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Award-Winning Fragrant Roses

What do you think most gardeners are looking for when shopping for a new rose? If you thought a specific colour, flower size, or disease resistance then you would be wrong. The number-one criterion for a new rose purchase is simply fragrance, and one sniff can sell a plant faster than I can by extolling its many other attributes. So, when I am choosing roses for the nursery to sell, I take scent seriously. Here are a dozen fragrant cultivars to consider, all of which are award-winning and by sheer coincidence, in stock right now.

Rosa ‘Fragrant Cloud’ (1963)

Rosa 'Fragrant Cloud'

(📸 Star Roses)

‘Fragrant Cloud’ is a challenging hybrid tea to define, at least as far as colour is concerned, as it ranges from coral to a reddish orange. The strong sweet honey fragrance has made it a favourite for well over 50 years, and the large blooms that are great for cutting also make it quite popular. Grows 3-5’ tall. Hardy to USDA zone 5.


Portland Gold Medal 1966

James Gamble Fragrance Award 1970

World’s Favorite Rose 1981


Rosa ‘White Licorice’ (2011)

Rosa 'White Licorice'

(📸 ML Douglas)

The sweet licorice and lemon scent of this floribunda rose, 'White Licorice', accents the relatively large blooms of 4-5” wide. The dark green foliage also sets off the pale yellow to white blossoms perfectly. Grows 4’ tall. Hardy to USDA zone 5.


Rose Hill Gold Medal 2010

Portland Best Floribunda 2013

Portland People’s Choice Most Fragrant 2014


Rosa ‘Rouge Royale’ (2000)

Rosa 'Rouge Royale'

(📸 Star Roses)

'Rouge Royale' is a Meilland rose with quartered English-like blooms of burgundy-red with a cupped form. Expect an enticing fragrance of citrus and fresh berries from this very worthy hybrid tea. Grows 4-5’ tall. Hardy to USDA zone 6.


Rose Hills International Fragrance Award 2003


Rosa ‘Dee-Lish’ (2005)

Rosa 'Dee-Lish'

(📸 Star Roses)

'Dee-Lish' is a tall hybrid tea rose that lives up to its name with non-fading rich pink quartered flowers. Add to this the enticing verbena and citrus scent, as well as excellent disease resistance, and you have a great all-round rose. Grows 6’ tall. Hardy to USDA zone 5.


All Germany Rose Trials

AGRS American Garden Rose Selections

Biltmore International Rose Trials

Rose Hill International Rose Trials


Rosa ‘Valencia’ (1987)

Rosa 'Valencia'

(📸 Star Roses)

The creamy apricot blooms backed with copper overtones make 'Valencia' a great rose for cut flowers. This hybrid tea also features a strong sweet rose scent that will definitely enhance any floral arrangement. Grows 3-4’ tall. Hardy to USDA zone 7.


Henry Edland Fragrance Award 1989

Award of Garden Merit 2001


Rosa ‘Perfume Delight’ (1973)

Rosa 'Perfume Delight'

(📸 Star Roses)

The lurid hot pink double blooms of this hybrid tea rose, 'Perfume Delight', made her an All-America Rose Selection shortly after introduction. Expect a heady damask rose fragrance to match those eye-catching flowers. Grows 3-4’ tall. Hardy to USDA zone 6.


All-America Rose Selections 1974


Rosa ‘Molineux’ (1994)

Rosa 'Molineux' - David Austin Roses

(📸 David Austin Roses)

'Molineux' is one of my favourite English roses due to its ever-changing quartered flowers which have a tinge of orange as they unfold to a rich yellow, slightly bleaching at the petal tips as they fade. The musky tea scent is also quite alluring. Grows 3’ tall. Hardy to USDA zone 5.


Award of Garden Merit 2001

Henry Edland Fragrance Award


Rosa ‘Intrigue’ (1982)

Rosa 'Intrigue'

(📸 Star Roses)

It is hard to find a richer plum-purple bloom on any rose, let alone this AARS winning floribunda, 'Intrigue'. The symmetrical buds open to a powerful perfume of true rose and citrus. Grows 3-5’ tall. Hardy to USDA zone 6.


All-America Rose Selections 1984

Madrid Fragrance Medal


Rosa ‘Zephirine Drouhin’ (1868)

Rosa 'Zephirine Drouhin' - David Austin Roses

(📸 David Austin Roses)

'Zephirine Drouhin' is an antique climbing rose that is not only thornless but also thrives in a partial shade exposure. The abundant cerise-pink blossoms emit an enticing scent of old-fashioned bourbon roses. Grows 8-10’ tall. Hardy to USDA zone 5.


Long Island Rose Society 2000

Chicagoland Rose Society 2001


Rosa ‘New Zealand’ (1989)

Rosa 'New Zealand'

(📸 Weeks Roses)

'New Zealand' is a very popular hybrid tea with pale pink flowers that are tinged deeper along the petal edge. The unique rich honeysuckle fragrance also makes it a great cut flower. Grows 4-6’ tall. Hardy to USDA zone 6.


Auckland Rose of the Year 1990

New Zealand Fragrance Award 1990

Portland Gold Medal 1996


Rosa ‘Michelangelo’ (1997)

Rosa 'Michelangelo'

(📸 Star Roses)

'Michelangelo' is a vibrant hybrid tea rose that has the charm of English roses with a matching sweet lemon scent. The rich green foliage contrasts the flowers nicely, which also make a beautiful addition to indoor arrangements.


Monza Gold Medal 1997

Lyon Grande Rose 1998

AJJH Prix de la Rose 1999


Rosa ‘Scentimental’ (1997)

Rosa 'Scentimental'

(📸 Weeks Roses)

Every bloom is different on this floribunda rose with clusters of marbled cream and red blossoms. 'Scentimental' offers a strong, sweet, spice fragrance, which only adds to the charm of this AARS winner. Grows 4’ tall. Hardy to USDA zone 7.


All-America Rose Selection 1997

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