Choose Herbs for Fragrance - dummies

By Karan Davis Cutler, Kathleen Fisher, Suzanne DeJohn, National Gardening Association

Part of Herb Gardening For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The term “fragrant herbs” may be redundant, but there are fragrances and there are fragrances. Some gardeners love the scent of rosemary, for example, and others are less enthralled. Here are herbs whose leaves and/or flowers keep you olfactorily ahhhing and ohhhing.

  • Beebalm (Monarda didyma) foliage has a citrusy aroma.

  • Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) has a strong lemon fragrance with a hint of mint.

  • Catmint (Nepeta faassenii) has a minty, piney scent.

  • Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) has a clean and refreshing scent.

  • Curry plant (Helichrysum italicum) smells remarkably like curry, a mix of up to 20 different herbs and spices.

  • Rose (Rosa spp.) scents vary, depending upon the type — look for heirloom roses or varieties touted for their fragrance.

  • Garlic chives (Allium tuberosum) have a stronger, spicier aroma than regular chives.

  • Thyme (Thymus spp.) can smell like citrus, orange, caraway, or nutmeg, depending upon the variety.