Grow these bloomers to perfume your garden-and your home.
Lilac (Syringa x 'Declaration')
Star-shaped reddish purple flowers appear in large dramatic clusters in early spring. The scent is spicy sweet-the essence of spring. The deciduous shrub reaches 6 to 8 feet tall and 5 to 6 feet wide; it takes full sun, or light shade in the hottest climates. Most lilacs bloom best in regions with winter chill (Sunset climate zones A1-A3; 1-11, 14-16). In mild winter areas (zones 18-22), try Descanso Hybrids.
'Scarlet Pineapple' sage
'Scarlet Pineapple' sage (Salvia elegans)
This shrubby perennial reaches 4 feet tall, and has bright red flowers and foliage that smells like ripe pineapple. Zones 5-24.
Lemon verbena (Aloysia triphylla)
A tall, lanky deciduous shrub, it has lemon-scented leaves and lilac or white flowers. Zones 9, 10, 12-21.
Angelwing jasmine (Jasminum laurifolium nitidum)
This semi-evergreen vine has glossy green leaves and pinwheel-shaped white flowers. Sunset climate zones 12, 16, 19-24, H1, H2.
Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens)
Though the purple varieties are more common, the white-flowered form is the most fragrant. Perennial in zones 15-17, 23, 24, H1, H2; annual elsewhere.
Many old types--including Bourbon, China, and damask--are fragrant, and more and more modern varieties, such as 'Yves Piaget', are too. Zones vary by species.
Look for the variety 'Prince Rupert' or 'Mabel Gray'. Perennial in Sunset climate zones 8, 9, 12-24; grow elsewhere as annual.
Mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius)
White four-petaled flowers cover this tall shrub. Sunset climate zones A1-A3, 1a, 2-24.