20 Fragrant Purple Flowers for Your Garden

Fragrant purple flowers are beautiful to admire with your eyes, but many are a wonder to enjoy with your nose, too! Thanks to their sweet and fruity scents, purple flowers that smell good can provide a true feast for the senses whether you grow them in a garden or enjoy them in an arrangement of cut flowers. Here, we’ll take you through 20 lovely purple scented flowers.

Most Fragrant Purple Flowers

20 Purple Flowers That Smell Good

Here, you’ll find 20 heady and aromatic types of purple flowers with pleasant scents revered for their fragrance each year in the spring and summer.

1) Primrose

Bright and vibrant purple Primrose flowers in bloom

About: 

Native to parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa, the primrose gets its common name from the Latin “prima” and “rosa” which translate to first rose. This name references primroses among the first spring flowers to bloom. They feature clusters of sweet flowers atop a central rosette of greenery. While primroses bloom in almost every rainbow color, their purple and amethyst-hued varieties are especially striking.

Common and Botanical Name:Primrose (Primula vulgaris)
Fragrance:Sweet, orange, and citrusy
Peak Season:Early to late spring
Most Fragrant Varieties:Japanese primrose and Belarina double vulgaris primrose varieties

2) Violet

A cluster of fragrant Violet flowers growing during the blooming season

About: 

Between 500 and 600 species of violets belong to the genus Viola. Most violets have pretty heart-shaped leaves and flowers that resemble small faces with bilateral symmetry. Their petals bloom in almost every color and combination of shades you can imagine, but they’re most loved for their purple-colored flowers, from which the name for the color violet comes. Most violets grow well in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 9. Some varieties vary slightly, though. So, it’s best to check your seeds before you plant.

Common and Botanical Name:Violet (Viola)
Fragrance:Sweet and powdery soft
Peak Season:Spring
Most Fragrant Varieties:Sweet violet (Viola adorata) and parma violet (Viola alba)

3) Lavender

A collection of purple lavender flowers in bloom in a field

About: 

The Lavandula genus contains 47 species of lavender, and they’re all part of the mint family. Popular in aromatherapy, the scent of lavender has been shown to have a calming effect on both people and animals. Lavender essential oil is an excellent choice to diffuse before bedtime, to help calm a stressed pet, or to calm yourself on a busy day. Lavender essential oil has long been a popular ingredient in soaps. Its name is thought to come from the Latin word “lavare” which means to wash. Lavender is also easy to propagate if you’re ever looking to expand your collection or gift to friends.

Common and Botanical Name:Lavender (Lavandula)
Fragrance:Lightly floral, herbal, and fresh
Peak Season:Summer
Most Fragrant Varieties:Lavandin (Lavandula x intermedia) and common lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

4) Hyacinth

A group of purple fragrant Hyacinth flowers in bloom

About: 

Hyacinths grow natively from Northern Bulgaria to Northern Israel, making winter hardy in zones 4 through 8. Early spring bloomers, the first wafts of their sweet fragrance, mark the beginning of spring for many. Not only do they smell delicious, but hyacinths also have beautiful racemes of star-shaped blossoms. They bloom in their signature purple color but also in white and light pink.

Common and Botanical Name:Hyacinth (Hyacinthus)
Fragrance:Powerful floral and water notes atop sweet, spicy undertones
Peak Season:Early Spring
Most Fragrant Varieties:Dutch hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis)

5) Dianthus

A close shot of a single Dianthus flower head showcasing aromatic purple and white blooms

About: 

With its brightly colored, frilled petals, dianthus flowers symbolize boldness in the language of flowers. Dianthus is a genus of about 300 species of flowers, some of which go by the common names pink, carnation, and sweet william. Most genus flowers are native to Asia and Europe, with a few species originating in the arctic region of North America, Northern Africa, and Southern Africa.

