9 Fragrant Perennial Flowers For Scented Gardens

Nothing beats the fragrance of a garden. It’s one of those things that you don’t truly understand until you’ve experienced it.

I can attest to the impact of aroma as someone who has spent endless hours in the garden. Walking through a garden loaded with aromatic perennial flowers instantly boosts your mood and makes you feel alive.

The smell is a crucial part of a garden that is frequently disregarded. A garden’s aroma can take you to another time and place, elicit memories, and even boost your overall well-being.

It’s like having a natural aromatherapy session in your own home.

This article lists 9 of the best fragrant perennial flowers that are great additions to your scented garden.

1. Lilac

Lilacs are a beloved, fragrant perennial that can add a touch of elegance to any garden. 


These woody shrubs are known for their clusters of delicate, tubular flowers that bloom in shades of purple, pink, white, and even yellow.

Best Growing Conditions

The best-growing conditions for lilacs are full sun and well-draining soil. They tolerate a wide range of soil types but prefer slightly alkaline soil.

Lilacs also require a significant amount of water, particularly during the growing season.

Fragrance Profile

The fragrance profile of lilacs is arguably one of the most iconic scents of spring. The sweet, floral aroma of lilacs can fill an entire garden and is often described as fresh and uplifting.

Lilacs also have a calming effect, making them popular for aromatherapy and relaxation.


To keep your lilacs healthy and thriving, regular maintenance is necessary. Pruning should be done immediately after flowering to encourage healthy growth for the following year.

Lilacs are also susceptible to powdery mildew and should be treated with a fungicide if signs of the disease appear. Additionally, deadheading spent blooms will help prolong the flowering period and promote new growth.

2. Lavender

Lavender is absolutely amazing! It’s stunning purple-blue flowers and heavenly aroma make it one of the most versatile perennial herbs out there.

You can use it for culinary, medicinal, or decorative purposes; it’s no surprise that it’s such a beloved plant.


This bushy plant, which can reach a height of three feet, has narrow, grey-green leaves and spikes of fragrant flowers.

The flowers can be anywhere from light pink to deep purple in color. They look great when planted in a mix.

Best Growing Conditions

With a little attention and care, lavender can become a stunning addition to any setting.

Providing plenty of sunlight and well-draining soil will allow it to thrive even in challenging conditions. Regular trimming will help maintain its shape and keep it growing beautifully.

Fragrance Profile

The fragrance of lavender is sweet and calming, with notes of floral and herbaceous scents. It’s often used in aromatherapy and relaxation practices due to its soothing properties.

The scent of lavender can also help repel insects, making it a popular choice for gardens that need natural pest control.


Lavender requires regular pruning to maintain its shape and encourage new growth. This can be done by cutting back the plant after it blooms, which will help prevent the plant from becoming woody and sparse.

Additionally, lavender should be fertilized sparingly and only in the spring, as over-fertilization can cause the plant to become leggy and lose its fragrance.

3. Dianthus

Dianthus, sometimes referred to as “pinks,” is a fragrant perennial plant loved for its colorful blossoms and enticing scent.

Due to its excellent adaptability, this plant can be used in a variety of garden settings, including borders and rock gardens.


The dianthus plant’s thin, blade-like leaves and exquisite, two-toned serrated edged petals create a stunning display through the contrast of shaded areas and brighter colors, enhancing its beauty.

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Best Growing Conditions

If you’re considering cultivating the globally renowned oil-producing Dianthus plant, keep in mind that it thrives in well-draining soil and full sun and cannot survive in wet soil.

This plant is relatively low-maintenance and doesn’t require much fertilizer, but it’s essential to deadhead regularly to promote new growth and extend the blooming period.

Fragrance Profile

Dianthus has a scent that is both sweet and spicy, with hints of cinnamon and clove. Its distinctive aroma gives any garden depth and complexity.

It’s a popular choice for gardens that people visit in the morning or evening because the scent is strongest then.


To keep your dianthus plants healthy and thriving, regular deadheading is necessary. This can be done by pinching off spent blooms with your fingers or using scissors or pruners.

Additionally, dianthus should be watered regularly, but be careful not to over-water, as this can lead to root rot.

