If you only have one rose in your garden, it should be a Damask.

Another notable descendant of the old cabbage rose, the Damask is the complete package: exquisite fragrance, spectacular flowers, perpetual bloom, well-behaved growth habit and disease resistance.

Whenever fragrance is described as a pure rose scent, it refers to the smell of the damasks, which is sultry and saturated and has hints of garden pinks and cloves. Theirs is the variety used to make the coveted attar of roses.

It's hard to pick which cultivar is the best, so I put together a list of much-appreciated Damask roses and their best features.

Leda - the beauty in the picture, has painted flowers. Words don't do them justice, so I'll let the image speak for itself. It is lightly fragrant, nowhere near the average for its kin, but who cares about scent when it looks like this?

Ispahan - with clear pink blossoms, fully double and very fragrant. Possibly of Persian descent. Used to make perfume.

Mme Hardy - one of the popular Damasks, with clusters of tightly packed white rosettes and a clean citrus scent.

The Four Season rose, or the Autumn Damask - has large pink flowers, it's intensely fragrant and blooms all summer long.

Damasks require very little care. Just prune the damaged canes in spring and feed them a couple of times in the summer. Strange as this sounds, roses are the ultimate low maintenance plants. Well, some of them are.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”; "The Plant - A Steampunk Story"; "Letters to Lelia"; "Fair"; "Door Number Eight"; "A Year and A Day"; "Möbius' Code"; "Between Mirrors"; "The Blue Rose Manuscript"
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: allyeargarden.com and theweeklygardener.com, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.