Common and Botanical Name:Dianthus (Dianthus)
Fragrance:Strong, spicy, and clove-like
Peak Season:Early spring and summer
Most Fragrant Varieties:Old-fashioned pinks, dianthus Agatha (Dianthus allwoodii), and carnations

6) Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

A close shot Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow flowers showcasing delicate purple blooms attached to a single branch

About: 

Commonly known by fun names like “yesterday, today, and tomorrow,” “morning, noon, and night,” and “kiss me quick,” Brunfelsia pauciflora is a species of flowering shrub plant in the nightshade family. Native to Brazil, the shrub features leathery leaves and delicate flowers that blossom from purple to lavender to white. Like other plants from the nightshade family, All of the yesterday, today, and tomorrow plants are toxic – especially the fruits and flowers.

Common and Botanical Name:Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (Brunfelsia pauciflora)
Fragrance:Sweet and floral
Peak Season:Spring and summer
Most Fragrant Varieties:Brunfelsia pauciflora ‘Magnifica’

7) Freesia

A single purple Freesia flower in bloom

About: 

Freesia is a genus of flowering plants that belong to the Iris plant family. Freesia flowers are native to Southeastern Africa and are famous for their distinctly fruity fragrance, that’s a popular ingredient in lotions, perfumes, and soaps. The most fragrant varieties feature trumpet-shaped flowers in shades that range from mauve to pink to yellow, orange, and white. The flowers bloom in a row along one side of an upright stalk amidst a clump of sparse and spindly leaves.

Common and Botanical Name:Freesia (Freesia)
Fragrance:Powerfully sweet, fruity, and strawberry-like
Peak Season:Spring
Most Fragrant Varieties:Any single-flowered freesia in addition to antique freesia alba, Matterhorn, and Tecolote white

8) Night-Scented Stock

A cluster of tall purple Night-Scented Stock in bloom

About: 

Matthiola longipetala is commonly called night-scented stock or evening stock because its flowers open up at night to attract nighttime pollinators like moths with their sweet, fragrant scent. The plant’s petite flowers feature four long, skinny petals with a color gradient that ranges from white at the center to a deep purple at the tip. Night-scented stock has a highly branched appearance. Although it often appears wilted during the day’s heat, it will straighten up and open up as the Sun begins to set.

Common and Botanical Name:Night-Scented Stock (Matthiola longipetala)
Fragrance:Sweet and spicy with notes of cinnamon and clove
Peak Season:Spring to fall
Most Fragrant Varieties:Matthiola longipetala

9) Lilac

Purple aromatic Lilac flowers during the blooming season

About: 

The Syringa genus contains 12 species of small flowering trees commonly called lilacs. They have woody stems, simple heart-shaped or lanceolate leaves, and grape-bunch-shaped panicles of tiny tubular flowers. Lilacs most commonly bloom in shades of light, bluish-purple, but some come in white, pink, and even a deep burgundy. Some varieties of lilacs are more fragrant than others. For example, large lilac trees in a gentle breeze can fill an entire neighborhood with their pleasantly sweet aroma.

Common and Botanical Name:Lilac (Syringa)
Fragrance:Richly floral with hints of vanilla, rose, and sometimes cinnamon or clove
Peak Season:Spring
Most Fragrant Varieties:Miss Kim (Syringa pubescens), President Lincoln (Syringa vulgaris), Pekin tree lilac, and Japanese tree lilac

10) Butterfly Bush

A single branch of a Butterfly Bush plant showcasing plumes of tiny fragrant purple flowers with white and yellow centers

About: 

The butterfly bush is native to Central China and Japan and can be grown in hardiness zones 5 through 9. These deciduous bushes have attractive foliage that keeps the plant enjoyable year-round. Still, they’re mainly cultivated for their prized, conical flower panicles that can grow about 8 inches long and appear to burst from the bushes. As the plant’s name suggests, butterfly bushes attract butterflies and other valuable pollinators to your garden.

Common and Botanical Name:Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii)
Fragrance:Sweet and honey-like
Peak Season:Spring and summer
Most Fragrant Varieties:Safe bush (Buddleja salviifolia) and winter flowering lilac (Buddleja asiatica)

11) Phlox

A collection of purple flowering Phlox in a garden atop deep green leaves and foliage

About: 

The Phlox genus contains 67 species of annual and perennial plants that, except for one species from Siberia, are all native to North America. They grow naturally in various habitats, including woodlands, prairies, and alpine tundra. The name phlox comes from the Greek word that means flame and is thought to refer to the plant’s brightly colored clusters of flowers.

