The Most Fragrant Roses
The roses listed below are highly fragrant and relatively disease resistant in our Santa Barbara climate. Bear in mind that many Hybrid Tea roses need to be sprayed (hopefully organically) to stay healthy. Those marked with •• are pretty bullet-proof. (To find photos of those not illustrated type in the name with ‘rose’ after it in the browser search box. There seem to be pictures of even the most obscure roses on-line.)
Thanks to Jeri Jennings, Holly Hagy, Hetty Shurtleff and Sheila Lodge for their input. Please note that this list is a continuing work in progress and Linda would welcome your input at email@example.com
√ in front of the name means the rose is on the best roses list.
Alec’s Red – HT, medium red, 1973, very fragrant, good cut flower.
Autumn Damask – medium pink, before 1867
Baronne Edmond de Rothschild - HT, red blend, 1968, floriferous, repeats if not pruned much. Disease resistant.
•• Baronne Prevost -- Hybrid Perpetual , medium pink, 1842. Heavy spring bloom, scattered summer bloom, good Fall repeat. Good disease resistance. Can make a lovely climber.
• • Bewitched, HT 1967 (below). Old rose fragrance, classic HT form, pink, great vase life.
•• Blush Noisette, everblooming Noisette. White, 1817. Very fragrant. Disease-free, needs deadheading.
•• Cecile Brunner - bush or climber. Polyantha, very small pink roses, lovely fragrance.
Chrysler Imperial – HT, dark red, 1952. Heavy damask fragrance, subject to powdery mildew.
Colette. Romantica climber, disease free, deep pink, many petals.
Compassion - large-flowered climber, pink-yellow,1972. 8-10’climber, Disease resistant, continuous bloom.
Comte de Chambord, Damask Portland, pink,1859. Can get blackspot and some late season rust, touch of spring mildew in dank periods. Lovely rosettes. Buds have fragrant, sticky resin.
•• Cramoisi Superieur - China, medium red,1835.. Performs like a champ so far in Camarillo. There is a good climbing version.
Cymbaline - David Austin “English” rose, 1983. Very pale ashy pink, intense myhrr fragrance. No disease. Vigorous sprawling shrub or low climber.
Deuil de Dr. Reynaud, Bourbon, 1862, very fragrant.
Cressida, David Austin “English” rose 1983. Thorny, myhrr-anise fragrance. Light coral.
Etoile de Hollande, Cl. HT 1931. Performs well in cool coastal climate where other reds sulk. Vintage Gardens says it has a good clone.
Eugene de Beauharnais. China/Bourbon 1838. Good rebloom. Small. Rusts at all periods of the year, on brand new foliage. Very fragrant, but suitable only for those who spray.
Excellenz von Schubert, Hybrid Musk, 1909. Mauve. Can become climber in Southern California. Good repeat bloom. Intolerant of alkaline conditions, but seems to improve with regular doses of soil sulphur..
Fragrant Cloud, HT 1967. Garish color. Blackspot and mildew.
Gertrude Jekyll, David Austin “English” rose, 1986. Old rose fragrance.
•• Glendora. Hybrid Perpetual or Damask Perpetual. Found rose. Deep pink.
√ •• Golden Celebration, Austin. Bulletproof in Camarillo, except that it does not tolerate pruning well in this climate. Heavy spring bloom, a scatter through the summer. A good late fall show.
Grandmother's Hat - Pink, lilac undertones, darker center, ages to light pink . Strong rose fragrance. Full, old-fashioned bloom form.
Jaune Desprez, Tea-Noisette, yellow-gold.
Jeri Jennings -Musk rose - blooms open strong golden yellow, mature to cream. (Rarely open light coral as in photo above.)
•• Joasine Hanet (aka "The Portland From Glendora"; "Glendora") . Portland/Damask-Perpetual. Found rose, Identified as Joasine Hanet. Deep pink. Doesn't much like alkaline conditions, but is otherwise flawless.
Jude the Obscure, David Austin “English” rose.
√ Just Joey – HT, light burnt orange. Delicate fragrance, not great repeat, not a vigorous grower.
Lemon Spice, HT 1996. Long pointed buds open into large, high-centered yellow blooms.
•• Leonie Lamesch. Poly. Carmine and gold. Continuous. Wholly disease-free. Does not make big sprays, but is rarely out of bloom
Louis XIV, China 1859.
Louis Phillipe, China 1834. Cherry perfume. Performs like a champ so far in Camarillo. No disease on a young plant. There is a good climbing version.
Marchesa Boccella, Damask Perpetual, 1840.
√ • Mister Lincoln, HT 1965. The red roses in this line all carry a rich damask fragrance, and are subject to powdery mildew. One of top 10 best in rose survey.
√ •• Mrs B. R. Cant, Tea 1901. Bullet-proof, but big.
Mme Alfred Carriere, Tea-Noisette 1879. A big sprawling climber, with good repeat. Mildews slightly in Camarillo, most of the time. Can do well in Santa Barbara.
New Zealand, HT 1991. Old rose fragrance.
Paradise, HT 1978. Mauve center with dark pink edges. Not always a very strong grower.
Peter Mayle, HT/Romantica 2003. Old rose fragrance. Relatively clean, some shade tolerance.
•• Prospero, David Austin “English” rose, 1982. A small rose, and twiggy, almost in the style of a China. It does not tolerate much pruning, very disease-resistant, rarely without some bloom.
Radiance, most disease resistant HT. Strong damask fragrance. Round bush, not leggy like most HTs.
Red Radiance, HT 1908. Strong damask fragrance. Strong damask fragrance. -- Disease-free, and long-lived.
Reine des Violettes. Good disease-resistance. Fragrant. Peppery-scent to the leaves. Big graceful plant which can make a climber. Cannot tolerate alkaline conditions.
Reve d'Or - buff yellow roses with a rich Noisette perfume.
Scentimental – F, 1997, red and white blend, vigorous grower, disease resistant. (below)
√ •• SecretHT- Very fragrant, vigorous grower. Good in a vase. Disease-free. Cream with pink edges.
Secret Garden – white, vigorous big climber, continuous-bloomer, intense musk fragrance.
Sombreuil. White, a Wichuriana-bred modern climber. Needs deadheading for good repeat. Very good disease-resistance.
Spice - found rose, light pink
Sutter’s Gold -1950 HT orange blend. Like all Pernetianas likes heat.
The MacCartney Rose, 1995 HT, medium pink, disease resistant
Tipsy Imperial Concubine T, pink blend
William Allen Richardson - Noisette - Medium sized, fully double flowers of buff to apricot. Free flowering and vigorous, dahlia-like form.
William Shakespeare - 1987 deep crimson, double
Yolande d’Aragon – HP, mauve, repeats, very few prickles. Works as a climber. Wants to bloom at the top, but do not hard-prune. LOVELY rose, more in the style of a big Damask Perpetual than the HP it is called.
√ Yves Piaget - HT 1985. Romantica. Nearly thornless, resists black spot, rust. Moderate size. Likes heat and in the foothills above Santa Barbara it will do fine, but it can refuse to open or can ball near the coast. Small bush, sparse leaves. One of the top best in rose survey 2004 and 2010. (below)
Top of Page