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The Best-Smelling Roses by Color

Different Color Roses

There are many reasons why roses have stood the test of time. In particular, they’re insanely beautiful and are—perhaps—nature’s number one symbol of love and romance.

But while we always seem to get distracted by their gorgeous looks, we tend to overlook the other delicious physical aspect about roses: their mind-blowing scents. And, yes, we said scents plural, because different color roses all have their own unique fragrances. Put simply, rose scents are criminally underrated!

In fact, up until recently, roses were mostly selectively bred for looks rather than scents. Scientists spent long hours genetically modifying their color, shape, and size with little thought given to aroma. For that reason, roses lost a lot of their smelly goodness over the years.

But luckily, there’s been a resurgence in the popularity of rose scent. Scientists are experimenting with and finding ways to amplify rose fragrances. Sweeter-smelling roses? Yes, please!

What Makes Some Roses More Fragrant than Others?

There are a lot of factors that go into rose scents. Typically, the more scent-producing glands a rose has, the more fragrant it is. These glands produce “essential oils” that determine the type of smell a certain rose gives. In total, there are 24 different “rose scents”.

But that doesn’t really help you unless you’re sitting in a science lab measuring the chemical composition of roses, does it? So we’ll give you the layman’s method of understanding rose fragrances. That said, here are a few general rules of thumb that can help you choose the most fragrant roses.

  • Darker-colored roses are more fragrant than lighter ones.
  • The more petals your rose has, the stronger the smell.
  • Petals that are thicker contain more fragrance. 

What Does Each Color of Roses Smell Like?

Many people just assume that all roses smell similar, but that’s actually pretty far from the truth. As we mentioned earlier, different color roses each have their own unique and interesting fragrance—each different from the others.

Red and pink roses tend to have a more traditional “rose” smell. Yellow and white roses smell similar to violets, nasturtiums, or lemon. And orange roses have fragrances that could be compared to many fruits as well as orris root, nasturtium, violet, or clove.

Most Fragrant Red Rose: Fragrant Cloud

We absolutely love, love, love the rich fragrance of the Fragrant Cloud red rose variety. Its rose scent is a deeply layered mix of citrusy, spicy, fruity, and rosy. While it’s challenging to give you a real-world equivalent to its smell, we’d say it’s a tad bit reminiscent of pumpkin pie (sold, yet?). In any case, go smell it for yourself and tell us if it’s not downright amazing to your nostrils.

Most Fragrant Pink Rose: Memorial Day

Memorial Day roses have extremely luscious and full blooms that are most known for their striking deep-pink color. What makes them even greater than their outside beauty though, is their strong traditional rose-like perfume that can fill an entire room in minutes (we’re not exaggerating!) We just can’t get enough of Memorial Day roses and their to-die-for scent!

Most Fragrant Yellow Rose: Radiant Perfume

With a name like Radiant Perfume, it’s pretty much no surprise that this rose makes our list of most fragrant roses. Its humongous, shiny yellow blooms pack a powerful and fragrant citrus punch that will give any house the perfect summer smell.

Most Fragrant White Rose: Madame Plantier

While this flower might sound like a character on Downton Abbey, Madame Plantier is actually a type of deep white rose characterized by large, petal-filled blooms. But don’t be fooled, their graceful pom pom-shaped blossoms aren’t all they offer. The Madame Plantier rose also carries a strong and super sweet fragrance that is just impossible not to fall in love with.

Most Fragrant Orange Rose: Honey Perfume

Also known as the floribunda, the Honey Perfume rose is stunning, with its delicate peach bloom that is impossible to take your eyes off. Once it blossoms, Honey Perfume roses emit an aroma that, you guessed it… smells a whole lot similar to honey. Its fragrance also has hints of clove and rose. What’s not to like?

Most Fragrant Bi-colored Rose: Double Delight

Marked by its stunning petals that flow from creamy white to vibrant red, the hybrid double delight rose is perhaps the best smelling rose you’ll ever come across. The scent is equal parts sweet and spicy without being overpowering. We promise you’ll dig it!


If you didn’t already know, the number of roses you select for an arrangement also matters. Whether you’re searching for the deepest red roses or the whitest whites, we have tons of options in our store. We can also help you with what flowers to pair with roses. All Bouqs are cut to order and shipped directly from the farm, so you’ll have your hands on the freshest blooms within a matter of days (or hours!), depending on which shipping option you choose. Next time you’re looking to have roses delivered from an online flower store, consider fragrance when making your choice.

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