Fragrant Orchid Varieties: What Do Orchids Smell Like

People, of course, are not animals. Their sense of smell is much weaker. But it is not pleasant to wake up in the morning with a heavy head because the heavy aroma of flowers hovers in the room.

fragrant orchid what do orchids smell like

When buying orchid plants beauties in a store or on the Internet, people sometimes do not think about the fact that the purchased plants have a smell, sometimes it is rather unpleasant or heavy.

Let’s figure out if orchids smell and what do orchids smell like.

Fragrant orchid species: Orchid having smell

Does the orchid smell or not? Without exception, all tribes have a smell. In nature, it serves to attract insects that pollinate plants. Depending on what kind of insects a given type of orchid is pollinated, this will be the aroma inherent in the flower.

Some plants smell in the morning, especially in sunny weather, while others – during the day, evening or night. This means that pollinators lead an appropriate lifestyle, including nocturnal. Of the nightly fragrant species, Brassavoli and Angrekum stand out.

Depending on the species, orchids can smell at different times of the day.

Readout Oncidium Orchid Varieties.

The scent of an orchid may not appear immediately after the flower opens, but only after some time. He might be:

  • Strong – felt at about 3-4 meters;
  • Moderate – caught at a distance of up to 1 meter;
  • Weak if you sniff at the flower itself.

Different varieties of the same type of orchid can have different aromas, not only in intensity but also in perception, that is, they smell differently.

Attention! It may be that children do not inherit the ability to smell, even though both parents are fragrant.

fragrant orchid species

Phalaenopsis orchids smell like

The most common orchid that smells is Phalaenopsis. And few of the novice orchid growers know about this. Of the natural species, these are, first of all, the Violacea group and Bellina.

Natural species of Phalaenopsis are also fragrant :

  • Amabilis;
  • Bastiani;
  • Gigantea;
  • Eroglyphics;
  • Javanika;
  • Luddemann;
  • Maya and many others.

Accordingly, hybrids with their participation will also have a smell.

Perhaps the most common fragrant hybrid Phalaenopsis in the collections is F. Liodoro, which has a strong perfumery scent. The most interesting thing is that the more flowers have blossomed, the weaker the aroma.

Phalaenopsis Liodoro has the strongest aroma.

Of the hybrid stocky Phalaenopsis, the most common are:

  • Bright peokok;
  • Black Cherub;
  • Bronze midine (manni x schilleriana);
  • Sogo David;
  • I’shin spot needles.

Important! Among the Dutch hybrids, the fragrant Falik can also be caught.

Dendrobiums orchids smell like

Natural species of this group cannot be found on the free market. To get the original, you need to go to the homeland of the Dendrobium that you want to buy or place an order online. The stores sell hybrids.

Some natural Dendrobiums with aroma:

  • Crisotoxum;
  • Eterocarpum;
  • Jenkinsy;
  • Kingianum;
  • Delicatum.

Oncidium orchids smell like

This group is sold in stores under the commercial name Cambria. The most fragrant of these species can be considered Zygopetalum and Tolumnia. Miltonia and Miltoniopsis also have a smell, but in intensity, it is weaker.

Not all representatives of Oncidiums have a pleasant aroma, among them, you can find specimens with a very unpleasant amber:

  • Oncidium Gold Dust has a cat urine odor, good to moderate;
  • Milt Bert Field ‘Eileen’ – rotten fruit amber;
  • Miltdm. Hawaiian Sunset – Difficult to identify, but unpleasant smell.

Check out a guide on

Slippers orchids aroma

With all the diversity of this family, especially hybrids, Shoes do not all have a smell. Here are a few representatives who can boast of this:

  • Armeniakum – scent of narcissus, not strong;
  • Delenatia – smells like raspberries, weak;
  • Emerson – light chocolate smell;
  • Farrianum – the spirit of stale urine, it’s good that it’s not strong;
  • Joyce Asagawa – rose scent, strong;
  • Colopaking – intensely smells like honeysuckle;
  • Linlight Coopwit – pleasant, rather strong raspberry scent.

Wandas Orchid Frangrans

For all the beauty and majesty of the Wands, fragrant representatives of this species are extremely rare in stores. At the same time, natural species used in hybridization have a strong odor:

  • Amesiana;
  • Cerulea;
  • Christa;
  • Pumila;
  • Tassiata.

