The Gardener’s Monthly 28: 249-250 (August 1886)

Varieties Of Perfume In The Rose.
Henry Curtis, Torquay
in The Garden 8(194): 99 (August 7, 1875)

In roses there is a national interest; their scents are especially interesting, and, I am sure, to none more so than to our lady gardeners, whose delicacy of discrimination in matters of perfume will be of the greatest assistance to us in discussing this subject. The well-known perfumes of mignonette, musk, heliotrope, verbena, violet, orange-blossom, and others, are highly prized by most people; but the same peculiar scents are maintained by them all the world over; while the rose, queen of all, is unsurpassed in the variety of its perfume. Having, during many years, given much attention to this subject, 1 shall now endeavor to make a classification of distinct types of rose scents; asking your readers to bear with me in this, the first attempt that has ever been made of this kind. I would here enumerate some seventeen varieties, beginning with the well-known Sweet Briar: 1, Sweet Briar, the garden variety; 2, Moss Rose-bud scent, common Moss and others of that family; 3, Austrian Briar, Copper, Austrian, and others of that section; 4, Musk Rose, Narcissus, Old Musk, and others; 5, Myrrh-scented, Ayrshire, splendens; 6, China Rose scent, an astringent refreshing scent, old monthly China and many others; 7, Damask Perpetual scent, Rose du Roi, &c.; 8, Scotch Rose scent, the early double Scotch; 9, Violet-scented, White Banksia; 10, Old Cabbage-scented, the well-known double Provence; 11, Otto Perpetual scent, Charles Léfèbvre, Madame Knorr, &c.; 12, true Perpetual scent, Chabrilland, Pierre Notting, &c.; 13, Old Tea scent, the old yellow Tea or Magnolia Rose, and others—almost unpleasantly strong for some tastes; 14, Sweet Tea scent, Goubault, Devoniensis. Maréchal Niel, &c.; 15 Hybrid Tea scent, La France; Bessie Johnson is closely allied to this; 16, Nectarine or fruit scent, Socrates, Jaune Desprez, Aline Sisley, &c.; 17, a new variety which I would name the Verdier scent, represented more or less by all the Victor Verdier hybrids, such as Eugénie Verdier, Castellane, Countess of Oxford, Marie Finger, and many others of recent introduction. Some compare this slight but peculiar perfume to that of apples; I think it might be described as a delicate rose scent, with a "suspicion" of turpentine about it, pleasantly blended. The petals of the highly-scented varieties have on their inner surface minute perfume glands, or vesicles, containing the highly volatile essence, under the microscope distinctly visible. Those on the foliage of Sweet Briar and sepals of the Moss rose may almost be seen by the naked eye. So that with the microscope and good olfactory practice, the interesting question, "Which are the sweetest roses?" may be readily settled. To my taste, and by the same rule, the following are the most deliciously and powerfully scented of all roses, viz.: La France, Goubault, Devoniensis, Maréchal Niel, Bessie Johnson, Madame Knorr, Pierre Notting, and Charles Léfèbvre. As a rule nearly all the dark roses are sweet-scented. To unstop Nature's finest bottle of rose-scent, remove the cap in hot weather from a "pasted" full-blown bud of La France, or even the Old Cabbage, and the flower will instantly expand, throwing out a surprising volume of fragrance. Roses after they have been gathered a short time, appear to give off more perfume. Again, roses blooming under glass usually give off more than those of the same kinds blooming in the open air.—H. Curtis, in Garden.