to go organic fertilizing)...powdery mildew everywhere and nothing bloomed/grew. This year...oh, I could just cry with happiness looking at my healthy, happy roses!!! :) I hope you get some sunny, mild days...those halcyon days of summer!!! Ooooh!! I just saw your Evelyn roses!!! Is there nothing you don't grow to perfection?? Wow!!!!!! :)


    Chris - I could listen all day to you talking about fragrances!!! Thank you for taking the time/effort to do that! I really love your CG bloom!!! But I love your Lemon Spice bud the best!! Wowza!!


    Rosefolly - you've made lemonade out of lemons. Good for you!!! :) California has fires all summer it seems....really scary to hear about. I'm glad you were wise.








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  • Ann-SoCalZ10b SunStZ22
    12 days ago

    Diane: Your Evelyn Rose has such an elegant beauty to her... So beautiful!

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  • Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago
    Original Author
    12 days ago

    Diane, your photos of Evelyn are so amazing. This variety is definitely on my want list. I am just holding out to find a good own root version. And yes, it has been very hot and humid in these parts, but I know many of you would laugh about what I consider to be hot. It has been approaching or slightly above 90F quite a few days here with high humidity, so the heat index has been quite high as well. My roses are grown next to a lot of pavement and an unshaded brick wall so they also get a huge amount of radiated heat.


    Carol, I am so impressed with Lemon Spice so far. It is a very elegant plant and flower, and the fragrance is unique and delicious. My partner crinkles his nose at most roses saying they smell like “old lady,” but now seeks out Lemon Spice. After the first bloom faded he asked several times “Where is my yellow rose?“. The only other roses he has expressed interest in are Life of the Party and Double Delight. Here is the same bud from Lemon Spice I posted yesterday as it looks this morning:




    I love Crimson Glory when the blooms are fully expanded. The intense damask fragrance diminishes but the golden stamens emit a clove perfume similar to ‘Souvenir de St Anne’s’ but less strong. The bees go crazy for the pollen and the blooms last for several days like this on the plant in perfect condition, impervious to rain or heat.




    And Barcelona continues to pump out intensely fragrant, velvety flowers. They are probably less than than half the size of Crimson Glory but are just as charming. Even with the radiated heat from the wall the blooms have been holding up very well this season with very little frying:




  • Diane Brakefield
    12 days ago

    Beautiful, Chris. Lemon Spice is just exquisite, and your red roses are perfect--no heat damage. I'm impressed. I think it's the very dry air here that does the damage more than the heat. It's particularly hard on red roses (except for Ascot). The payoff is no black spot, so it's a wash. "Smell like old lady" is an even older canard that we rose lovers must retire. I'm an old lady, and I'd pay every nickel I have for a perfume that smells exactly like Evelyn. Crabtree & Evelyn's perfume, Evelyn, smelled nothing like the rose (or an old lady, for that matter). They are no longer in business, though the secondary market has gone crazy with their products. I loved Gardener's Hand Therapy, but a couple of hundred $ for hand cream is way too rich for me. Diane

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  • Stephanie, 9b inland SoCal
    11 days ago

    Wonderful to read about all your fragrant roses. My strongest rose is Marie Pavie planted by the patio so I can enjoy her wafting fragrance.

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  • katyajini
    11 days ago

    Stephanie: What a nice arrangement for planting your flowers perfect for MP! Is that Sweet Chariot in the upper tier? MP makes me happier and Happier!

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  • Karen F
    11 days ago

    Is a tie :) Always and Forever Rose. first and it has yet to open all the way. It is this hybrid tea rose they use as cut flowers for Valentine's day in the florist shops. Well I think I paid less for my entire plant at the Lowes garden center near me almost 4 years ago--than what one would in say a dozen one of these cut at the florist on Feb. 14th. Can't get any of mine on that day but that is ok. I swear I will never ever buy cut roses from a florist or these grocery stores again. Should go out and cut one of the coral dawn. Have a green vase I can stick it in.

