I will admit that since the trees and flowers began blooming early this year, I’ve had flowers on the brain. All of my oud, amber, benzoin, and leather scents are going to be stored away with my cashmere and wool, and I’m breaking out the roses. Rose is one of the few flowery notes that I enjoy, and my small collection of perfumes already has a few examples that are quite different from one another:
- Secrets de Rose by Parfums de Rosine: a dark, musky rose that says “Temptress” to me. I wear it when I want to seduce (not necessarily between the sheets, I might add. Seduction’s powers go beyond the bedroom.)
- Rose Absolue by Annick Goutal: a blend of many roses that brings out the best of the whole idea of the smell. It is dark, light, frivolous, and mature, all at once.
- Rose 31 by Le Labo: spicy rose, with huge whiffs of cumin that bring me into a Middle Eastern spice market. It’s a florally gourmand that both men and women can wear.
- Rossy de Palma-Eau de Protection by État Libre d’Orange: This iconoclastic perfume house takes roses to another level. Made for the Spanish actress who epitomizes the strong, androgynous female characters of Pedro Almodovar’s imagination, this rose perfume reeks of drama and power on the first level.
- Portrait of a Lady by Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle: The real winner is this one, la grand dame of rose perfumes. Rose, patchouli, incense, oud, berries–all of the things girls love, while being incredibly sophisticated. Portrait of a Lady makes me feel more than a lady. I am a woman. The atmospheric sillage fills a room and people always ask what I am wearing. It’s absolutely DIVINE!
I leave you with this heartbreaking poem by Emily Dickinson, whose poems often featured flowers as a symbol of fleeting beauty:
Nobody knows this little Rose-
It might a pilgrim be
Did I not take it from the ways
And lift it up to thee.
Only a Bee will miss it-
Only a Butterfly,
Hastening from far journey-
On its breast to lie-
Only a Bird will wonder-
Only a Breeze will sigh-
Ah Little Rose-how easy
For such as thee to die!
What is your favorite rose perfume?
UPDATE 4/24/2012: As SmellyThoughts reminded me below, I forgot to mention By Killian’s Incense Rose, which I love to roll around in while I’m in bed (SMILE), and Comme des Garçons Series 2 Red: Rose, a spicy and fruity rose that perks me up in the morning!