Fragrant flowers can transform any outdoor space into an oasis of sensory delight. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best fragrant flowers you can grow in your garden to fill the air with gorgeous scents.
From old-fashioned favorites like roses and hyacinths to more unique exotic blooms, we’ll cover flowering plants that release lovely aromas throughout the day and into the evening. Therefore, whether you want your landscape to burst with the sweet perfume of roses or desire a hint of spice from Korean lilies, we have fragrant flower options for every garden.
JUMP TO TOPIC
- 1. Roses
- 2. Freesia
- 3. Daffodils
- 4. Camellias
- 5. Gardenia
- 6. Lily of the Valley
- 7. Orchid
- 8. Buttercup
- 9. Summer Hyacinth
- 10. Honeysuckle
- 11. Mock Orange
- 12. Tea Olive
- 13. Cape Jasmine
- 14. Sweet Violet
- 15. Korean Spice
- 16. Syringa Vulgaris
- 17. Flowering Tobacco
- 18. Sweet Peas
- 19. Spiraea Japonica
- 20. Allium
- 21. Lavender
Roses are perennial flowering plants that are the most classical fragrant flower. Their beloved scent can fill an entire garden, and their countless varieties offer blooms in a rainbow of colors. The biggest task with roses is providing the proper pruning, fertilizing, and pest control they need to thrive.
The most common variety is the polyantha rose. They are quite compact and easy to take care of as they do not require frequent pruning as other varieties. Rose shrubs need full sunlight to partial shade to thrive successfully. As the subtle sweet fragrance of roses floats through the garden on warm summer days, roses lend a mild sweetness that mingles delightfully with other scents.
Freesia flowers fill the air with a sweet, intoxicating fragrance that rivals gardenia or tuberose. Their blooms resemble spikes of tiny stars in shades of yellow, white, pink, and purple. Freesia bulbs are grown every year for their beautiful fragrant flowers that bloom profusely during spring and summer.
Providing frequent moisture and planting in full sunlight helps Freesia to thrive properly, and this makes the lush bloom and delicate fragrance worthwhile. Once established, freesia produces successive flushes of beautiful fragrant blooms.
The common daffodil is a classic spring bloomer beloved for its cheery yellow flowers and hearty personality. Although not typically thought of as fragrant, many daffodil varieties do release a pleasant, mildly honey-like scent while in bloom.
Several clumps of different daffodil varieties are grown for their cheery display and sweet early season fragrance and they also provide their nectar to early season pollinators.
Camellia bushes produce an abundance of beautiful flowers in winter and early spring when few other plants are blooming. Their blooms range from single to double with colors of red, pink, and white. The camellia’s delicate flowers emit a sweet, subtle fragrance that completely fills the garden during their bloom time.
Camellia bushes are grown for their lovely winter flowers and lightly perfumed blossoms that brighten up the garden when little else is blooming. The large, glossy leaves also make camellia bushes an attractive addition to the landscape year-round.
The Gardenia shrub produces incredibly fragrant white flowers that vie for the title of most fragrant bloom. Their sweet, tropical fragrance evokes images of Hawaiian leis and summer nights. Gardenias can be grown in containers that can be moved into partial shade during the hot summer months.
Providing consistent moisture is key for these lush, evergreen shrubs, especially when in bloom. You can cut spent blooms to encourage rebloom and enjoy the heavenly perfume released by these gorgeous, delicately petaled flowers. The deep green, leathery leaves also make gardenias an ornamental addition to the garden all year.
6. Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley plants produce hanging bell-shaped fragrant white flowers in early spring. Their pleasant sweet scent fills the shaded areas of the garden where they grow. Lily of the Valley can be planted under a tree in the yard for their lovely spring blooms and sweet aroma.
Lily of the Valley likes moist, shaded locations and prefers partial to full shade. Mulching and regular watering to keep the soil consistently moist. The foliage remains evergreen, producing new linear leaves year after year and eventually spreading to form a dense groundcover. The charming fragrant flowers of the lily of the valley are a welcome sight in early spring, perfuming the garden with their delicate sweetness.
Orchids produce a wide range of colorful and uniquely shaped flowers. While many orchid species produce non-fragrant flowers, some varieties release a lovely light fragrance. The moth orchid is well known for its sweet, heady perfume that fills the room. Several different orchid types are grown for their striking blooms that last for months.
Providing the proper moisture, humidity, and cultural needs for orchids does require some effort, but the lush blooms and delicate fragrance make it worthwhile. Once established, orchids return year after year producing successive flushes of beautiful fragrant blooms.
