Can You Identify These Fragrant Flowers?

By: Mariana Sabino

Can You Identify These Fragrant Flowers?
Image: SrdjanPav/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

As Rudyard Kipling once put it, "Smells are surer than sounds or sights to make your heart-strings crack." And fragrant flowers delight both the sight and the nose, evoking powerful feelings. Fragrant flowers are so mesmerizing that if you can recognize them, you can probably recall not only what they look like but also their scent and where you encountered them. 

Flowers, in all their myriad sizes, shapes, varieties and colors, boast distinct scents that are unique to each and unlike any other. Is it sweet? Citrusy? Musky? Does it remind you of almonds or something else? 

There are flowers whose scents do resemble something else you may be familiar with, and in this way trick the senses. However, if you know your flowers, you can pinpoint these idiosyncrasies and say, hey, you're not fooling me! I know what you are. I know your history or where you can be found. Do you look at a marigold and immediately recognize its attributes and scent? If you can tell your lily-of-the-valley from your daphne, you know just what we're talking about. 

We've compiled a list of fragrant flowers that you would've surely encountered on a stroll, seen in a bouquet, or found in your grandma's garden. How many of these can you identify? Take this quiz and find out just how savvy you are at recognizing these fragrant flowers. 





Gardenia Which luscious flower is named after an American naturalist/physician?
Rose
Gardenia
This luscious flower got its name from Alexander Garden, an 18th-century American naturalist. Known for its overpowering scent that is reminiscent of a green apple, gardenias originated in the East (China and Japan), but its hybrid forms can now be found all over the world. Gardenias are delicate plants and need just the right blend of humidity, sunlight and shade.
Jasmine
Plumeria

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Dianthus This old-fashioned perennial pink flower has blue-grey foliage.
Begonia
Dianthus
Although they are not all perennials, the one you might associate with an old-fashioned garden would be the dianthus perennial. With its bright pink blossom, dianthus calls to mind carnations on a smaller, daintier scale, wafting a clove-like scent.
Carnation
Azalea

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Nicotiana Alata Tubular-shaped, it's also known for something that can be smoked.
Nicotiana Alata
Known as nicotiana or flowering tobacco, this five-petalled flower grows quickly and has a sweet yet mild scent in the evening. However, the plant has a short life span, so many need to be replanted once its time runs out.
Camellia
Rose
Butterfly Bush

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Primrose Which yellow flower wafts its scent in the evening and has been traditionally used as medicine?
Chrysanthemum
Yellow hydrangea
Evening primrose
Used to treat a variety of maladies, the evening primrose is noted for its medicinal benefits as well as its enchantingly sweet smell. As a sturdy plant that needs little care, the evening primrose makes its olfactory mark after the sun goes down. It attracts insects as well as human admirers in the evening.
Black-Eyed Susan

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Ylang-ylang This South-Asian flower is prized as a perfume ingredient and has a pungent smell. What is it?
Ylang-ylang
With its distinctive smell, ylang-ylang is one of the key ingredients in many of the world's most cherished perfumes. Ylang-ylang is also used as an essential oil to treat a variety of ailments, including depression and high blood pressure. It's a favorite in aromatherapy.
Orchid
Black iris
Tulip

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Lily of the Valley It has a connection with asparagus and grows easily without much ado. What is it?
Lily of the Valley
Related to the asparagus family, Lily of the Valley is a perennial flower that grows and grows without much tending. Whimsical and delicate, this cup-shaped flower has a soft, fresh yet lingering scent, especially when found in woodlands and forests.
Plumeria
Tuberose
Clematis

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Tuberose Originally found in Mexico, it has a powerful scent, and is perfect as a heady perfume ingredient.
Dahlia
Tuberose
Some describe it as luscious and titillating, but there are many undertones to the tuberose, depending on its stage of bloom. Love it or hate it in a perfume, the scent of this long-stalked, creamy white flower is memorable indeed.
Plumeria
Laelia

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Viburnum This evergreen shrub smells lovely in the spring. What's it called?
Aucuba
Photinia
Camellia
Viburnum
Seen in shrubs, the viburnum is an evergreen flower with a pleasantly strong scent. While its bloom and the accompanying smell are a springtime phenomenon, these dainty clustered flowers grow quickly and abundantly as hedges.

