But seriously, I want it to be year 'round. I want my nose to sing with "verdant and alive" wafting through the air.
Now I have found that you need to time "layer" the scent makers, because many only bloom once a year. Here's what I've found so far to be the most magnificent in the megawatt smell per square inch of plant, as well as the bloom time in my garden (z9a). I'm talking wafting knock your socks off scent when you step out in the humid dusky air:
10) Oriental Lilies (May-June): These are common, we've all seen them, but I'm eagerly awaiting this guy pictured below to bloom none the less...will be any day now.
9) Pittosporum (March): A nice, almost non-descript large dense bush or small tree, it is often used for hedges. Once a year in March usually, all of the sudden it is literally covered head to toe in tiny fragrant blooms which may be my favorite scent of the lot here. They are called mock-orange, and though its sort of similar, it's really not. They have a to-die-for fragrance. Unfortunately, at least here, some years a heat wave will come in an make the blooms very short lived. Even at their best they don't last more the 2-3 weeks. But when they are out...
8) Wisteria (Late Feb-early March): I don't grow this myself, but it has practically eaten the south, so its everywhere. It's what we hide our broken down vehicles and dilapidated roadside houses with. It is the earliest seriously scented bloomer on the scene.
7) Honeysuckle (May-Sept): The scent of my childhood. The dirt road our house was on was literally lined with these tangled in the bushes and its just such a sweet wonderful smell. I know its invasive in some climates (like probably where I grew up come to think about it), but here it stays pretty much in check, at least compared to some of our other invasives.
6) Ligustrum (April): The bush we love to hate, it does have a redeeming quality and that it is a profuse bloomer with knock your socks off scent for nearly a month during the year. It blooms here at the same time as another super fragrant flower too, so the month of April in my garden is almost overwhelming day and night.
5) Gardenia (May): I take it back on the pittosporum, the gardenia scent is probably my absolute favorite. They don't waft quite as much though which takes it down a few notches, however still enough to smell it as you approach a bush without leaning down.
4) Brugmansia (June-Sept): This potentially deadly small tree is one of those that tries to attract pollinators at night, so it nearly bowls you over should you step outside after dark. Its a cloying heady smell, very pleasant to me, but I have caught myself thinking that its the kind of scent that reminds you of an evil temptress.
3) Moon Vine (June-Sept): A true night bloomer, and a relative of the morning glory, I have smelled them in others gardens but this will be its first year in mine.
2) Confederate Jasmine (Late March-April): Until I planted #1, this was by far and away the most megawatt smelling dude in my garden. I often hear people say that jasmine smells like gardenia and I honestly can't see how or why they would think that? Jasmine to me has a peppery heavy sweetness, whereas gardenia is lighter and fruiter...well just not in the same nasal ballpark. Anyhow, this variety is a ever-green vining plant which looks great in or out of bloom. Non-invasive, which is a plus though they can grow extremely large, as mine has in 2.5 years.
1) Night Blooming Jasmine (May-Aug): This thing is ridiculous. You need to plant it at least 30 feet from your house to be able to not get drunk on the scent. It blooms on and off through the summer, and you can smell it down the block. I'm not kidding. Its nothing much to look at, a loose medium sized sprawly bush, but thats not the point.
There are so many others that can come tripping off my tongue that don't readily grow here so I didn't include them: Lilacs, Lavender, Hyacinths to name but a few. Another one of my favorite of all garden smells comes from leaves, not flowers: the English Boxwood. It just smells so, boxwoody to me. I love it and it reminds me, every time I smell it, of the boxwood maze behind the old library in the small town where I grew up.
Also, there are all kinds of jasmine out there that can fight amongst themselves for the most fragrant plant ever. I am considering getting the pink kind (Winter Jasmine), because it blooms in early March, before the others, but it is on the invasive list, and so far every time I've planted something invasive in this climate, it has, um, invaded.
You notice I didn't include the roses! While many do have a lovely fragrance, they are not massive wafters on the whole. Not a single rose I have compares with any of the above as far as megatwattage of scent making capacity, though I do obviously prefer those roses that smell.