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Jun 28 • 2012 • AromaticFlowerRose NewsScentSmell.Noseperfume

Rose News From Around The World

UK

A NOSE FOR A ROSE Part 2

With the flower in its high season, an expert explains the proper way to take in their scent

ASK MICHAEL MARRIOTT about a rose he saw 10 years ago and he'll tell you the genus, variety and exactly what it smelled like. Considered one of the world's most knowledgeable rose noses, Mr. Marriott is senior rosarian for the prestigious English breeder David Austin Roses (2,500 of its blooms covered Queen Elizabeth's barge at the Diamond Jubilee recently). Mr. Marriott also designs beautiful private and public gardens in Russia, Bhutan, Japan, Europe and the U.S. From his home near Shropshire, England, he explained the proper way to smell a rose.

How to sniff: "Stick it up to your nose, roll it round a bit. Think about what is there, even if you can't identify it. Don't gob it down quickly like you are nervously tasting the wine at a restaurant. If the first one you try on a certain shrub doesn't smell, try another. Younger roses are generally more aromatic. The whole point of smell is to attract insects and in the older ones the pollen may have already been taken."

Optimum time to do it: "When the humidity is high, morning is usually best. The other important thing is the temperature two to three days before the flowers open. The perfume is formed then. If the weather is cold, you won't get much scent, but if it is lovely and warm you will get more fragrance."

Where does the smell come from? "In big flowers, like the old roses, it is made from three or four hundred oils in little glands on the flower petals. Three to four of them give it the overall character, but the others create the finer differences. In musk roses, with smaller flowers, it is made in the stamens, which smell clove-like. Clove is a preservative so it is thought that the scent helps preserve the stamens. Himalayan Musk is a great rose that climbs 30 feet in trees, producing tens of thousands of flowers that waft fragrance through the air."

 The Gertrude Jekyll, above, is his current favourite.

Which roses smell best? "My immediate favourite is Gertrude Jekyll, which has a strong, classic old rose fragrance, and a strong pink colour. Lady Emma Hamilton has beautiful apricoty orangy colors and smells like guavas and litchis. Creamy white Claire Austin has a wonderful myrrh fragrance and grows to a good-size shrub."

Do roses ever smell bad? "Well, I don't like Maigold. I think it smells rather like saturated fat. But then Graham Thomas, one of the greatest plantsmen ever, really liked it. A few people think the myrrh roses smell like hospital rooms but I find them delightful—an anise smell like pastis."

How to preserve a cut rose's scent: "One good thing is to mist them to keep humidity up. Use a large vase for the same reason. Don't put them too close to the air conditioner or the fireplace because that will dry them out. Change the water on a fairly regular basis, of course."

Health benefits to sniffing: "Actually they did an experiment in Japan on stressed mice—they shocked them, not very nice—and found that smelling rose oil had a very beneficial effect, even better than Diazepam."

Details of all our highly perfumed roses are available on our web site.

Over 1000 varieties to choose from.

www.countrygardenroses.co.uk

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Jun 11 • 2012 • ChandosGardenNoseRoseRose NewsScentsSmellSweetfragrant

Rose News From Around The World

U K

A NOSE FOR A ROSE

Chandos Beauty

Most of us can identify familiar scents in the garden – newly mown grass, fragrant roses and lavender spring to mind.

In fact, women have a significantly better sense of smell than men, according to a survey by Gardeners’ World magazine.

The survey of 2,000 people found that women were able to recognise 14 out of 15 garden scents better than men, including rose, lilac, freshly cut grass and compost.

Freesias came out tops as our favourite scent followed by strawberries and sweet peas. Creosote was the only smell men recognised as much as women.

So it seems timely to create a scented garden to educate not only our men but to provide endless days and nights of aromatic summer pleasure outdoors.

Indeed many plants grown for their scent come into their own at dusk, including night-scented stocks, honeysuckle, jasmine and nicotiana. Plant them close to where you will be sitting in the evening and you won’t miss their delicious scent.

Others, such as lavender, thyme and rosemary, release their scent when you make contact with them, so are ideal for edging paths, so that visitors can appreciate their heady aroma when they brush past them.

Sheltered spots devoid of wind, which can effectively blow the scent away, will provide an area of intense fragrance. If you have a bench in a sheltered spot, try growing roses up around it so you can catch that intensity when you sit.

It is possible to combine natural fragrances for the best results and the magazine has created a scent wheel, similar to a colour wheel, to match scented plants to bring out the best in each other.

Sweet scents which do well together include cottage garden favourites such as sweet pea, lilac, honeysuckle and rose, while a combination of citrus scents including lemon verbena, monarda and lime also work well together.

If you like woody notes with sweet scents, go for lavender, sage and thyme, while more spicy notes are gained from dianthus, azalea and bay.