Common and Botanical Name:Phlox (Phlox)
Fragrance:Sweet with hints of vanilla and clove
Peak Season:Spring, summer, or fall, depending on the species
Most Fragrant Varieties:Phlox paniculata: ‘Cinderella,’ ‘Fairy’s Petticoat,’ and ‘Ending blue’

12) Wisteria

A flowering Wisteria plant with pendulous cones of fragrant purple flowers

About: 

Ten species of woody, vining, flowering plants comprise the genus Wisteria. Wisteria plants can grow like trees, with their vines twining and spiraling around each other to form a trunk in more mature plants. They produce large, beautiful, voluminous, pendulous cones of flowers that can create a magical canopy of color with flowers in purple, pink, blue, and white. Despite their beauty, all parts of Wisteria plants are toxic and should not be ingested.

Common and Botanical Name:Wisteria (Wisteria)
Fragrance:Musky and sweet
Peak Season:Spring and summer
Most Fragrant Varieties:Wisteria sinensis, Wisteria brachybotrys ‘Shiro Kapitan,’ and Wisteria brachybotrys ‘Murasaki Kapitan’

13) Sweet Pea

Tall and striking purple Sweet Pea flowers growing in a field

About: 

Native to Southern Italy, Sicily, and the islands of the Aegean Sea, the Lathyrus odoratus is a flowering plant in the legume family with a notably pleasant and sweet scent – hence the name sweet pea! In addition to its popular fragrance, sweet pea blossoms that grace your garden will also fill it with beautifully delicate blossoms that vary from shades of white, pink, and fuchsia in cultivars but primarily blossom in purple in the wild.

Common and Botanical Name:Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus)
Fragrance:Sweet, spicy, citrusy, and floral
Peak Season:Spring and summer
Most Fragrant Varieties:Grandiflora sweet peas and Lathyrus odoratus: ‘Matucana,’ ‘Linda Carole,’ and ‘Our Harry’

14) Daphne

A cluster of purple aromatic Daphne flowers in bloom

About: 

Just under 100 species of deciduous shrubs make up the Daphne genus. In late winter and early spring, clusters of potently scented daphne blossoms and berries are a welcome sight. Daphne bushes are hardy down to 10°F in zones 7 through 9. Although they’re toxic, daphnes have some practical uses beyond smelling nice; two species are used in Japan to produce paper.

Common and Botanical Name:Daphne (Daphne)
Fragrance:Sweet, soapy, and subtly spicy
Peak Season:Late winter and early spring
Most Fragrant Varieties:Winter Daphne (Daphne odora)

15) Heliotrope

A close shot of a purple Heliotrope flower head in bloom

About: 

The genus Heliotropium contains about 325 flowering plants commonly called heliotropes for their perceived nature of turning their flowers toward the Sun. The genus is nearly cosmopolitan, meaning its species grow naturally in almost every part of the world. This plant’s purple flower clusters will attract butterflies to your garden, but be careful if you have pets, as heliotropes are toxic if ingested.

Common and Botanical Name:Heliotrope (Heliotropium)
Fragrance:Delicate and floral with notes of baby powder, vanilla, and marzipan
Peak Season:Summer until frost
Most Fragrant Varieties:Azure skies (Heliotropium amplexicaule) and Nagano (Heliotropium arborescens)

16) Scented Geranium

A single purple Scented Geranium flower growing in a garden

About: 

Pelargonium is a genus containing almost 300 species of flowering succulents, shrubs, and perennial plants commonly called storksbills, pelargoniums, and scented geraniums. However, they should not be confused with plants from a different genus called geraniums or cranesbills. Pelargoniums are generally divided into six groups, one of which is defined by its members’ scented leaves.