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  • Karen F
    11 days ago

    Always hasn't opened up all the way yet. Bet it will tomorrow. Take camera can get out that other door now!!! Great!!! And for 2nd I would say the Chinook Sunrise. When I was stood out there early this morning I swear I could smell the perfumed scent from the lemon drift and the chinook sunrise. Smelled so beautiful.

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  • Karen F
    11 days ago

    Chris seeing that comment about the bees reminded me of a humorous incident this morning when I was stood near the campfire rose a big bumblebee came and went into every opened flower on it and when finished flew away. HAh didn't go to the Shield one next to it or the lemon drift one on the opposite side to it. Just it!!! :D


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  • katyajini
    11 days ago

    Diane: I got several butterfly bushes for the first time this season. They are still in pots because my garden is in some kind of limbo right now. But they are very fragrant. Not wafty but if you come close you can smell this heady, and to my nose, very lovely scent. Even when the flowers turn brown and dry they are still very fragrant.

    Whenever I see your Ascot my pulse rises. I got an Ascot this spring too. The flowers, the petals, the shape, are gorgeous, just like in your photo. But the color is so red barely any blue. What am I doing wrong? And I wonder how big mine will get...seeing yours and what it might become, I cant figure where to put it!

    Every picture you post of your roses is inspiring. I got Ebb Tide and Twilight Zone based on your pictures too. It seemed a novel and cool color (as in less stimulating) that I would love to add. But wouldn't you know it, they are both blooming a blazing hot magenta!

    Ebb Tide is very fragrant though!!





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  • katyajini
    11 days ago

    Chris: some of the things you are saying here and there ring true for me too. (At the same time, all of your comments and musings are a wonderful read for me, don't want to forget saying that!)


    I realized this spring how much it is that I actually love to grow plants rather than throw a large plant in the landscape and have a garden. I love watching them take shape leaf by leaf and the habit slowly become evident. Spend time just looking and doting over them every morning and afternoon. It really does feel like bringing up your own child rather than someone hand you a person in their late teens: here, this is your off spring, we took care of most of the mess, uncertainty and pain. You know what I mean? :) All this to say I am noticing that I am having way more fun growing the roses that I got as bands than the big grafted bare roots that look almost like shrubs already. I feel so much more connection to the tiny rose twigs, now handsome, albeit little, plants. Unless unavoidable, will opt for bands. I am glad you shared this thought and feeling.


    This spring I have jumped into the deep end of growing roses. I do think I bought too many roses, although I am not supposed to say that. I think I miscalculated three dimensional space quite a bit. Maybe I wanted to miscalculate, so I didnt do it thoughtfully? I realize whenever a view in the garden looks appealing to me there are other plants along with roses that make the whole greater than the sum of its parts. Like you say, I don't want a garden just stuffed with every rose that I find pretty..... that is not the emotion I want when entering the garden. Well over the next few years....


    And I have to thank you for sharing so much about fragrance on this thread.


    Just a question if you have experienced this. All the roses seem decidedly less fragrant this year. Even the roses that I have in my garden for years and know very well just smell a lot less. Why is this happening? Am I doing something wrong?




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  • katyajini
    11 days ago

    Ann: I just love growing roses from bands, as I was saying above. here is a thread showing a little bit about growing roses from bands that I started, if it interests you. I will be adding more to it .

    https://www.houzz.com/discussions/5928233/deuil-de-dr-reynaud-again-and-a-band



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  • Sheila z8a Rogue Valley OR
    11 days ago

    Chris and Katya, you are right that growing bands is more fun than buying a grownup. You do get really attached. My Ascot is redder than Diane's too, Katya. I think it is her soil and climate.

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  • rosecanadian
    11 days ago

    Chris - I love all of your roses....but I would love to get Lemon Spice...if its fragrance can convert your partner's dislike of rose smells to where is my yellow rose...that's good enough for me! :)


    Katya - no one can get that color except for Diane. We all want to get that color...but...



    Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago thanked rosecanadian
  • Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago
    Original Author
    11 days ago

    Diane, I can’t agree more about how silly, dismissive and inaccurate the cop out phrase “smells like an old lady” really is. Living with a non-gardener can be trying at times. Lol. I didn’t know that Crabtree and Evelyn were no longer in business. Omg, hundreds of dollars for hand cream on the secondary market?! Ouch! And I have to agree with everyone else that all of your roses are huge, beautiful and truly spectacular. They look well loved.


    Stephanie, what a beautiful bed of Marie Pavie! I have grown this one in the past and loved its sweet fragrance. I almost bought it again this spring but decided to try ‘Souvenir de St Anne’s‘ at the last minute instead. I also want to echo Katyajini’s question: is that Sweet Chariot in the photo as well? Sure looks like it. That one also has a beautiful wafting fragrance for me.


    Karen, your roses are looking great! Your Always and Forever and Chinook Sunrise look so happy. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to smell roses on the air in your own garden? And it is so much fun when bees and other wildlife join in on the action too. (Except deer and rabbits...those two need to stay away, lol.)


    Katyajini, thank you for the kind words about my rambling musings :). I do view most of my plants as my children in a way and get intense pleasure from tending them and watching them bloom and grow. Growing from a band does provide a special extra sense of accomplishment. The next step for me would be to hone my skills in striking cuttings. Or even to learn how to graft.


    Sheila, yes you do get attached. For me that is sometimes a problem because I have a self-imposed rule that if I bring in a new rose, then a current one has to go. Sigh.


    Rosecanadian, I think in some older threads you talked about enjoying Tiffany. Lemon Spice reminds me so much of Tiffany—long stems, elegant buds and incredibly sweet, pure fragrance. They both have that unmistakable mid-century charm. If you get the chance, you should definitely try Lemon Spice!


    The rose that has captured my attention today is again Souvenir de St Anne’s. The petals are like translucent silk and the fragrance of a newly opened bloom is rich, powerful and sweet.



  • Stephanie, 9b inland SoCal
    11 days ago

    Katyajini and Chris, yes good eye, that’s Sweet Chariot on the top bed. I don’t smell much fragrance from mine, but it’s probably just my nose not picking it up. If I put my nose in it I smell the faintest spicy fragrance. Marie Pavie, on the other hand, bowls me over if I get in close with a very lovely musky, vanilla, spice fragrance.

    Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago thanked Stephanie, 9b inland SoCal
  • noseometer...(7A, SZ10, Albuquerque)
    10 days ago

    DIane, a number of years ago, I bought Crabtree and Evelyn's hand cream, and was so disappointed that it smelled nothing like the real thing. I thought it didn't smell much like a real rose, but a synthetic version of someone's idea of a rose, or maybe a rose based perfume. I've been dreaming of having varietal rose essential oils. Can you imagine? An essential oil made with just Mister Lincoln, or Madame Isaac Pereire, or Evelyn, or Abe?

    Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago thanked noseometer...(7A, SZ10, Albuquerque)
  • katyajini
    10 days ago
    last modified: 10 days ago

    Stephanie: That is such a shame you dont sense much fragrance from SC. I was going to get it but now am going to give it a second thought. Erasmus also said he does not get much fragrance from SC either...with my luck, I will be one of those rare people that cannot smell SC! Maybe it will change.

    Sheila and Carol, is that a little family secret that no one told me about? Diana and her purple roses? ! :)

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  • katyajini
    10 days ago
    last modified: 10 days ago

    Chris: Thank you for introducing Souvenir de St, Anne! I had not heard of this rose before but it promise to be amazingly wonderful! How big is yours?

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  • Ann-SoCalZ10b SunStZ22
    10 days ago

    Noseometer: I love your idea of an varietal rose essential oil. I’d totally buy it. Which has me thinking... have any of you tried making your own hydrosol or rose water? It’s actually not too complicated. I adore rose hydrosols and use it to spritz my skin, my bed linens my room, my car... and when ever I’m needing a little fresh pick me nup. You can also just buy it if you don’t want to make your own. There’s a brand called Heritage Store Rose Petals Rose Water that’s lovely and has nothing artificial in it.