If you’re after scent when you open your patio doors, keep your containers and hanging baskets close by with your fragrant favourites.

I have a basket outside my patio door in the summer filled with the petunia Surfinia Blue Vein, whose flowers have a deep blue throat which pales into the white outer petal. The smell of this type is fantastic – almost like a lily fragrance.

Indeed, no scented garden would be complete without some sort of lily and one of the easiest to grow is the regal lily, Lilium regale. One bulb quickly builds up into a clump on most soils, producing a profusion of white, trumpet-shaped blooms with yellow throats and purple pink outsides, whose strong heady perfume is at its best on summer evenings.

“Sniff a lily and you’ll feel a sense of wellbeing that Chanel can never match,” Alan Titchmarsh comments. They’re perfect planted with roses, ornamental grasses and euphorbia.

If you have an archway or pergola near your patio, you can choose from a wide variety of scented climbers including scented honeysuckles, wisterias, roses and jasmine.

Trachelospermum jasminoides is a fantastic slow-growing climber which will reach around 10m (32ft) in height if placed in a sheltered position against a warm wall. It produces small white flowers against dark green oval-shaped leaves and its fragrance is fantastic. But you need to protect it against wind and frost in severe winters.

It is not only flowers which produce wonderful scents during summer – rub some leaves of certain plants and you will be pleasantly surprised. The lemon-scented pelargonium (P. crispum ‘Variegatum’), for instance, has cream-edged leaves which, if rubbed, emit a delicious lemon perfume. It produces pale mauve flowers throughout summer.

With a little planning, you could soon have a garden full of fragrance which will last all summer.

See the HIGHLY PERFUMED ROSES list on our web site.

Details of all our roses are available on our web site. Over 1000 varieties to choose from.

www.countrygardenroses.co.uk

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Apr 27 • 2012 • AromaFragranceNoseRose NewsScentShropshireroses

ROSE NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

UK

Gertrude Jekyll

 

DO YOU HAVE A ROSE NOSE ?

Think of the wonderful scents that your nose can bring you; the sweetness of a pie baking in the oven, the savory smell of bacon cooking and the aroma of fresh brewed coffee.

Naturally, there are some scents that are not so wonderful, such as something burning on the stove or the indication a baby’s diaper needs changing. Special training of one’s nose can lead to becoming a wine sommelier, a tea connoisseur or a 'rose nose' specialist.

Michael Marriott, the senior rosarian of David Austin Roses in Shropshire, has this very job of deciphering the fragrance of these English roses. His associate is another Austin 'rose nose' Robert Calkin, the acclaimed British perfumer and floral fragrance educator.

Together they amble about the nearly two-acre show garden, sniffing roses and debating and fine tuning their thoughts on its signature scent characteristics. Marriott says the fragrance in roses comes from two different sources. Most commonly it comes from the petals, but sometimes it also emanates from the stamens. This is especially true in varieties with single or semidouble flowers where stamens are abundant.

In the petals, the greater part of any rose scent originates from its mix of just four or five different primary oils. Professionals call these a scent’s 'base notes'. But rose scents are complex, with as many as 200 to 300 possible other oils present, often in minute quantities. This mix yields the wonderful richness found in rose fragrances.

The oils are formed from precursors, which are produced at the bud stage, three or four days before the flower opens. The warmer it is (within reason) at this stage, the more precursors are produced and the stronger the fragrance. The great variety of resulting oils will combine to produce the old rose, fruity, myrrh and tea fragrances.

The fragrance of the stamens of single and semidouble flowers is often musky in character, and also clove-like. Cloves are a preservative, so it could be that the fragrance does in fact help to prevent decline in the stamens. Some varieties, especially from the Hybrid Musk group of roses, combine the fragrance from both the petals and the stamens.

Marriott advises when smelling a rose, not to just give it a quick sniff. Smell it as you might savour a good wine by rolling it around the nose. Everybody's nose smells things differently, so don't be shy about describing the scents you sense or detect.

It is also important to smell several different flowers on any given bush, as some might not readily resonate, while others exuberantly exhibit their fragrance. Sometimes, the fragrance can be very different, according to the age of a particular flower.

A few of the most fragrant English roses are ‘Gerturde Jekyll’ that has an old rose fragrance that is strong, rich and perfectly balanced. ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ is fruity with hints of pear, grape and citrus, ‘The Generous Gardener’ has an old rose fragrance of musk and myrrh, and ‘Princess Alexandra of Kent’ has a tea fragrance of lemon and black currant.

Myrrh appeared in David Austin’s first rose, the onceflowering ‘Constance Spry’, as a powerful, spicy top note inherited from one of the parents, ‘Belle Isis’, a strongly perfumed Gallica type.

‘Constance Spry’s' is considered a quintessential rose fragrance

Details of all our roses are available on our web site. Over 1000 varieties to choose from.

www.countrygardenroses.co.uk

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