The common buttercup produces cheerful yellow flowers that, while attractive and eye-catching, are not typically prized for their fragrance. However, certain species of buttercup like the bulbous buttercup have a somewhat pleasing aroma — akin to fresh hay or honeysuckle. Buttercup flowers can be grown in grassy areas of the garden for their bright color and slight pleasant fragrance.
The flower petals become reflexed as they open, exposing reproductive parts that give buttercups their name. Buttercups tend to self-seed readily, popping up year after year and spreading quickly in moist grassy areas. While the sunny yellow flowers are appreciated, the aromatic component of buttercup blooms remains mild at best. Still, the cheery yellow spires brighten the garden and produce a subtle fragrance that blends well with other flowers.
9. Summer Hyacinth
Summer hyacinths bloom throughout the summer season, producing spires of violet, pink, or white bell-shaped flowers. Their blooms release a sweet, seducing perfume reminiscent of hyacinth but more heady and tropical. Several varieties of summer hyacinth can be grown for their colorful blooms and alluring fragrance.
The sweet bell-shaped flowers sway in the summer breeze, wafting their perfume throughout the surrounding area. The grassy foliage of summer hyacinth remains evergreen, returning year after year to produce another showy display of fragrant blooms. Deadheading spent flowers encourages reblooming for a lengthy summer show.
Summer hyacinths thrive in full sun and sandy well-draining soil, perfuming the garden with their sweet fragrance for many weeks.
Growing certain honeysuckle varieties produce tubular flowers that unfurl at the ends of stems, releasing a sweet nectar and heavenly perfume. These fragrant honeysuckles fill the air around them with a lush honeyed fragrance that carries for many feet. Trumpet honeysuckle and fragrant honeysuckle are grown for their delightful blooms and alluring aromas.
Their tubular flowers range in color from white to yellow and release a perfume throughout the day and into the evening that seduces all who pass by. Honeysuckles grow vigorously, climbing trees, trellises, and fences to produce an abundance of aromatic blooms. Proper pruning helps maintain a manageable size while encouraging maximum flowering.
The powerful perfume of fragrant honeysuckles carries on the breeze, spreading sweetness through the surrounding landscape.
11. Mock Orange
Mock orange shrubs produce an abundance of showy flowers tinged with pale lilac, pink or pure white. Though the blossoms outwardly resemble those of true orange trees, the flowers of mock orange release a heavenly perfume akin to orange or lemon. Mock orange shrubs are grown for their profuse blossoms and heavenly lemon citrus fragrance.
Also, when their shrubs bloom in spring, their powerful perfume completely fills the surrounding air space. The blossoms hang from the branches in pendulous clusters, wafting their sunshine perfume on every gentle breeze. The glossy foliage remains attractive even when the shrubs are out of flower, and the leathery leaves hold up well through the seasons.
The heady fragrance of mock orange blossoms perfumes your yard and garden come springtime, spreading sweetness and delight.
12. Tea Olive
The tea olive plant produces fragrant white or yellow flowers that perfume the surrounding area with an intense jasmine scent. The heavenly aroma of tea olive can travel far distances, spreading sweetness on the slightest breeze. Tea olive shrubs can be grown for their nonstop blooming from spring through fall and powerfully perfumed blossoms.
Also, when the shrubs bloom, their intoxicating jasmine scent fills the entire yard and wafts into the house when doors and windows are open. Each individual flower emits this powerful perfume, and since tea olive shrubs bloom continuously for months, the fragrance seems to be ever-present.
The glossy foliage remains attractive when not in bloom and withstands heat and drought once established. Regular pruning helps maintain a manageable size and encourages maximum flowering for the most abundant perfume. The heavenly tea olive fragrance perfumes and delights your garden throughout the spring, summer, and fall seasons.
13. Cape Jasmine
Cape jasmine shrubs produce clusters of white tubular flowers that release an alluring perfume reminiscent of true jasmine. Their heavenly aroma completely fills the surrounding area, sweetly perfuming the garden with a lingering fragrance. From Spring through Summer, the shrubs produce nonstop flowers that release their alluring aroma — contributing to intoxicating garden visits and beckoning bees and butterflies.
The slender evergreen foliage remains attractive year-round, accented by the cheerful clusters of delicately fragrant blooms. Regular pruning keeps Cape jasmine shrubs at a manageable size while encouraging maximum flowering for the most heavenly perfume. Its aroma spreads on the slightest breeze, spreading sweetness and delight as it perfumes your entire garden.