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  • Diane Brakefield
    10 days ago

    Chris, thanks for your thoughts on the phrase we shall not mention--ha. I first started seeing the old lady reference on some web sites devoted to perfumes and their scents, often when when someone was describing a flowery perfume. To me, so many modern scents smell like the labs they were created in and seem harsh. Several years ago, I wanted and received some good old Shalimar perfume (like I'd worn in college), and was disappointed to find the scent more like men's aftershave and less like the mysterious scent I knew with vanilla undertones that the old Shalimar had. Then I read later that the old classic perfumes are constantly being "updated" to appeal to modern sensibilities. I was so disappointed to read that. I love your Souvenir de St. Anne's. What a delicate beauty. I can just imagine its scent. I grow Dainty Bess, and if ever there was a rose that should smell wonderful, it's her. Nothing. So disappointing. My Rouge Royale is having a beautiful flush (after most of my roses quit during bad weather). Now that the weather is perfect, RR's gorgeous blooms don't show any damage, so I made a nice bouquet for the little table next to my special chair. Heaven! That rose has a beautiful scent, and it's too bad you can't grow it in your climate. Is it too cold? Someday, I'll have photos, but that's another story.


    And now for the rest of you scent freaks (sorry), especial Nose: have any of you tried Jo Malone's Red Rose perfume? I've heard for years that this is the one that smells like real roses. It's a British perfume, and as expensive as all get out, so I don't want to order it without smelling it first....and one last perfume story--in the 1970s (I wasn't an old lady then), there was the most perfect smelling rose perfume by Houbigant called Roses Roses. I wore it and people went nuts over the scent. It wasn't even expensive. For some reason, it was discontinued, and I started searching for it again about 25 years ago. No luck, Then, about 10 years ago, one bottle turned up on the secondary market. The bottle was partially used up. The Price: $300. Blast and !@#$. And it was probably stale, too. If only they'd make that perfume again.


    Katya, thanks for all the nice things you said about my roses. I'll try to answer your questions about purples at some other time. I did notice that Ascot's red seemed brighter after all the rain we had. And now that it's drier, the color seems the same again. That doesn't make much sense, but I did notice that color change. Diane

    Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago thanked Diane Brakefield
  • Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago
    Original Author
    10 days ago

    Stephanie, rose fragrance is such a fickle thing at times. Do you have low humidity in your area? I notice my Sweet Chariot is always fragrant but it is strongest in cooler, humid weather whereas my Marie Pavie used to carry more on the air in dryer heat. I am always curious about fragrances that I, and others, cannot detect.


    Katya, I overlooked your question about roses seeming less fragrant than previous seasons. Yes, I believe this is quite common. So many variables can affect rose fragrance—temperature, humidity, presence or absence of strong sunlight, nutrient availability, etc. one never knows quite how the fragrance will turn out from year to year. And not to mention that aging, allergies and congestion can all play a significant part too!


    As for Souvenir de St Anne’s, mine is very new this year. It came as a rooted twig (maybe 6 inches tall) from High Country Roses this spring. It was delayed by the USPS and arrived with yellowed foliage which promptly dropped off. It started growing again only to be attacked by spider mites. Now, after spraying with horticultural oil, it seems to be doing quite well. I don’t know how it will do for me long term but it is reported to grow into a rounded shrub 4-6 feet in all directions. It is a semi-double sport of the famous old bourbon rose Souvenir de la Malmaison.


    Noseometer, essences of certain rose varietals is an amazing idea! I think we would all love to have some of our favorites bottled up.


    Ann, I have made both rose water and rose petal jam in the past. I use the rose water for cooking and not for cosmetic use. My favorite variety for this use has been Crimson Glory harvested in the partially open bud stage. CG is also a favorite of some Eastern European friends for the same use. It produces what I would call a pure, sweet, classic essence of rose. Someday I would like to get a bush growing of a true damask like Kazanlik to compare.


    Diane, I have always loved single and semi-double roses. It is a shame your Dainty Bess is not more fragrant. Since the fragrance doesn’t come from the petals, Souvenir de St Anne’s is far more heavily scented than I would have expected. As for Rouge Royale, it just never grew for me. I tried two different bare roots in two different seasons and neither actually sprouted or lived. I find your musings and remembrances about perfumes to be fascinating!