Common and Botanical Name:Scented Geranium (Pelargonium)
Fragrance:Varies from species to species. Fragrant notes can include sweet, spicy, rose, grapefruit, ginger, hazelnut, peach, lime, pineapple, berries, myrrh, coconut, apple, peppermint, lemon, nutmeg, eucalyptus, almond, cinnamon, camphor, and celery.
Peak Season:Spring and summer – can bloom year-round in temperatures above 45F to 50F.
Most Fragrant Varieties:Several, including Pelargonium ‘Red Raspberry,’ Pelargonium ‘Lavender Lindy,’ Pelargonium quercifolium, and Pelargonium odoratissimum

17) Datura

A long, trumpet-shaped purple flower growing on the Datura plant

About: 

Datura metal is a species of perennial flowering shrub that features trumpet-shaped blossoms in white, yellow, purple, or a combination of these colors. The flower shape lends the plant its common names, devil’s trumpet, and angel’s trumpet. It is also referred to as Indian thornapple and Hindu datura. The devil’s trumpet’s blossoms open up at night. This is when the flowers are most fragrant to attract their special pollinator, the sphinx moth.

Common and Botanical Name:Devil’s Trumpet (Datura metel)
Fragrance:Sweet like honeysuckle
Peak Season:Early summer through fall
Most Fragrant Varieties:Datura ‘Evening Fragrance’

18) Bearded Iris

Two purple Bearded Iris flowers growing against a background of green foliage

About: 

Iris germanica is a species of flowering plant in the Iris plant family. The species, hybrids, and cultivars are commonly called bearded or German bearded irises. Although it’s listed as its species, the bearded iris is a natural hybrid of the Iris variegata and the Iris pallida. They feature bright purple petals that bloom atop tall, vibrant-green stems.

Common and Botanical Name:Bearded Iris (Iris germanica)
Fragrance:Deep, fruity, and spicy
Peak Season:Late spring
Most Fragrant Varieties:Iris germanica ‘Blue Suede Shoes,’ Iris germanica ‘Clarence,’ Iris germanica ‘Hemstitched,’ and Iris germanica ‘Cafe Bleu’

19) Alyssum

A collection of purple flowering Alyssum plants

About: 

Alyssum is a genus of 100 to 200 flowering plants that produce abundant clusters of petite flowers in white, yellow, pink, and many shades of purple. They emit a sweet fragrance that attracts butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects. Used as ground cover, alyssum creates a carpet of color and sweetness in your garden.

Common and Botanical Name:Alyssum (Alyssum)
Fragrance:Sweet with notes of honey and melon
Peak Season:Summer and fall
Most Fragrant Varieties:Sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima ‘Snow Princess’)

20) Rhododendron

An array of flowering purple Rhododendron plants in a garden

About: 

Rhododendron’s genus contains more than a thousand species of woody, flowering shrubs. The name comes from ancient Greek words which mean rose tree, and it harkens to the rose-like appearance of the plant’s flowers. They blossom in various shades ranging from deep purples to fiery reddish pinks and have dozens of papery folds of petals.

Common and Botanical Name:Rhododendron (Rhododendron)
Fragrance:Sweet and spicy with notes of clove
Peak Season:Late spring to early summer
Most Fragrant Varieties:Western azalea (Rhododendron occidentale), Rhododendron ‘April Rose,’ and Roseshell Azalea (Rhododendron prynophyllum)

FAQs: 

What is the most fragrant purple flower? 

Some of the most fragrant purple flower varieties include primrose, hyacinth, lavender, violets, heliotrope, and scented geraniums.

What determines the fragrance of a purple flower?

The scent of flowers comes from thousands of chemical compounds in a flower’s essential oils. Most abundant in a flower’s petals, the fragrant oils evaporate in warm weather when a flower blossom opens, and the olfactory glands in our noses smell them.

How do you make purple flowers more fragrant?

While the scent of a particular flower is primarily determined by genetics, ensuring your plant has sufficient water is thought to play an important role in producing essential oils that produce floral aromas.

Attract Pollinators for a More Vibrant Garden

Whether you choose a purple color scheme for your garden or settle on a more colorful look, selecting especially fragrant flowers will help attract pollinators like butterflies and bees to your garden. This results in happier plants that spread and contribute to a healthier ecosystem.


Editorial Director | andrew@petalrepublic.com | Full Bio

Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *