The Best Fragrant Flowers: White, Purple and More Flowering Plants (With Pictures)

Best smelling Flowers

Growing fragrant flowers can fill your yard with delightful, sweet, floral aromas in spring and summer. It’s not just pleasant fragrances you can enjoy – beautiful colorful flowers also brighten up any garden. Cut fragrant flowers also make for spectacular floral displays with pleasant aromas filling your house.

What are the best fragrant flowers to grow in your garden? In this extensive list, you will find the flowers that have the best-scented blooms. Growing these plants in your garden will fill it with some of the best fragrances in nature.

What are the Best Smelling Flowers?

In this list of best aromatic flowers, you will find out about the many scented flowers you are familiar with and some that are not as familiar.

Fragrant Jasmine (Jasminum)

jasmine

White jasmine flowers are some of the most fragrant flowers you can grow.

These flowering shrubs, plants, and vines produce heavily perfumed flowers with thin, delicate petals. The fragrant aromas of jasmine flowers are used widely in the perfume industry and to flavor jasmine green tea.

Sweet-Smelling Peonies (Paeonia)

peony

Peonies are flowering shrubs with dark glossy green leaves and huge flower heads that give off a pleasant fragrance.

The aromatic bushes grow to between 1 and 3 ft. (0.25 – 1 m) tall and produce showy flowers in pink, white, and red colors. Growing these shrubs doesn’t just fill your garden with summer scents but they provide a mass of color as well.

Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)

gardenia

Many gardeners rate gardenia as the most fragrant flowers to grow in a yard.

These evergreen shrubs have single or small clusters of creamy-white or yellow flowers giving off strong scents in spring and summer. The intoxicating aromas and showy blooms are attractive to the eye and appealing to the senses. Even though they are not easy to grow, they are worth it for their amazing fragrance.

Lavender (Lavandula spp.)

lavender

Lavender is a perennial shrub that is well-known for its heady, powerful fragrance and small purple flowers.

Growing lavender in your garden gives you evergreen foliage in winter and fragrant flowers in summer. Lavender scents are so powerful that their essential oils are linked with alleviating several health complaints. Plant this flowering shrub along pathways to benefit from its excellent fragrance throughout the summer.

Scented Hyacinth (Hyacinthus)

hyacinth

Hyacinths are famous for their rich and heavily fragrant flowers that fill spring gardens.

These spring-flowering bulbs produce large flower heads made up of small tubular flowers. These strongly aromatic flowers can be in various pastel colors such as pink, lilac, salmon, yellow, purple, and white. You can enjoy the fragrant spring flowers in your garden or make a fragrant indoor floral display with cut flowers.

Freesia

freesia

The delicate, colorful flowers of freesias produce beautiful fragrances that smell like sweet summer fruits.

The conical or funnel-shaped flowers come in a staggering array of colors. Beautiful pink, red, yellow, and white flowers sit on the top of long arching green stems. Freesias also make fantastic cut flowers for indoor flower aromatic displays. If you want to fill a room with honey-like odors, then place a bunch of freshly cut freesias in a vase.

Roses (Rosa)

roses

Roses are one of the most popular flowers in the world that have come to symbolize romance, joy, gratitude, and friendship.

Many types of roses are strongly fragrant and have colorful, showy flowers. Some varieties of roses ooze fruity, musky, sweet, or spicy aromas. The strongly scented bushes and shrubs are excellent for planting in beds or borders or to create colorful and fragrant hedges. Some larger varieties of rose bushes can be trained to grow over arches or arbors to add stunning colors and aromas to a garden.

Heliotrope (Heliotropium)

heliotrope

Heliotrope flowers have an unusually sweet scent that resembles sweet vanilla or cherries.

Some people describe the fragrance of heliotrope as cherry pie with marzipan and almonds. The beautiful clusters of small lilac-colored flowers add to the delightfulness of this sweet-scented, low-growing flowering plant. If you decide to have the fragrance of heliotrope wafting throughout your garden, remember that the plant is toxic to cats and dogs.

Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)

sweet alyssum

Plant sweet alyssum in your yard if you are looking for fragrant flowers that are easy to grow.

These small dainty white flowers emit a subtle, sweet fragrance all summer long. Apart from being an excellent border plant, you can grow sweet alyssum in hanging baskets to enjoy its delightful odors. Sweet alyssum is one of the easiest plants to grow if you want to grow white or purple-white scented flowers in your backyard.