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Lavender Which beloved lilac- or white-colored flower is frequently used in aromatherapy?
Lavender
As a hardy shrub often found in gardens, lavender has a very distinctive smell that has long been recognized for its calming yet uplifting aroma. Of Mediterranean origin, lavender is now a mainstay in the U.S. and many other countries. Lavender fields in France, for example, are legendary for their breathtaking purple beauty.
Lilac
Bellflower
Clematis

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Daphne This mauve-colored flower stems from a Greek word.
Freesia
Michelia Champaca
Fatsia
Daphne
As a wintry plant, daphne blooms well into the early spring. As it does, it exudes a sweet, delectable smell that is adored by many. Even though there are over 50 species of the shrub, the evergreen varieties are the most often spotted.

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Michelia Champaca It belongs to the magnolia family. Do you know what it is?
Michelia champaca
Also known as magnolia champaca, this is an evergreen tree with mango or cream-colored flowers that waft a deep, fruity smell from the early summer until September. Originally found in tropical Asia, michelia champaca (aka magnolia or alba) is prized for its distinctive aroma.
Frangipani
Datura
Heliotrope

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Plumeria Which tropical flower is commonly used to make Hawaiian lais?
Torch ginger
Passion flower
Heliconia
Plumeria
The enchanting plumeria is often found in Hawaiian lais. The plumeria is as vibrant in color as it is in scent and it can be found in many patterns. This enticing scent becomes stronger at night, luring unsuspecting passersby to take in its olfactory delight on a beach stroll.

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Sweet Autumn Clematis This wispy vine flower wafts a fresh yet strong scent into the air. What is its name?
Sweet autumn clematis
The sweet autumn clematis is a vine that has a fleecy, powdery appearance. It has a fragrance that contradicts its fleeting appearance. The scent is fresh yet quite pungent. Part of the buttercup family, this vine grows well and abundantly.
Viburnum
Tuberose
Daphne

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Mock Orange Which white flower has a citrusy fragrance?
Honeysuckle
Mock orange
This wondrous shrub certainly got stuck with an odd name. It's white, not orange, and its short spring bloom gives off a scent that some describe as minty whereas others say is citrusy. Still, the mock orange flower is nothing to mock at.
Sampaguita
Spanish jasmine

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Brugmansia Ah, this trumpet-shaped flower has a sensuous aroma.
Trumpet vine
Yellow elder
Brugmansia
A tall, elegant plant, the brugmansia is also known as an "angel's trumpet." Along with its showy aesthetic appeal, the brugmansia gives off an intoxicating smell in the evening that some describe as sensual and heady. Others just say it's heavenly.
Night scented stocks

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Osmanthus Fragrans Which Asian flower has a sweet fruity fragrance reminiscent of an apricot?
Osmanthus Fragrans
Known by many names, the osmanthus fragrans flower is notable for its pleasant apricot-like scent. As an evergreen shrub, it's an understated flower that gets its appeal not so much for its physical aspect but rather for its smell.
Plumeria
Jasmine
Violet

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Jasmine It's the national flower of the Philippines. What is its name?
Passionflower
Jasmine
Jasminum sambac
Called Jasminum sambac as well as many other names, this sweet-smelling beauty is the national flower of the Philippines. Delicate and reminiscent of vanilla, this flower grows well in the tropics and is said to symbolize purity and humility.
Hibiscus

