Growing up, I spent a ton of time in my great grandmother’s garden. Until the day she died, at age 98, she kept her massive blooms perfectly pruned and healthy. I helped her till the soil (and begged her not to use slug killer) and she taught me a love of all things floral.
The amalgamation of flowers and smells in her yard was incredible--but the roses were always my favorite.
The queen of the garden, roses are strong, beautiful, and a little bit dangerous. Handle them without paying close attention and you're likely to get pricked--maybe even spill a droplet of blood.
Each color of rose has a special meaning, and a dozen roses is the ultimate gift of romance (other than diamonds, duh). But it's the scent of a rose that drives people wild. "Intoxicating" is the word most often used to describe it.
While I'm happy to get drunk on the smell of fresh roses, I've never had many rose fragrances (other than Olo’s Cedar and Rose), until recently, when I sought some out. Now that I've started sniffing, I can't stop! They really are intoxicating, addictive even.
Of course, I'm going to share my rose perfume finds with you. These eight scents capture the beauty of the rose, each in its own special way.
1. Le Labo Rose 31 ($240)
A unisex homage to the elusive Grasse rose (Grasse, France is where the most famous rose absolutes are created), this fragrance is at once sweet and spicy and floral and woody. On top is the kingly Centifolia rose--a fat, pungent bud grown in Provence--and below are warm notes of cumin, olibanum, cedar, and a hint of amber. This is not a rose scent for the faint of heart (or nose). It reminds me of wood bookshelves lined with old texts, and dusty coffee shop window sills.
2. Byredo Parfums Rose Noir ($145)
Enchanting, bold, and decadent, Rose Noir gives the classic rose fragrance a modern edge. At the heart is rose damascena, with notes of grapefruit and freesia above it and traces of moss, cystus, and musk below it. Imagine tumbling around on a bed of freshly laundered white linens; that's the kind of clean, exhilarating feeling you get here. If you're a fancy type who likes Champagne with breakfast, this fragrance is for you.
3. Jo Malone Red Roses Cologne ($60)
If you've ever sunk your nose into a bouquet of fresh roses, then you can imagine what this smells like. Pure and simple yet utterly delicious, seven types of roses and a hint of lemon and crushed violet commingle in this scent. It's meant to mimic the smell of just-cut roses, so there are green and floral notes. I can't think of a better Valentine's Day fragrance.
4. Balenciaga Rosabotanica ($70)
Honestly, I probably wouldn't have picked this up if I didn't love the bottle so much. But I'm so glad I did! With layers of fresh green rose, fig leaf, and white amber, Rosabotanica is like stepping inside an exotic tropical garden. I've worn it almost every day since I first put it on, which is a rare commitment for me.
5. Chloé Roses de Chloé ($70)
Elegant as always, this new twist on Chloe’s classic scent reminds me of cashmere sweaters and pearls. Joining the brand's signature mix of magnolia, amber, and white musk, are notes of freshly cut damascena rose and heavy bergamot. This is the kind of fragrance that you spritz on a love note before tucking it into an envelope.
6. Diptyque Eau Rose ($48)
You know how I knew this was a "true rose"? It smells just like a vial of rose water that I use for baking. The only way to describe it is that it's like taking a nap in a hammock next to a rose bed on a breezy spring day. I knew I would love it because I love Diptyque's rose candle, which I splurged on two years ago and have been preciously waiting to burn.
A limited edition twist on V&R’s original Flowerbomb EDT, La Vie En Rose is bright, fun, and fresh. Fans of the original Flowerbomb will pick up on heavier notes of grapefruit and mandarin, along with green tea accord, jasmine, and, of course, rose. It has a bubbly, Champagne-like quality that makes it perfect for long weekends on the beach or countryside, sitting under a large umbrella with strawberry beers and chilly watermelon slices.
8. MCMC Kept ($45)
MCMC founder Anne Serrano-McClain says she created this to "turn the notion of the kept woman on its head." And boy, did she. One of my all-time favorite scents, this roll-on fragrance has a strong base of rose and black tea mixed with powerful notes of clove, amber, and leather. This is a rock and roll rose.
So, have I convinced you to run out and experience all of these rose scents? Which one are you most intrigued by?
Also, what is your favorite color/type of rose?