I have noticed that pollen has a very strong fragrance, which seems to vary from spicy to fruity, and this smell changes to something akin to old tobacco when too old. It seems that almost all pollen, as it ages, will take on that musty tobacco smell(and not exactly a Briar Pipe) when old and is usually beyond any level of fertility (around two weeks +) at that point. Has anyone used this as a gauge for discarding pollen rather than attempting a failed cross? Or am I the only person who just plain forgets to record when I harvest a certain pollen, and then never bothers to freeze it so that it doesn’t deteriorate? If you have a sensitive sense of smell, this seems to work.
I have noticed this too. On some roses I think all of the scent is in the anthers. I have also noticed it changes with age. But for me I can not smell it after awhile but I do not have a good nose. My wife can smell a lot of flowers I can not. I don’t know how significant it is however.
I noticed a strong scent from Stanwell Perpetual pollen and a mild Peppermint scent from R.arkansana pollen this year. I think Adam is right, the scent from the Stanwell Perpetual pollen is the same and as strong as when I smelled the bloom. But I was surprised by the scent from them R.arkansana pollen as that was not what I smelled from the bloom. This is the first year I noticed it and I used the pollen fairly quickly so I don
The pollen of R. Clinophylla smalls like acetone!
Something I like to do is pull the petals off of a particular rose and smell the petals separately from the “depetaled” brush of anthers. The two different parts (anthers and petals) often have very different scents that combine to give the overall flower scent. It really is surprising sometimes. As for pollen scent changing as is ages, I hadn’t noticed that. I’ll have to pay more attention.
I must say some petals do have a really nice fragrance-which makes them so well adapted to potpouri. Last winter (This is San Diego County) I picked some late blooming Janice Kelloggs for some Christmas decor and could not believe how strongly fragrant the petals were when I pulled them apart; they have never struck me as more than moderately fragrant when I take a whiff of the entire flower. And you are so right in stating that the petals and the pollen are two different animals when it comes to scent. Spice and fruit are the two I have noticed most, with the spice having some differing nuances, like cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, even if the general smell of the flower may not be spicy. I haven’t met any acetone numbers yet, and is it just the pollen that smells of acetone or is that their signature fragrance?