Cattleya orchids smell like

This queen of orchids inherits not only the beauty of the flower but also the ability to exude scent. Smells in the Cattleya group are usually complex, reminiscent of the scent of expensive perfume. The most aromatic Cattleya hybrids that inherit an intense scent:

  • Bicolor;
  • Doviana;
  • Iricolor;
  • Labiat;
  • Maxim;
  • Mossia;
  • Shilerian;
  • Varshevich.

Most of the Cattlein family smells during the day, but the Brassovol group emits aromas in the evening or at night. Including Brassovola Nodoza, or as it is also called, the Queen of the Night.

Which Orchid has a scent?

It is impossible to say definitely how an orchid smells since its smells are very diverse.

Some of them smell of one thing raspberries, chocolate, or honey. Others have complex aromas that are difficult for the common man to describe.

It’s like in perfumery – the smells are revealed gradually, first there is the initial stage, then the “heart”, and then the basic one.

It should be borne in mind that in any tribe of orchids there are many aromas, both pleasant and not so. Next, we will analyze in detail what that other type of orchid smells like:

which orchid has a scent

Orchids with citrus scent

  • Orchids with citrus scent is present in almost every family:
    • Zygopetallums;
    • Phalaenopsis ;
    • Carrots ;
    • Cattleya;
    • Masdevallia ;
    • Oncidiums ;
    • Rinchostilis;
    • Angrekums ;
    • Dendrobiums .

Read out Black Orchids Varieties.

Orchid With vanilla smell

  • Orchid With vanilla smell, there are:
    • Dendrobiums;
    • Most Encyclias;
    • Neofinetia;
    • Oncidiums;
    • And, of course, Vanilla herself .

Orchids with honey and chocolate smell and aroma

  • Honey and chocolate motifs are observed in:
    • Dendrobiums;
    • Encyclius;
    • Cymbidiums ;
    • Epidendrum;
    • Gongor;
    • Oncidiums;
    • Bashmachkov;
    • Carrots.

Orchid with Fruit Smell

  • Fruit odors can be found in:
    • Brassavol;
    • Dendrobiums;
    • Miltonius;
    • Stangopey;
    • Several Bulbophyllums:
      • baileyi;
      • careyanum;
      • pictuatum.

Orchids verities having complex frangrances

  • Complex fragrance has:
    • First of all, the Cattleyn family;
    • Tselogynes;
    • Phalaenopsis;
    • Dendrobiums;
    • Interspecific hybrids.

Orchid with unpleasant smell and aroma

  • Unpleasant amber is possessed, first of all, by the Bulbophyllum group . A pleasant smell is the exception rather than the rule for them. In second place is Masdevalii . In principle, in every family there is a specimen, about which we can say that the “family is not without its black sheep.” For example:
    • Tselogyny cristates of various varieties have a pleasant smell, and “Halolelika” is also very fragrant – true with cat urine;
    • Aerangis Biloba;
    • Cattleya sanguineum smells like turpentine, while Laelias anceps and pumila have unpleasant odors;
    • Encyclia Radiata;
    • Dendrobium Gold Dust emits amber of cat urine;
    • Even the family of shoes did not stand aside: Paphiopedilum fairrieanum exudes the smell of sour urine, well, that is very weak.

When choosing an orchid that will be grown in a room, and not in a greenhouse or greenhouse, you need to consider what aromas it will emit. For example, keeping night-scented views in the bedroom should be done with caution. It is best to grow Phalaenopsis, Cumbria, or Dendrobiums there, smelling in the morning. But Cattleyas are best kept in the living room.

Check out a guide on How to make garlic water for orchids?


If you list the description of the smell of each plant, then this will no longer be an article, but an encyclopedia. However, one should not forget that the compilers of the lists are people too, and their opinion is quite subjective.

I am an avid plant enthusiast and horticulture aficionado with a deep passion for houseplants. With years of nurturing green companions, my expertise in caring for indoor foliage is well-rooted. Through my journey, I've cultivated insights into optimal plant care, propagation techniques, and creating vibrant indoor ecosystems. Join me as we explore the verdant world of houseplants together. Let's turn your living space into a thriving oasis of botanical beauty. Connect with me on and Facebook and explore more at Houseplantspro. 🌿🪴