Fragrant Phalaenopsis Orchids A guide to smelly flowers by scent, not by species

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This reference list is for people (like me) who LOVE fragrant orchids and would rather start finding plants by smell, rather than by the look of the flower. Please note: I make no guarantees about the fragrances matched to these plants, but a little research can confirm that it’s mostly accurate.

Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? Beware…the experience of “a smell” is largely personal and some people have better sniffers than others. Do not be shocked if you smell something different than what you read in the below list.

Fragrant Phalaenopsis Species List

Bacon / Smoked / Charcoal – Phal. venosa
– Phal. violacea
Grape Soda
 – Phal. corningiana, Phal. modesta
Cilantro / Lemon –  Phal. tetraspis
Lemon Fruit Loops
Phal. bellina
Musk / BO – Phal. amboinensis
Orange Peel / Mandarin Orange – Phal. gigantea, Phal. mannii, Phal. mariae
Roses / Rose Petals Phal schilleriana
Crushed Centipede / Green Peppers – Phal. venosa

Other Well-Known Fragrant Phalaenopsis Species

The following phals are also reportedly fragrant; however, I don’t have the details of their fragrance at this point — I will update and modify as I find out.

Phal cornu-cervi (possibly fragrant, possibly not – reports of both)
Phal. lueddemanniana
Phal. maculata
Phal. micholitzii
Phal. speciosa
Phal. sumatrana (apparently a gross smell)

Specifically Non-Fragrant Phalaenopsis Species

If you have a phal that’s tagged as any one of these and your plant is fragrant, then there’s a good chance yours is not a pure species.

Phal. bastianii (if yours is fragrant, you have either phal mariae, or a hybrid of bastianii x mariae)
Phal. hieroglyphica
Phal. amabilis

Fragrant Phalaenopsis Hybrids List

Beware: hybrids of fragrant species will have a high probability of expressing variable smells depending on each parent–if you buy a hybrid the fragrance of your plant may not directly match either parent and it might not even smell the same as its siblings. Hybrids produced from the above species will have a good chance of fragrance, but it’s not a guarantee. Hybrids of fragrant phals with fragrant phals will likely result in fragrant progeny; however, hybrids of fragrant flowers with non-fragrant flowers will give mixed results depending on the genetics passed across to the offspring.

Cinnamon HeartsPhal Stone Dance
Goat Cheese (A Floral-esque Goat Cheese) – Phal Tying Shin Fly Eagle
Lemon Pledge – Phal Kingfisher’s Gleb King
Phal CTL Vio Sapphire
Cilantro – Phalaenopsis Li Sun High (mariae fma flava x tetraspis fma alba)

Other Well-Known Fragrant Phalaenopsis Hybrids

The following phals are reportedly fragrant. You can bet that any primary hybrids of the species will result in fragrance, and that is mostly what this below list is. I don’t have the details of their specific smells or fragrance at this point, and it will likely vary even among individual plants of the hybrid, but I’ll list what I can and move them to the “smells like” list above if or when I find out.

Phal. Princess Kaiulani (amboinensis x violacea)
Phal. Ambonosa
Phal. Penang Girl (violacea x venosa)
Phal. Equalacea
Phal. Zheng Min Anaconda
Phal. Tying-Shin Champion

Other Noted Fragrances (for reference)

Cloves, General Spiciness, Lilac, Sweet Candy, Honeysuckle, Beeswax/Honey