Rose Fragrance Guide

No other group of plants offers such a broad and distinctly varied palette of fragrance types - each one wonderful in its own right. David Austin rose fragrances range from the classic Old Rose scent, to fruity, Tea, myrrh, musk or any combination of these elements. David Austin’s English Roses are one of the most fragrant groups of roses, which have won many awards for their fragrance.


Found across all colours of English Roses, fruity fragrances are diverse in nature, ranging from zesty citrus scents to rich berry and exotic fruit aromas. With notes such as apple, mango and elderflower, fruity fragrances are fresh and uplifting, each with their own delicious twist.


This distinctive scent holds a majestic spiciness and the aromatic warmth of sweet anise. Found almost exclusively in English Roses, it can be an acquired taste due to the medicinal character of the liquorice notes.

Old Rose

Seen as the classic rose fragrance, it is traditional in nature, with warm, heady notes, often softened with a dash of sweetness. Unique in its character; and reminiscent of rose perfumes, it is arguably the most delicious of all the rose fragrances and can be found almost exclusively in pink and red roses.


True to its name, the Tea Rose scent is often said to resemble a freshly opened packet of tea. In English Roses, the aroma most frequently appears in the yellows and apricots. A complex fragrance , it can have sweeter elements of violets and fruitiness mixed with spicy, tar-like qualities of the dominating tea notes.

View Most Fragrant Roses


The musk scent, resembling the old musk used in perfumes, is a warm, rich fragrance which can be both sweet and spicy and, at times, is dominated by the scent of cloves. Unlike other fragrance types, musk is produced in the stamens rather than in the petals of a rose. Musk is often found in ramblers, where the sheer abundance of flowers produces a heady blanket of perfume.

David Austin Snr. is widely credited with reviving the fragrance within modern roses. Inspired by the Old Roses, he passionately believed that fragrance was intrinsic to the beauty of a rose.