    My Life of the Party is starting another flush today. After reading BenT’s comments about this rose and seeing his photos, I knew I had to try this one. I am so glad I did. This fragrance is POWERFUL! Today I smell ripe apricots with a slight but very pleasant sourness along with fresh-squeezed orange juice. The fragrance seems to change as the blooms mature.





  • marcie_7a_pa
    10 days ago

    Brindabella Purple Prince has an amazing, strong, lush fragrance.

    Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago thanked marcie_7a_pa
  • Ann-SoCalZ10b SunStZ22
    10 days ago

    Noseometer: do you make rose petals jam often? Is there a favorite recipe you’d recommend?

    Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago thanked Ann-SoCalZ10b SunStZ22
  • Ann-SoCalZ10b SunStZ22
    10 days ago

    I was at Rogers Gardens a couple of weeks ago and spotted this crimson glory... in all its glory.

    I was so taken and distracted by its beauty that I forgot to go and smell it. Now I need to go back and smell it.

    Ooops! I just realized it’s crimson sky and not crimson glory. Hmmm... I wonder if there’s any relation.

    But the rose is still so beautiful... I feel a need to share... because seriously... who here doesn’t want to see more roses. 😉

    Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago thanked Ann-SoCalZ10b SunStZ22
  • Ann-SoCalZ10b SunStZ22
    10 days ago

    And here’s a few more of crimson sky...

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  • Ann-SoCalZ10b SunStZ22
    10 days ago

    Apparently... based on the sign description of crimson sky... it only has a sight fragrance.

  • Karen F
    10 days ago

    Without question today this one in the hybrid tea rose Always and Forever. Been with me going on 4 years now and always puts out big red blooms 3 or more!!! Could take out my little footstool and sit down on it and sniff her all day.:) I dedicated it to my late mother.. Too bad she never got to see it or smell it. I am sure she would really like this one. This one has been my top smelling rose for 4 years. The strike it rich has the orange showing thru its 4 buds. Encouraging it to open. the scent on this one is supposed to something else according to the ones whom sell these not to mention how beautiful it is.

    Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago thanked Karen F
  • noseometer...(7A, SZ10, Albuquerque)
    9 days ago
    last modified: 9 days ago

    Diane, I did smell Jo Malone's Red Rose perfume (and a ton of other ones at the store). I think it smelled pretty nice at the beginning, but if I remember correctly it was a bit too sweet and with a sharp high note that seemed out of place. Also after some time, as the fragrance faded, it smelled distinctly synthetic. I got a number of samples from the store because I loved a number of them as freshly sprayed (the Pear and Freesia was sublime), but they all changed as they faded in ways that I didn't like. Definitely sniff before you buy. I find that the case with many "rose" scented fragrances that they add other fragrances to make it a "signature" fragrance, or to improve silage, and it just doesn't work for me. Andalou naturals products (1000 roses) have a nice rose scent to me although it doesn't make me think "ah, that's Evelyn". Weleda used to smell just perfect, but the last face moisturizer I got from them wasn't up to par.


    Ann - I've never made rose jam! Maybe one day I'll try it. I haven't tried making a hydrosol, but I did try to make my own attar many years ago, and it was too much work and used up too many roses that I worked so hard to grow. I've bought a Rosa alba essential oil that was better than anything I could have made, but it was about $50 for about 15 drops, so it was gone very quickly. The standard rose water that I get from Natural Grocers smells like a real rose to me, but of course it doesn't last long. I've made rose water meringues with it, and it works much better than rose extract.

    Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago thanked noseometer...(7A, SZ10, Albuquerque)
  • Diane Brakefield
    9 days ago

    Well, I goofed. I decided to track down the elusive 1970s rose perfume, and it turns out its name is "A Rose is a Rose", rather than the awful Avon "Roses, Roses". senior lapsed memory. Ebay has three used bottles at good prices, so now I've got to find out if the scent has gone bad, and the sprayers work. I'm thrilled and surprised. Meanwhile, I'm getting my photo files organized from this spring, and the following photos are from a couple of days ago. I just posted them on another thread I'm so excited. I've never been able to get a good photo of Rouge Royale because it grows on the edge of a steep slope that goes down to a gully below. At my age, I have to be careful. RR is surrounded by big plants and only gets northern sun exposure. The color darkens to black red in a vase. I need to photograph that. The smell is luscious. The other photo is Evelyn--this is my idea of a bouquet--a plonk with a bunch of roses squeezed together in a tight bunch. I'm lazy.


    Nose, I was glad to get the low down on the Jo Malone perfume. Now I won't worry about missing out on a special sent, and I saved a bunch of $ with this knowledge. Thanks. Diane

    Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago thanked Diane Brakefield
  • Diane Brakefield
    9 days ago





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  • rosecanadian
    9 days ago

    There are so many comments here... :)

    Diane - Love, Love your pictures...especially your Evelyn!!!


    I've often thought of making rose petal jam or rose cooking oil, or something like that...but I've never done it. Something I saw in a book once was an ice wreath with rose petals in it...for a party. You just get a circle-shaped glass/plastic form, pour water in it add rose petals and then freeze. You can use it to keep shrimp cold or whatever.


    Does rose petal jam taste good? Just alright...delicious??


    Ann - that Crimson sky is amaze-balls (who did I steal that phrase from?...someone on this forum)...and the trellis is huge and I love it! :)


    Karen - I love the rose that you planted in honor of your mother! It's a beautiful red rose!!


    Chris - Life of the Party died twice on me...I'm not sure if I'm going to try it again. I've never smelled this wonderful fragrance everyone raves about. :) So I may be foolish enough to try again. LOL Yours is really pretty!'' I love how your described the scent!!


    Katya - yes, somehow Diane gets colors that no one else can.

    Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago thanked rosecanadian
  • Stephanie, 9b inland SoCal
    9 days ago

    Chris, yes dry here in inland Southern California. Humidity almost never gets higher than 50% and can be as low as 5% if air is pushing from inland out toward the sea. So interesting that Marie Pavie fragrance known to do well on dry air. I certainly smell her a lot. Sweet Chariot is a blooming machine as the buds for next flush form when previous flush at its peak. I would call it a continuous bloomers worth keeping even if fragrance is not something I detect here.

    Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago thanked Stephanie, 9b inland SoCal
  • Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago
    Original Author
    7 days ago

    Wow, so many wonderful posts on this thread!


    Diane, those photos of Evelyn and Ascot are truly amazing and beautiful!


    Lemon Spice continues to bloom at a steady pace, this time with some subtle orange and buff tones. This one is SO FRAGRANT at all times of day, regardless of heat, hot blazing sun, shade, age of bloom, etc. The open bloom is slightly bruised on the edges due to constantly sniffing it.




    Life of the Party continues to put out exceptionally fragrant flowers:




    This bloom on Bolero was remarkably powerful this morning:



    And, last but not least, Souvenir de St Anne’s continues to pour out vast quantities of heavenly clove perfume:



  • Karen F
    7 days ago

    My beautiful Strike it Rich Rose. Scent reminds me of my Mandarin Orange Spice Herbal tea by Celestial Seasonings!!!!

    Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago thanked Karen F
  • rosecanadian
    6 days ago

    Chris - great fragrant blooms!! I have to get Bolero

    Karen - is it a strong fragrance? Lovely bloom. :)

    Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago thanked rosecanadian
  • Karen F
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    Well have to get down and sniff it. :) Oh and my coral dawn like wow, wow and double wow!!!! Went out there this morning and counted 6 or 7 buds on it!!! Must really like growing there. Didn't expect it to take off like it was doing so look for more pictures of it. And my lst blaze rose is really close to having the flowers opening up on it. Not much smell to them only when they first open up According to the websites on the Strike it Rich it does have a strong fragrance. I would have bought another one. But have yet to see anybody selling them this year or last year. Will see next year. https://www.gardenia.net/plant/rosa-strike-it-rich

    Chris Martins Zone6a Chicago thanked Karen F
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