14. Sweet Violet
Sweet violet plants produce charming flowers that range in color from white to purple to yellow with a delightful scent reminiscent of confections. Their sugary fragrance fills the shaded areas where they grow, perfuming the air with a sweet floral aroma. Several varieties of sweet violet are grown for their charming blooms and enjoyable fragrance.
The light perfume of sweet violet flowers wafts on every gentle breeze, spreading sweet delight as it moves through the garden, and the heart-shaped semi-evergreen foliage remains attractive when the plants are out of bloom, quickly emerging again come springtime as the fragrant flowers reappear.
Deadheading spent blooms encourages another flush of delicately perfumed flowers later in the season. Sweet violet plants spread slowly to form a lovely groundcover while sweetly perfuming garden beds and walkways with their engaging fragrance.
15. Korean Spice
Korean spice lilies produce fragrant white flowers with a sweet, spicy perfume reminiscent of nutmeg, cloves, or cinnamon. Their alluring aroma fills the air around the plants, spreading on the slightest summer breeze and the Korean spice lilies can be planted for their unusual blooms and delightfully spiced fragrance.
From late spring through summer, the stalks of fragrant flowers rise from the plants, releasing their sweetly spiced perfume throughout the day and into the evening and their flowers themselves have an oriental bloom shape, adding visual interest alongside their alluring aroma. The long narrow foliage remains evergreen, quickly reemerging each spring and forming a dense clump.
Korean spice lilies spread slowly, eventually creating an ornamental ground cover while perfuming the garden with their delightfully complex spiced fragrance. The heady perfume lingers long after the blooms fade, spreading sweet delight throughout your summer garden. As the fragrant white flowers open, releasing their sweet spice notes into the air, the entire landscape becomes infused with a deliciously exotic aroma.
Visitors to the garden are enchanted by the powerful yet pleasant fragrance, reminiscent of baking holiday treats yet uniquely spicy and complex. The Korean spice lily’s blooms appear in waves, ensuring that the sweetly spiced perfume lingers for weeks, warming the late spring and summer months with nostalgic joy.
16. Syringa Vulgaris
Syringa vulgaris, commonly known as common lilac or just lilac, produces clusters of fragrant flowers in shades of purple, white, or pink in late spring. When in bloom, the sweet perfume of the lilac flowers fills the air, spreading on the gentlest of breezes. These common lilac shrubs can be grown for their profusion of blooms and heavenly fragrance.
During peak flowering, the full, heady perfume of the lilac blooms perfumes your entire yard and wafts in through open doors and windows and the light floral scent, reminiscent of fruit and spring blossoms, intoxicates visitors and delights pollinators. Common lilac shrubs grow into large bushy mounds covered in clusters of drooping flowers that range from fully double to single blooms.
The dark green foliage emerges after the flowers fade and remains attractive throughout the summer before changing to vibrant hues in autumn. As the delicate blooms release their alluring perfume on the lightest breeze, your common lilac shrubs fill your yard with sweet delight during the fleeting days of springtime.
17. Flowering Tobacco
Flowering tobacco plants produce tubular flowers in shades of white, purple, pink, or yellow with a pleasant, mild fragrance, and flowering tobacco is frequently grown for its lovely color palette and enjoyable perfume. When in bloom, the mild floral scent emanating from the funnel-shaped blooms perfumes the surrounding area, spreading pleasant delight throughout the day and into the evening.
The flowers are arranged in showy clusters along the tall stems, adding visual appeal as well as their pleasing aroma and the oval green foliage remains attractive when the plant is out of bloom and reappears each spring followed again by the delicately perfumed flowers.
The rich color palette and extended bloom time of flowering tobacco make it an ideal addition — its mild fragrance is a welcome addition that blends well with other heady scents. As the subtle vanilla fragrance floats through the garden on warm summer days, flowering tobacco plants lends a mild sweetness that mingles delightfully with other perfumes.
The tall stately stems showcase the showy clusters of sweetly scented tubular blooms in combinations of soft yellow, purple, and pink during the warmest months and into early autumn, creating an enjoyable haze of gentle fragrance wafting throughout the garden landscape. Flowering tobacco plants produce a mild, refreshing perfume that adds invitation and ambiance when combined with other strongly scented blossoms.
18. Sweet Peas
Sweet pea vines produce clusters of colorful, sweetly fragrant pea-like flowers in shades of pink, purple, orange, and white. The intensely sweet perfume of sweet pea flowers fills the surrounding area, spreading delight through the spring and summer air. The fragrant sweet pea vines are best grown for their vibrant blooms and intoxicatingly sweet perfume.