Lilies (Lilium)

lily

Lilies produce some of the most pungent fragrances from any flowering plant.

Their large trumpet-like flowers and heavenly scent make bold statements in gardens or as the centerpiece of a floral display. There are several different types of lilies to choose from. For example, oriental lilies are famous for their flamboyant flowers and intense fragrance. Trumpet lilies have fragrant, colorful flowers. But if you find the strong aroma of fresh lilies too intense, choose a type of Asiatic lily that has little or no scent at all.

Magnolia champaca

michelia campaca

Magnolia champaca is a flowering tree in the magnolia family that produces yellow or creamy-white fragrant flowers.

Native to tropical and subtropical countries, the Magnolia champaca (also called champak) oozes out sweet fragrances that smell like grapes or bananas. If you’re fortunate enough to grow a magnolia champaca, you can enjoy the fresh aromas from the flowers that bloom all year long.

Scented Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)

geranium

Geraniums produce beautiful flowers that make for breathtaking floral displays.

Although the flowers may give off a slight scent, it’s the leaves that carry all the plant’s fragrance. Rubbing the leaves releases aromas of rose, lemon, mint, apple, or apricot. The exact smell of scent depends on the type of geranium, and some varieties don’t have any fragrance at all. The common names of some geranium species also give clues to how good they smell – for example, rose-scented geraniums or sweet-scented geraniums.

Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis)

lily of the valley

Lily of the valley is one of the cutest spring flowers on the list of best fragrant plants.

The small plant produces bell-shaped white or pink flowers that give off a sweet fragrance. These spring-flowering aromatic plants can be invasive. So, if you want to enjoy their delightful spring scents, plant them in a container. It’s important to remember that the plants can be toxic. So, take care if you have children or pets in your yard.

Lilac (Syringa spp.)

lilac flower

Lilacs are large flowering shrubs that produce clusters of fragrant flowers that are usually light purple or mauve colors.

Fragrant lilac shrubs usually bloom in spring and early summer. For a few weeks in the year, these leafy shrubs transform into colorful plants emitting wonderful aromas. You can also cut the woody stems to have a beautiful lilac display to brighten and freshen up any type of room.

Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus)

carnation

Carnations produce showy flowers that give off sweet, spicy scents.

Some types of carnations produce a single fragrant flower on the end of long green stems. Other carnation varieties have groups of up to five bushy flowers. The stunning aroma-filled flowers can be single-colored or multicolored. You can also find various cultivars that come in white, yellow, pink, pale orange and red colors.

Honeysuckle (Lonicera)

honeysuckle

Honeysuckle vines thrive in many different environments and their tiny flowers emit distinctive vanilla and honey fragrances.

These popular flowering vines with their fragrant flowers are excellent for garden landscapes where height is needed. The trailing vines can reach up to 40 ft. (12 m) high and can cover pergolas, trellises, and arbors. The pleasant small colorful flowers bloom all summer until fall, where they fill the air with sweet, highly fragrant honeysuckle scents.

Agastache (Hyssops)

hyssop

Flowers of hyssops look like long colorful spikes and have foliage that gives of anise-like scents that are reminiscent of licorice.

Depending on the species of Agastache, the hyssops can stand nearly 3 ft. (0.9 m) tall. The cone- or spike-shaped flowers can be in various shades of purple, pink, mauve, or creamy-white. As summer breezes blow through the garden, the small flowers release licorice-scented aromas. You can also crush the leaves to enjoy even more of its pleasant fragrance.

Angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia spp.)

angel's trumpet

Angel’s trumpet plants get their name from the long, heavily scented trumpet-shaped flowers.

Plants in the genus Brugmansia are large shrubs or small trees that grow in warm climates. The pendulous flowers bloom from midsummer and produce pleasant evening aromas. Some of the large species can have flowers that are up to 20” (50 cm) long. These delightful fragrant flowers can be red, white, pink, or yellow. As a word of warning: angel’s trumpet plants are highly toxic.

White Ginger Lily (Hedychium coronarium)

white ginger lily

Beautiful perfume scents and showy, attractive flowers are the main features of white ginger lilies.

When the white flowers of white ginger lilies bloom in the warm summer sun, they release sweet honeysuckle-like scents. In warm climates, ginger lilies grow as evergreen plants and, in cooler climates, as deciduous ones. When they flower in late summer and early fall, wafts of sweet scents fill the air.

Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

chamomile

Chamomile flowers are well-known for their sweet, herbaceous fragrances that have therapeutic qualities.

Chamomile grows as a grassy herb and has star-shaped flowers. Delicate white petals fan out around brightly-colored yellow fragrant centers. Growing chamomile in your garden is excellent for adding some pleasant colors and subtle aromas. You can also pick the flowers and dry them to make delicious chamomile tea.

Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana)

nicotiana

Flowering tobacco plants are ornamental garden plants that produce sweetly scented flowers that become aromatic in the evenings.

The leafy herbaceous shrubs produce small tubular flowers that have a lily-like intense fragrance. These shrubby plants usually grow as annuals and are suitable for bedding plants. When planted in sunny locations, these decorative shrubs smell good in the late afternoon and early evening. The fragrant flowers can be white, pale green, purple, red, or pink.

Fragrant Columbine (Aquilegia fragrans)

Also called sweet-scented columbine, this perennial plant produces fragrant creamy-white flowers.

Compared to the small height of the plant, which only grows up to 18” (45 cm), the aroma-packed flowers are large and showy. The petals in the middle of the flower form a bowl-shape with lanceolate-shaped petals forming a star behind it. The pale-cream flowers can have hints of blue colors, and they are most fragrant between June and August.

Night-Scented Stock (Matthiola longipetala)

night scented stocks

Night-scented stock is a fragrant ornamental plant that releases a pleasant perfume in the evening.

This hardy annual that grows in cooler climates produces fragrant lilac-colored flowers. Stocks are a great plant to grow if you want to enjoy summer evenings in your garden surrounded by pleasant floral aromas. The best way to enjoy these purple “smelly” flowers is to grow them in bunches. You can also grow night-scented stocks in containers to enjoy the fragrant aromas on your balcony.

Daphne

daphne

Daphne is a small deciduous or evergreen shrub that produces sweet fragrant flowers in late winter and early spring.

The glossy green leaves on the plant contrast well with the white, yellow, or pink flower heads. Some species of daphne have green flowers that produce sweet scents with earthy undertones. It is important to remember that all parts of daphne plants are toxic.

Sweet / Fragrant Olive (Osmanthus fragrans)

sweet olive

Sweet olives or fragrant olives are a type of aromatic small shrub or tree that is native to southeast Asia. The plant produces clusters of flowers that give off strong fragrances.

Sweet fragrant olive plants are grown as ornamental plants in many countries in the northern hemisphere. Their delightful flowers emit aromas of ripe peaches or apricots. The shrubby tree grows to between 10 and 40 ft. (3 – 12 m) tall and produces a multitude of flowers in yellow, orange, and white colors.

Tuberose (Agave amica)

tuberose

Native to Mexico, tuberose produces spikes of white waxy flowers that are well-known for their strong pronounced fragrance.

The aromatic flowers blossom in spring and summer when the weather is hot. The plant is grown as a perennial in warm climates and as annual in colder zones. The most common color of the scented flowering spikes is white, and orange is seen on rarer varieties.

Ylang-Ylang (Cananga Odorata)

ylang ylang

Also known as the Cananga tree, ylang-ylang is called the perfume tree because of its fragrant flowers and aromatic healing essential oils.

The ylang-ylang tree produces strongly-scented flowers throughout the year. However, you need to live in a tropical region to enjoy growing this fragrant tree in your yard. The perfumed flowers are usually greenish-yellow and somewhat resemble the shape of a starfish. Ylang-ylang flowers are prized for their heavenly scents and heady aromas.

Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora)

sweet autumn clematis

Clematis is a climbing vine plant with delicately perfumed flowers that look like bicycle spokes.

The fragrant flowers on a clematis are usually white. The climbing growth nature of the plant means it’s perfect for decorating garden walls, growing up trellises, or covering arbors. You can also allow sweet-smelling clematis to provide dense ground cover that gives off a delightful fragrance in the summer.

Scented Primrose (Primulaceae)

scented primrose

Colorful and fragrant primrose flowers are some of the first flowers to bloom in spring. The wonderful fragrances are most pronounced in the evening when warm breezes fill the spring air.

Apart from their fruity scents, primroses are excellent to provide vibrant colors to a spring garden. These perennial flowering plants come in all colors imaginable. Some varieties are small sweet-smelling flowers that grace rock gardens. Whereas, other varieties are large fragrant, showy blooms that look and smell like miniature roses. Some of the most stunning and aromatic types of primroses are the candelabra varieties that flower on the ends of tall, erect stems.

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