Which Gardenia Smells The Best?

We all have our favorite varieties of flowers. Still, there is no definite answer when it comes to the best-smelling gardenias. It all depends on your personal preferences. 

Gardenias are considered the most elegant and charming of all the flowering plants. The smell of this plant is among the top favorites for perfume-makers, making it an important flower for perfume creation. They are the most common flowering plant that grows in warm, humid climates. Gardenias are also called Lemons, and they are known to have several types of fragrances, depending on where they’re grown. Here is our list of 10 different types of Gardenia and their respective smells.

Gardenia Varieties

Common Cape Jasmine

Gardenia jasminoides

This type of Gardenia is native to China and has a strong, sweet smell. It is also the most popular type of Gardenia. The scent is strong and floral, while also being semi-petaled. It is a soft green color with yellow streaks running through the petals or pollen tubes. The smell can be tart or sweet, depending on how processed. 

Vietnam Gardenia

Gardenia vietnamensis or Vietnamese gardenia or Kailarsenia flower.
(Gardenia augusta )

This type of Gardenia is native to Africa and has a more subtle smell than the Gardenia jasminoides. The Cape jasmine has a mellow and refined scent that is light, sweet with something citrus-like. It does not have the fruit or tartness of certain other types of gardenias. The bloom heads can vary from small to large, depending on growing in their native climate. So they are considered rarer than some other varieties found today.

Radican Gardenia

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Radicans’

This type of Gardenia is native to Australia and has a citrusy smell. This is one of the most exotic varieties on our list, liked for its more nuanced and subtle fragrance. It has soft perfumed aromas that are citrusy on both the herbaceous side (closes) as well as a fruity side (open). The prominent scent comes from immature blossoms, which produce copious amounts of pollen, causing it to smell like something candied or sugary.

Wild Gardenia

Gardenia thunbergia

The wild Gardenia grows in Japan, and its scent is almost minty, light, and floral. The blooms give off a very soft, fine fragrance with the slightest hint of muskiness from little petals’ stamens. For hundreds of years, wild Gardenias have been cultivated by Japanese people as ornamental flowering shrubs.

Tahiti gardenia

Tiare Maori, (Gardenia taitensis) grows in Rarotonga Island is the National Flower of the Cook Islands. Nature background.

 It has a sweeter, less spicy fragrance that still has hints of the classic Gardenias but is still unique. One really cool thing about them is that if it rains really hard and is blooming, the flowers become slightly transparent! They don’t last long after that, but it is still pretty cool.

First Love Gardenia

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Aimee Yoshioka’

It has an intense-inducing scent that makes you feel light-headed and warm. It’s one of the reasons why it’s a popular favorite Gardenia variety among gardeners looking for something to help relieve stress. 

Everblooming Gardenia

Gardenia jasminoides’ Veitchii’

 It has a nice balance between spice and creamy coconut/vanilla. ‘Mystery’ variety has a scent very similar to Veitchii.

Tubular Flowered Gardenia

Gardenia nitida 

It smells like green apple candy-like. It didn’t give a headache like the regular Gardenia scent, and it’s more fruity tone than floral one. So if you love the fruity scents, this is definitely recommended.

August Beauty Gardenia

Gardenia jasminoides’ August Beauty’

August Beauty’ is one of the most fragrant it is pretty strong and high up there. But it has a slightly different scent from most gardenias. ‘August Beauty’ has a note that is a little indolic that reminds me of French Perfume Jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum). It’s really nice to have Gardenia that smells a little different, and the flowers are gigantic too.

Most Gardenia jasminoides have that same smell of coconut, vanilla, crayon smell like Veitchii, Chuck Hayes, Aimee, Kleim’s Hardy, etc.