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Stargazer Which gorgeous flower has a vaguely sci-fi name?
Stargazer lily
As one of the most aromatic kinds of lilies, which are already quite fragrant, the stargazer lily has a sort of spicy sweetness that is hard to miss. In a room, it overpowers any other scent, embodies passion and makes a bold statement.
Begonia
Aster
Lily of the Incas

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Rose As a classic flower, it has inspired many a romantic to extol its virtues.
Daphne
Rose
As the quintessential flower associated with romance, a rose has a very distinct smell that many consider blissful. "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," is a line from Romeo and Juliet, of course, giving credence to just how long this flower has been pulling heartstrings.
Lily
Orchid

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Freesia Which bell-shaped flower has a "ballerina" variety?
Scented primrose
Freesia
The dainty, long-stemmed freesia has a "ballerina" variety. This is not so surprising considering the shape of the freesia flower, which calls to mind a dancer's graceful form. Along with its beauty, the freesia is also known for its lovely fragrance.
Hyacinth
Lily of the valley

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Honeysuckle This flower has the sweetest nectar when you squeeze it.
Honeysuckle
Honeysuckle vines and shrubs come in many varieties. Some are incredibly fragrant and heady, which may be appealing to some and overpowering to others. If you happen to run into winter honeysuckle, for example, you'll be sure to catch a whiff of its strong citrusy scent.
Alchemilla
Alyssum
Honeydew

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Hyacinth Which flower in the lily family originates from the Mediterranean?
Hyacinth
The multi-colored hyacinth vaguely resembles grapes and originally hails from the Mediterranean. It has a very original smell that with hints of berries, honey and what-have-you.
Snowdrop
Crocus
Daffodil

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Sacred Datura Similar, but it's definitely not a brugmansia.
Petunia
Daffodil
Katura
Datura
As opposed to angel's trumpet, aka brugmansia, the datura faces the sky instead of downward to the earth. They both have a distinct smell, though. The datura is known to have a sensual, sweet smell after dark.

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Priscilla Petunia Which old-fashioned flower variety emits a sweetly spicy fragrance after dusk?
Daffodil
Priscilla petunia
Although many of the modern varieties of petunias have little or no scent at all, the older types certainly do. If you run into a "Priscilla" petunia, for instance, you'll be sure to catch a whiff of its distinctive scent.
Chrysanthemum
Begonia

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Sweet alyssum You may stumble on the source of its sweet fragrance.
Sweet alyssum
A flower that blooms in early spring with little prompting, the sweet alyssum gives off a honey-scented whiff. You might catch its scent when you least expect it, such as when you're walking around someone's rock wall.
Sweet peas
Daffodils
Oriental lilies

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Garden Phlox This long-stemmed flower smells the strongest in the summer.
Jasmine
Gardenia
Garden phlox
This perennial clustered-flower really stands tall with its super-long stems. It's also a flower that blooms well into the summer when its sweet smell is the strongest. This is a flower that thrives in the sun, which is when it really comes alive.
Sweet pea

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iris Which kind of iris has a beard?
Bearded iris
No, it doesn't literally have a beard. The fringed color around this variety of iris makes it known as a bearded iris, though. Ornamental and colorful, the bearded iris also has a range of scents that go from fruity to spicy, depending on the variety.
Siberian iris
Wall iris
Netted iris

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Flowering Crabapple It's a small landscape tree full of clustered flowers.
Flowering crabapple
Small in stature but long in flowering splendors and smells, you may spot a blooming crabapple tree early in the spring. Their shapes vary a lot; some are pyramidal, whereas others are weeping varieties, and their scent is delightful.
Hydrangea
Azalea
Bleeding heart

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Wisteria Which flowering tree has its strongest-smelling varieties in their Asian versions?
Wisteria
Although they are all fragrant, the Japanese and Chinese varieties of wisteria are known to have the strongest scent. Even though they are also deemed to be invasive, the smell of these varieties is notable for being quite spectacular.
Apple
Lilac
Tulip