Also, when in bloom, the heavy honeyed scent emanating from the lightly fragrant flowers perfumes your entire yard, spreading fragrant delight on every warm breeze. Their flowers, arranged in long showy clusters along the vines, add visual appeal in addition to their alluring aroma.
Regular pruning and trellising help keep sweet peas productive while maximizing their colorful profusion and heady perfume. As the intense floral fragrance floats throughout the garden on balyour summer afternoons, sweet pea vines fill the space with heady delight — intoxicatingly sweet yet 100 percent natural.
19. Spiraea Japonica
Meadow sweet spirea shrubs produce clusters of showy pink flower heads in spring, followed by a second summer flush of bloom, that emit a mild, fragrant spiced aroma and they are grown for their cheerful color palette and pleasing perfume. When in bloom, the light fragrant scent emanating from the sheer floral display perfumes the surrounding area, spreading pleasant delight throughout the day and into the evening.
The flat-topped flower heads arranged densely along the stems add visual appeal as well as a pleasing aroma. The small glossy foliage remains attractive when the plant is out of bloom and reappears each spring followed again by the lightly perfumed flowers. The profusion of bloom time and low maintenance nature make meadowsweet spirea an ideal natural fragrance addition.
Also, it’s mild spiced perfume gives off a pleasant scent that blends well with others in the garden. As the light floral fragrance floats through the garden on warm summer days, meadowsweet spirea lends a pleasant sweetness that mingles delightfully with other stronger scents.
Certain allium varieties within the onion genus produce globe-shaped clusters of starry flowers that emit a heavenly perfume and ornamental alliums are grown for their artistic blooms and ethereal fragrance. When in bloom, the subtle floral scent emanating from the clusters of tiny star-shaped flowers perfumes the surrounding area, filling the air with an otherworldly sweetness.
The spherical inflorescences arranged atop tall stalks add visual appeal as well as their pleasing aroma. The grass-like green foliage remains attractive once the flowers fade and reappears each spring followed by another display of delicately perfumed blooms.
The long bloom time and low maintenance nature make ornamental allium an ideal natural fragrance addition — its delicate perfume is a pleasant scent that blends well with others in the garden. As the ethereal floral fragrance floats through the garden on summer days, ornamental allium lends a subtle sweetness that mingles delicately with stronger scents.
Lavender is a perennial herb prized for its aromatic leaves and flowers. The plants produce fragrant lilac, blue, or violet whorled flowers atop woody stems. Their aromatic foliage is covered in fine hairs that produce an essential oil that is prized for medicinal and culinary purposes.
Lavender thrives in well-drained, sandy soil and full sun. The plants are mostly summer blooming, carrying their sweet fragrance through the garden on warm days. The flowers attract beneficial pollinators, especially bees.
The mild yet distinctive floral scent of lavender is both light and fresh. Lavender’s aromatic foliage and flowers create a fragrant border or edging for the herb or perennial garden. The compact, drought-tolerant plants require little care beyond regular harvesting of the flowers and leaves for their essential oil.
The mild yet distinctive perfume of lavender creates a relaxing, soothing atmosphere when grown in the garden. The plants’ durability and versatility make them an invaluable asset for any landscape.
Fragrant flowers in your garden add delight and sensory pleasure, and the heavenly aromas of flowers spread happiness and joy, remarkably improving the mood and experience of spending time in the garden.
- Allium varieties within the onion genus produce globe-shaped clusters of starry flowers that emit a heavenly perfume, and ornamental alliums are grown for their artistic blooms and ethereal fragrance.
- Flowering tobacco plants produce tubular flowers in shades of white, purple, pink, or yellow with pleasant, mild fragrance. Flowering tobacco is frequently grown for its lovely color palette and enjoyable perfume.
- Camellia bushes produce an abundance of beautiful flowers in winter and early spring when few other plants are blooming.
- The common buttercup produces cheerful yellow flowers that, while attractive and eye-catching, are not typically prized for their fragrance.
- Meadow sweet spirea shrubs produce clusters of showy pink flower heads in spring, followed by a second summer flush of bloom, that emits a mild, fragrant spiced aroma, and they are grown for their cheerful color palette and pleasing perfume
Even small pockets of fragrant flowers can emit aromas that carry on the breeze, permeating larger surrounding areas and paths. The gorgeous scents and delicate aromas of flowers can transform any garden into an enchanted oasis filled with natural beauty and sheer delight. Choose fragrant varieties that match your unique garden style and bring a whole new dimension of sensory pleasure through their heavenly perfumes.