7 Fragrant Flowers That Make a Garden (or Bouquet) Smell Amazing

These aromatic blooms will make you want to stop and smell the flowers.

If you're planning an aromatic flower garden or want to choose the best-smelling flowers for your next arrangement, these are the plants to pick. From soothing-scented lavender to sweet-smelling hyacinth, these flowers will waft floral scents around your backyard—and when cut and placed into bouquets, will fill any room with their heady aroma. Before you plant any new varieties, be sure to check out the care tips and hardiness zones (find your zone here) to make sure your new flowers will thrive. Or, when you're choosing blooms for a fragrant bouquet at the grocery store, you can let this list—and your nose!— be your guide. Go ahead, stop and smell the roses (and gardenias, and hyacinths).

01 of 07

Lily of the Valley

White lily of the valley flower
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Lily of the valley is known for its delicate, sweet-scented white blossoms. It adds an interesting silhouette and enticing fragrance to any arrangement.

Plant lily of the valley in early spring, in a spot that gets partial shade. Keep in mind that over time, this flower is known to spread out. Be very careful if you have pets, because lily of the valley is toxic to both dogs and cats.

Hardiness Zones: 3-9

02 of 07


pink hyacinth flower
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When heady hyacinth is in bloom, you'll often catch its scent before you see it. Note that waiting for this flower to bloom requires patience; bulbs need to be planted in the fall before the first frost, in well-drained, fertile soil in sun or partial shade. It's worth the wait. In the spring, hyacinth can be found in an array of gorgeous pink, purple, and blue shades. Planning to plant your own? Follow the Old Farmer's Almanac's tips.

Hardiness Zones: 4-8

03 of 07


pink rose
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The rose has always held its own as one of the sweetest-smelling flowers in the garden. New perfumes and rose-infused products are revitalizing the scent, making the classic trendy again. When it comes to planting roses, there are endless varieties to choose from, and like rose perfumes, you can choose from classic varieties or modern hybrids. This rose buying guide can help you find one that's right for your garden.

If you're looking for the most fragrant blooms, many English roses make the list, including Heritage and Gertrude Jekyll. Some hybrid tea roses, such as Just Joey and Mister Lincoln, are also aromatic. When buying roses at the florist or market, be sure the stem is firm and green. Petals should fit snugly against the bud and not be too wide open.

Hardiness Zones: Depends on variety, but most roses can be grown in zones 7-9

04 of 07


purple lavender
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It's no surprise to see lavender land on the most aromatic flowers list. Its soothing scent is everywhere—in perfumes, soaps, potpourri, and more. In fact, it's been proven to have stress-reducing properties. Even a few sprigs will amp up the aroma of any DIY bouquet. The hybrid Lavandin is among the most fragrant varieties you can choose, and even if you don't have a garden, potted lavender is easy enough to grow on your kitchen counter.

Hardiness Zones: Lavandin grows in zones 5-8

05 of 07


white gardenia flower
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The rich perfume of the gardenia bloom may remind you of wandering through a garden at night. That's because it releases more scent at night to attract pollinating moths. Gardenia does best in regions where nighttime temperatures are warm (around 60 degrees Fahrenheit), and prefer moist soil and humidity.

Hardiness Zones: 8-11

06 of 07


purple freesia flower
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For a light, sweet-smelling scent that's been compared to strawberries, opt for freesia. Available in vibrant shades of purple, yellow, pink, and red, freesia is as lovely in a garden as it is in a bouquet. It's recommended that in zones 9 or warmer, you plant freesia bulbs (called corms) in the fall; they're hardy enough to survive the winter. In cooler zones, it's best to plant corms in the spring. If planting freesia indoors, keep the soil moist and place the flowerpot near a window that gets good sunlight.

Hardiness Zones: Freesias are winter hardy in zones 9-10.

07 of 07


White jasmine flowers
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Like gardenia, night-blooming jasmine is most fragrant after dark. Not all types of jasmine are fragrant, but the common white jasmine is best known for its sweet scent. Jasmine's delicate white flowers look particularly striking when grown on a trellis or pergola.

Hardiness Zones: 7-10.

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