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Cherry A tall shrub-like tree that has amazingly fragrant flowers. What is its name?
Scarlet gilia
Cherry plum
This shrub-like tree with their dainty, wispy pink flowers doesn't bloom for long, but when it does, its smell lingers and is legendary. This hybrid tree between plums and cherries also bears fruit that is frequently used in conserves.
Hibiscus
Dahlia

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Lagerstroemia Fauriei This kind of crape myrtle has sweet-smelling flowers.
Lagerstroemia fauriei
Although there are many varieties of crepe myrtle, the lagerstroemia fauriei, aka fantasy crepe myrtle, is the one that has a scent worth mentioning. It has graceful, ornamental white flowers that can be seen in the summer.
Lagerstroemia loudonii
Pride of India
Tembusu

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Golden Chain Tree It's part of the pea family and enchants with its cascading yellow flowers. What is this plant?
Golden chain tree
As a real dazzler in terms of aesthetic impact, the golden chain tree is a small tree/shrub that has bright dangling yellow flowers. Known by other whimsical names, the tree is as pleasing to the sight as it is to one's sense of smell.
Tipu
Acacia
Thevetia

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Sweet Almond Which tree bears a delicious nut to go with its smell?
Royal empress
Winter daphne
Chestnut
Sweet almond
This is a tree that is so fragrant in the spring that it's known to be mood-altering, enchanting anyone who happens to be lucky enough to be in its presence. The delicate white and pink flowers are also a delight for the eyes. And, as if this weren't enough, the sweet almond tree will also bring forth almond nuts themselves in due course.

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Royal Empress It really dons a majestic name and attributes.
Royal empress
As a legendary, fast-growing tree, the royal empress is also famed for its wondrous scent. The scent of the lilac-hued flowers has been described as resembling honeysuckle, vanilla or some candy concoction.
Winter daphne
Night blooming daphne
Catalpas

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Snapdragon This old-fashioned flower has a "royal bride" variety. What is its name?
Snapdragon
The snapdragon, with its myriad colors, also has a royal bride variety. The delicate white flowers are now a mainstay in bridal bouquets and arrangements and are prized as much for their beauty as the pleasant, ethereal scent.
Sweet Annie
Tobacco Bella
Violet

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Agastache It's a perennial, long-blooming flower. What's it called?
Agastache
Graceful and distinctly aromatic, the Agastache blooms in the summer. Much admired for its spire-like flower bulbs, the Agastache has an elegant look that sets the flower apart from more common garden varieties. (Still, there are many varieties of Agastache.)
Brugmansia
Chocolate daisy
Geranium

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Geranium This pine-scented flower has a "skeleton" variety. What is it?
Geranium
Relatively rare, this pink geranium wafts a scent that resembles pine. Because it's rarely seen, you're unlikely to encounter it on a regular stroll, but if you do, lucky you! The scent of this geranium variety is much revered.
Snapdragon
Plumeria
Frangipani

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Heliotrope Which poisonous flower has a scent that resembles "amaretto"?
Freesia
Heliotrope
With its delicate beauty, the old-fashioned heliotrope evokes the scent of amaretto, the classic liquor. Amaretto, for its turn, smells of almonds. This variety of heliotrope, coincidentally, gets extracted to simulate almonds.
Jasmine
Magnolia

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Marigold This sunflower family member is used in some perfumes. Do you know it?
Marigold
Used in some perfumes, marigold has a pungent smell beloved by some and loathed by others. It's an acquired taste, some would say. Love it or hate it, the mere sight of the vibrant marigold is unlikely to offend anyone's olfactory tastes.
Sunflower
Daisy
Ragweed

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Wallflower Of course, this colorful flower has a "fair lady" variety! Do you know its name?
Wallflower
The "fair lady" wallflower variety is much prized in English gardens for both its vibrant colors and delightful fragrance. It's the kind of flower you will likely encounter while visiting an English cottage or country home.
Petunia
Honeysuckle
Lavender

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