The Aromatic Allure of Carnations: Unraveling Their Signature Scent

Carnations may be best known for their delicate ruffled blooms, but some of these flowers also pack quite a fragrant punch. Stay with us to learn what carnation flowers smell like.

What do Carnation Flowers Smell Like

What Do Carnation Flowers Smell Like?

What Do Carnation Flowers Smell Like?

Before I tell you what carnations smell like, I’d like to note that not all carnations smell the same. The carnation flower color and variety can impact the scent.

Many carnation flowers have a fragrance that’s a mix of sweet, spicy, and a bit floral. Some of the flowers are distinctly spicy, with a fragrance reminiscent of cloves. However, other carnations have a scent that’s primarily sweet and floral. And some carnations barely have an odor at all!

Why Don’t My Carnations Smell?

While some carnations are fragrant, not all of them are. If your carnations don’t smell, there could be a few causes.

First off, not all types of carnations have a strong fragrance. If you want fragrant flowers, look for varieties of carnations that seed companies have labeled as fragrant.

Another possible cause of a lack of fragrance is the flower’s age. If carnations have been sitting for a while after they are harvested, they may lose their fragrance.

What Are the Most Fragrant Types of Carnations?

What Are the Most Fragrant Types of Carnations?

If you want a carnation that fills your garden or home with a sweet or spicy fragrance, try growing one of the following fragrant carnation varieties.

  • ‘Chabaud Jeanne Dionis’: this heirloom French variety has white flowers that smell like sweetened cloves
  • ‘Chabaud La France’: another heirloom variety, this light pink carnation is one of the most fragrant types you can grow.
  • ‘Fanganza’: this variety has fuchsia flowers with a strong fragrance; you can also find other colors of Fanganza carnations
  • ‘White Rabbit’: white flowers that bloom over a long period in cooler weather

For more, see our in-depth guide to 10 of the most fragrant types of carnation flowers


What do Carnation Flowers Smell Like FAQs: 

Do Carnations Have a Strong Fragrance?

Some types of carnations have strong fragrances that are sweet, spicy, floral, or a combination of the two. However, other carnation varieties have a barely-present scent.

How Long Do Carnations Last in a Vase?

Carnations will last one to two weeks in a vase. Keep them in a cool area out of direct light to help them last as long as possible.

What Is the Most Fragrant Type of Carnation?

Some fragrant types of carnations include ‘Chabaud La France’, ‘Fanganza’, and ‘White Rabbit’.


Wrapping Up

When it comes to carnation fragrance, it all depends on the variety. Some carnations have sweet, spicy, or floral scents, while others have very minimal fragrances.

For more, see our in-depth guide to carnation growing zones and native ranges, the best companion plants for carnations, tips on managing non-flowering carnations, the best locations to plant carnations, and how to propagate and transplant carnation flowers in your garden.


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