4. Gardenia

Gardenias are a cherished and well-liked blooming shrubs known for both their beautiful appearance and alluring aroma.

Gardenias are a need for every perfumed garden because of their waxy, white blossoms and glossy green leaves.


Gardenias are evergreen shrubs that can grow up to 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide. They produce large, waxy, white flowers that have a unique and complex fragrance, with notes of jasmine, orange blossom, and sweet vanilla.

Gardenias are often used in bouquets and as cut flowers due to their beauty and long vase life.

Best Growing Conditions

Gardenias require regular watering, acidic soil, and some shade for optimum development. It’s crucial to safeguard them from the cold and frost during the winter.

Gardenias, which may be grown in pots or directly in the ground, are frequently planted close to outdoor living areas like patios and decks.

Fragrance Profile

The perfume of gardenias, which is frequently described as sweet, fragrant, and creamy, is one that many people hanker after. It brings up images of warm summer evenings and far-off tropical vacations.

The scent is so strong that it may fill a whole room with its enticing aroma.


If you want to maintain the shape and encourage new growth of your gardenias, it’s essential to prune them frequently.

To encourage wholesome development and flowering, treat them with an acid-based fertilizer.

Moreover, make sure to water your gardenias regularly, especially during dry spells.

5. Rose

Around the world, roses are one of the most beloved flowering plants.

Their lovely appearance enhances the charm of any garden or home interior. Many people love their fragrant essence. The best are roses!


Depending on the variety, roses are flowering shrubs that can reach heights of 2 to 20 feet. Large, vibrant flowers in a variety of colors—from vivid reds and pinks to gentle yellows and whites—are produced by these plants.

Roses come in a wide range of variations, such as hybrid tea, floribunda, grandiflora, and climbing forms.

Best Growing Conditions

For optimal growth, roses thrive in full sunlight and well-draining soil. They need frequent watering, especially in dry conditions, and benefit from regular fertilization.

Whether in containers or planted directly into the ground, roses are a favored option for enhancing outdoor living spaces, such as patios and walkways.

Fragrance Profile

Roses are well known for their sweet and delicate fragrance, which can vary depending on the variety. Some roses have a strong, spicy scent, while others have a more subtle, fruity aroma.

The fragrance of roses is often described as romantic and nostalgic, and it has been used for centuries in perfumes and other beauty products.

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To keep roses healthy and in shape, it is important to prune them regularly and fertilize them with a balanced fertilizer.

Adequate watering and mulching are also necessary to ensure proper moisture retention and prevent weed growth.

6. Peony

Peonies are an excellent choice if you want to make a fragrant garden.

The profuse and voluminous petals of these gorgeous and alluring flowers, as well as their pleasant scent, have made them famous.


Up to three feet tall, peonies are herbaceous perennials. Large, ruffled flowers in pink, white, and red hues are produced by them.

Peonies come in a wide range of kinds, including double-, semi-double-, and single-flowered forms.

Best Growing Conditions

Peonies prefer full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil. They require regular watering and benefit from a layer of mulch to retain moisture and suppress weed growth.

Peonies can be grown in containers or in the ground and are a popular choice for planting near pathways or as a focal point in a garden.

Fragrance Profile

Peonies possess a sweet and delicate aroma that is frequently characterized as floral and slightly spicy.

The fragrance of peonies is thought to have calming and stress-reducing effects, rendering them a sought-after option for aromatherapy.


Deadheading your peonies on a regular basis can help keep them blooming. They need very little upkeep.

However, it is advised to fertilize them with a balanced fertilizer in the spring and fall. Cutting them back to the ground is required once the first frost occurs in the fall.

7. Bee Balm

Bee Balm, also known as Monarda, is a fragrant perennial that gardeners love for its colorful blooms and attractive foliage.


Bee Balm is a herbaceous plant that can reach a height of four feet. It has striking blooms in shades of pink, red, and purple that are highly appealing to butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.

Furthermore, the leaves of Bee Balm are aromatic and can be used to create delicious teas and other culinary treats.

Best Growing Conditions

Bee Balm prefers full sun to partial shade and moist, well-draining soil. It should be watered regularly, especially during periods of drought, and benefit from regular fertilization.

Bee Balm can be grown in containers or in the ground and is a popular choice for planting in borders or as a focal point in a garden.

Fragrance Profile

Bee Balm smells sweet and spicy, and people frequently describe it as having a minty, energizing scent.

Bee Balm is a common choice for aromatherapy because it’s believed to offer relaxing and soothing effects in its smell.


Regular deadheading is necessary to encourage blooming on Bee Balm and keep the plant from getting too lanky.

In the spring and fall, it should be treated with a balanced fertilizer. In the fall, after the first frost, it should be trimmed back to the ground.

Additionally, susceptible to powdery mildew, Bee Balm should not be watered from above and should be planted in an area with good air circulation.

8. Honeysuckle

A touch of elegance and romance may be added to any garden with the help of the gorgeous and sweetly fragrant perennial vine known as honeysuckle.


The climbing vine known as honeysuckle can reach a height of 20 feet. Hummingbirds and other pollinators are drawn to the tubular-shaped flower clusters that are produced by this plant.

They come in colors of pink, white, and yellow. Typically green and oval in shape, honeysuckle leaves can be variegated in some types.

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Best Growing Conditions

Honeysuckle prefers soil that is wet, well-draining, in full sun to partial shade, or both. It can be grown on trellises, fences, or other supports and has to have its growth periodically curbed by cutting.

Although honeysuckle can be grown in containers, it might need to be watered more frequently.

Fragrance Profile

The sweet, floral perfume of honeysuckle is frequently referred to as seductive and evocative of summer.

In aromatherapy, honeysuckle is frequently utilized since it is said to provide a relaxing effect.


Regular pruning is necessary to encourage blooming and keep honeysuckle from becoming out of control. It should be watered frequently, especially during dry spells, and treated with a balanced fertilizer in the spring and fall.

Aphids and powdery mildew can be problems for honeysuckle, so it should be kept an eye out for them and swiftly treated if they appear.

9. Sweet Alyssum

Known for its pleasant smell and delicate white or pink flowers, sweet alyssum is a fragile and endearing annual flower.


Sweet Alyssum has a mounded growth habit and produces little clusters of white, pink, and lavender four-petaled blooms.

Sweet Alyssum has tiny, oval leaves that are gray-green in hue. With its lovely blossoms, this plant spreads swiftly and can quickly fill in garden spaces.

Best Growing Conditions

Sweet Alyssum requires well-draining soil and does well in full sun to some shade. It can be grown in window boxes, hanging baskets, and garden beds because it requires little upkeep.

Additionally, the drought-tolerant Sweet Alyssum can be grown in rock gardens.

Fragrance Profile

Sweet Alyssum smells like honey and is associated with spring and summer.

The fragrance is a well-liked option for gardens and floral arrangements because it is frequently described as light, delicate, and refreshing.


A low-maintenance plant that requires little attention is sweet alyssum. Regular watering is recommended, especially during dry spells, as is periodic fertilization with a balanced fertilizer.

Removing spent blooms, or deadheading, can promote new blossoming and keep the plant from getting too lanky.

To Sum Up

To sum up, scent is a crucial component of any garden. Perennial flowers with strong scents are a terrific way to enhance the beauty and fragrance of your outdoor area.

Several fragrant perennial flowers, including lilacs, lavender, dianthus, gardenias, roses, peonies, bee balm, honeysuckle, and sweet alyssum, have been discussed in this article.

These plants are ideal for a range of garden designs because each one has its own aroma profile and growing environment.

It’s crucial to remember that creating the ideal setting is just as vital as selecting the appropriate plants for a fragrant garden.

By arranging plants in areas where others may readily appreciate the aroma, such as next to seating areas or walkways, you can improve the fragrance of your garden.

Lucy Young

Meet Lucy, a seasoned gardener with a green thumb and a wealth of experience cultivated over 10 years in her own backyard oasis. Now, she channels her passion into writing, sharing invaluable gardening knowledge on her website. From nurturing plants to expert pruning techniques, Lucy's articles are a treasure trove for both seasoned enthusiasts and budding gardeners. Join her on this leafy journey as she sprinkles insights, tips, and tricks to help you create your own flourishing paradise. Get ready to dig into her gardening wisdom and unlock the secrets of a thriving garden!

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