I’m going to visit with someone Friday that is interested in growing repeat flowering roses with a strong damask scent to try to distill essential oils- perhaps even in a greenhouse. I’m trying to brainstorm a list of cultivars for him to consider growing. I can think of ‘Crimson Glory’ and maybe ‘Comte de Chambord’. It would be great if the roses had a very very strong scent and actually the petals kind of went down hill kind of fast (soften, don’t last that long). There are many different volatile (becomes a gas) molecules in rose fragrance and a specific blend comes together that has some alcohols as I understand it to get the characteristic damask scent. It seems roses with that scent don’t have as good of petal substance maybe partly due to the alcohols impacting the longevity of the cells.
Roses like ‘Mister Lincoln’ might be worth suggesting, but the goal is something that blooms a lot and energy diverted to long stems would limit flower production. From what I remember ‘Crimson Glory’ was a pretty compact and manageable plant and was even more strongly scented. There are roses like ‘Double Delight’ that might be worth a try and does seem to have a strong damask component, but also other components of scent too. Some of David Austin’s roses seem to make some sense to try, but most of those I’m familiar with seem kind of lanky and lax with nice blooms, but maybe a bit stingy. Are there any out there that are a but more tame and have that strong damask scent and bloom somewhat continually?
This sounds like a fun project and hopefully he can make it work.