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Plants for Fragrance

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Most of us recognize various fragrances when we enter a garden.  Learning to identify the various notes is an entirely different thing.  

If you walked into my garden and smelled and old rose cultivar, first you would smell the quickly vanishing head notes, then the deeper middle notes and finally the strong base notes that remain even after the flower has wilted and begun to dry up.

Here are a list of plants according to their dominant notes, then grouped by the fragrance they share.

 

Head Notes:

These are the first notes you'll smell. They are lively but quickly fleeting

 

Citrus Scents

Monarda - Bee Balm (Leaves)
Buddleja davidii - Butterfly Bush
Citrus mitis - Calamondin
Citrus bergamia - Citrus Bergamont
Rosa × damascena - Damask Rose 'Madame Hardy'
Rosa - English Rose 'Heritage'
Eucalyptus vitriodora  (Leaves)
Dictamnus - Gas Plant (Leaves)
Rosa - Hybrid Tea Rose 'Fragrant Cloud'
Citrus × limon - Lemon
Philadelphus x virginalis - Mock Orange
Osmathus spp.
Pelargonium crispum - Geranium
Skimmia japonica
Southern magnolia - Magnolia grandiflora
 

Herbal Scents

Allium spp.
Ocimum basilicum - Basil (Leaves)
Laurus nobilis - Bay Laurel 
Anethum graveolens - Dill (Leaves)
Lavandula - Lavender
Melissa officinalis - Lemon Balm (Leaves)
Levisticum officinale - Lovage (Leaves)
Origanum vulgare - Oregano (Leaves)
Mentha - Mint (Leaves)
Rosmarinus officinalis - Rosemary (Leaves)
Salvia officinalis - Sage (Leaves)
Salvia splendens - Scarlet Sage (Leaves)
Thymus vulgaris - Thyme (Leaves)
Artemisia - Wormwoof (Leaves)
 
 

Middle Notes:

These are the scents that are longest lasting and more potent than head notes. 

 

Flowery Scents

Rosa -Alba rose 'Konigin van Danemark'
Cyclamen spp.
Daphne
Rosa - Floribunda rose 'Escapade'
Lonicera - Honeysuckle
Hyacinth
Rosa - Hybrid Tea Rose 'Mr. Lincoln'
Jasminum - Jasmine
Syringa vulgaris - Lilac
Convallaria majalis - Lily of the Valley
(Iris x germanica var. florentina - Orrisroot
Osmanthus spp.
Pelargonium graveolens - Geranium (Leaves)
Ptelea trifoliata - Hoptree
Polianthes tuberosa - Tuberose
Chimonanthus - Wintersweet
 

Green Scents

Culinary Herbs
Ferns
Hay
Ivy
Leaves
Lichen
Mentha - Mint
Moss
Galium odoratum - Sweet Woodruff
 

Fruit-Sugar Scents

Malus - Apple
Prunus armeniaca - Apricot
Laurus nobilis - Bay Laurel 
Buddleja davidii - Butterfly Bush
Coconut
Crocosmia spp.
Robinia pseudoacacia - False acacia
Freesia
Phlox paniculata hybrids - Garden Phlox
Ulex - Gorse
Iris
Narcissus jonquilla - Jonquil
Laburnum - Golden Chain Tree
Lupin
Mahonia spp.
Reseda - Mignonette
Mimosa
Prunus persica - Peach
Pyrus - Pear
Salvia elegans - Pineapple Sage
Cydonia oblonga - Quince
Rosa - Rambler Rose 'Seagull'
Rosa - Rambler Rose 'Kiftsgate'
Rosa - Rambler Rose 'Bobbie James'
Rubus - Raspberry
Antirrhinum - Snapdragon
Sarcococca confusa - Sweet Box
Lathyrus odoratus - Sweet pea
Viburnum bodnantense
Wisteria

 

Spicy Scents

Pimpinella anisum - Anise
Malus - Apple
Dianthus caryophyllus - Carnation
Cosmos atrosanguineus - Chocolate cosmos
Cinnamomum - Cinnamon
Clematis armandii
Ribes odoratum - Clove Current
Syzygium aromaticum - Cloves
Geranium - Cranesbill
Bignonia capreolata - Crossvine
Helichrysum italicum - Curry Plant
Rosa - Damask Rose 'Kazanlik'
Foeniculum vulgare - Fennel (Leaves)
Zingiber officinale - Ginger
Cercidiphyllum japonicum - Katsura Tree (leaves)
Choisya ternata - Mexican Orange
Moonflower
Pelargonium quercifolium
Rosa - Rugosa Rose 'Blanc Double de Coubert'
Rosa - Rugosa Rose 'Delicata'
Spartium junceum - Spanish Broom
Stachys citrina - Woolly Betony
Comptonia peregrina - Sweet Fern
Viburnum x burkwoodii - Burkwood Viburnum
Erysimum - Wallflower
 

Base Notes

These fragrances are stronger and more persistent then the other notes.  They are the last to be noticed.

 

Resinous Scents

Cinnamomum camphora - Camphor Tree (Leaves)
Cedrus - Cedar (Leaves)
Betula lenta - Cherry Birch
Pseudotsuga menziesii - Douglas Fir (Leaves)
Rosa - English Rose 'Constance Spry'
Rosa - English Rose 'Fair Bianca'
Chamaecyparis - False Cypress (Leaves)
Tanacetum parthenium - Feverfew (Leaves)
Rosa - Gallica Rose 'Belle Isis'
Rosa - Gallica Rose 'Charles de Mills'
Juniperus - Juniper
Lilium candidum - Madonna Lily
Bryophyta - Moss
Commiphora myrrha - Myrrh
Mothofagus antarctica - Antarctic Beech (Leaves)
Pinus - Pine (Leaves)
Santalum - Sandalwood
Artemisia absinthium - Wormwood (Leaves)
 

Balsamic Scents

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Populus balsamifera - Balsam poplar (Leaves)
Datura
Hyacinthoides non-scripta - English Bluebell
Nicotiana - Flowering Tobacco
Mirabilis jalapa - Four o-clock
Gladiolus
Heliotrope
Rosa - Hybrid Musk Rose 'Cornelia'
Rosa - Hybrid Musk Rose 'Penelope'
Santolina chamaecyparissus - Lavender Cotton (Leaves)
Mimulus - Monkey Flower
Portulaca grandiflora - Moss Rose Buds
Rhododendron kongboense (Leaves)
Perovskia atriplicifolia - Russian Sage (Leaves)
 
 
 
 
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