Saturday, May 1, 2010

Deep, Voluptuous Rose Fragrances

There's rose, and then there's rose. Anyone who visits Best Things in Beauty knows I'm a fan of rose in fragrance - whether it takes the lead or plays back-up. Today, I want to tell you about two fragrances in which rose is the leading light, loudly proclaiming, "I am royalty, and you will acknowledge my majesty."

This week, I was rooting around in one of my fragrance storehouse drawers, looking for ENJoy, which I want to give to The Non-Blonde if I can find it. I may have given it away already because it was not my cup of tea. I'm an original Joy gal through and through, and Jean Patou's attempt to profit from the Joy franchise with ENJoy didn't capture my fancy. One reason was the inclusion of patchouli, vanilla, and amber. Anyhow, I do alternate fragrances in and out of my life, and I came upon two that I had not worn in more than a year. So I pulled them out and started to appreciate them again.

The first, Sa Majesté La Rose ($120), from Serge Lutens, is a full-bodied Moroccan rose seductress. Created by perfumer Christopher Sheldrake, this fragrance is floral at its most sultry. LuckyScent says the notes are Moroccan rose absolute, gaiac wood, clove, white honey, and musk. I can smell spice, but I'm glad the clove isn't anything more than a silent supporting actor. It would be hard for me to overemphasize how much I detest the scent of cloves. What you do smell with Sa Majesté La Rose is rich rose - unmistakable, deep, fragrant rose. It's like diving into head first into a bouquet of roses - not the new hybrids bred for roadside stands, but old roses that are at the top of their game. Sa Majesté La Rose is soft, despite its power. If you love roses, you should check it out. Serge Lutens makes unique fragrance blends that are definitely not your department store or celebrity perfumes. They are sophisticated and worth of the attention they have earned.

My second fragrance drawer find was CREED's Fleur de The Rose Bulgare ($300-$345, depending on source, in one huge bottle), another rose that commands attention. You can actually smell it walking by the bottle! This long-lasting rose perfume from the House of CREED's Private Collection, has notes of Bulgarian roses, green tea, Sicilian mandarin, Sicilian bergamot, ambergris, and Italian lemon. If you are tempted to think that the tea and fruits lighten it up significantly, don't. It's deep and voluptuous rose through and through.

The story of Fleur de The Rose Bulgare (from LuckyScent) was that it was first made for Teddy Roosevelt's wife. The distinguished lady first encountered CREED on her extended honeymoon in Europe. When she returned to America, she wrote to CREED requesting a custom fragrance made with the Bulgarian tea roses she had smelled during her sojourn. For her, CREED created Fleur de The Rose Bulgare to evoke an endless honeymoon romance - like having roses from your husband delivered every day.

I love roses, and I love both of these. They are unique and sophisticated fragrances. I'm wondering what moment of insanity made me put them away for awhile. They are back in the rotation!

Both fragrances are in production and available from LuckyScent and other online sources. They are also available wherever you find CREED (Neiman Marcus) and Serge Lutens fragrances. Mom like roses?

Photos courtesy of LuckyScent and


Charlestongirl said...

Just in case you saw this post before I corrected my typo, I do know how to spell "voluptuous." My bad.

Betty A said...

Another voluptuous rose: L'Artisan Parfumeur "Voleur de Roses" -- dark, deeply mysterious and somewhat dirty... tangles of heirloom roses in an old churchyard just after a storm. Wildly recommended!

Charlestongirl said...


My L'Artisan source doesn't carry it! Sob...

I'll have to check that one out. Sounds exotic, but it has patchouli in it?

I want my roses to bloom! One is showing color.

Unknown said...

Have you tried Stella? i think this is also a magnificent rose scent (alas, totally unwearable for me- any rose scent on me turn to a sour mess)

Charlestongirl said...

I have tried Stella, Anna, and I didn't like it. I think it was the amber that turned me off.

It's too bad rose turns sour on you - and others! I'd love to understand the chemistry that takes sublime to sour. I know reactions exist, even if I don't understand them.

My body can turn certain fragrances too. I have to test them before I make a long-term commitment to buy. Even if it means wandering around a mall smelling my arm every 15 minutes. :)