Flower power perfume

Flower power perfume

Peonies, roses, lilacs: The flower lover in us can’t get enough of our garden these days – or these stellar spritzes that celebrate iconic petals in the form of perfume

By Deborah Fulsang 

I’d be hard-pressed to choose between a peony in its full-blown glory and a richly fragranced old-fashioned rose if asked to declare my favourite flower. Both are quintessentially feminine. Both enjoy a rich mythology and history. Not to mention their scents, both of which have inspired artists for centuries.

And both are in vogue – or really did they ever fall out of vogue? – at the florist shop and the perfume counter.

If you too share the passion, check out this new lush peony-laced Juicy Couture La La Malibu scent. It takes the peony and gives it a girlish spin.

The perfumers at Juicy Couture reinterpreted the bloom with a sunny and very apropos-to-the-brand California vibe. Peony with fruity top notes (green apple, mandarin, red currant and guava) and a base of light woods, musk and pink (of course) sugar crystals – results in a feel-good and yes, juicy, spritz for the warm-weather season. Juicy Couture La La Malibu EDT, $80 (75 ml), at major department stores.


For lovers of rose, there is so much to choose from. The latest spritz from Balenciaga, dubbed Rosabotanica, (a creation by perfumers Jean-Christophe Herault and Olivier Polge) is less frou-frou romantic and more beguiling beauty.

It manages to be plush yet delicate, sweet yet warm. It’s rose, wood and amber whipped together with a bracing but brilliant vegetal greenness achieved with notes of hyacinth and camphorated cardamom. A fresh-minded floral indeed. Balenciaga Rosabotanica EDP, $130 (100 ml), at major department stores.

Read more on Balenciaga Rosabotanica here.

And speaking of rose, we also harbour an ongoing affection for Le Labo Rose 31. It too is romantic but in a sultry bohemian way. A complex and compelling old-garden Centifolia lies at the heart of this original spritz and swirling around it wafts a cloud of spicy woodsy cumin, cedar, olibanum, amber and animalistic notes. Le Labo Rose 31, $240 (100 ml), www.lelabofragrances.com

And have you tried last year’s Marni perfume? You should. Designer Consuelo Castiglioni likewise reimagines the elegant rose along a woodsy path of patchouli, vetiver and cedar. There’s also cinnamon bark and cardamom, bergamot, black pepper, pink peppercorn, ginger and incense. But this is a quiet spritz – despite what that list of oriental-leaning ingredients might lead you to think. Quiet and sexy, a rose fragrance for a woman who loves men’s fragrances, or perhaps for a man who’s open-minded enough to veer off the expected olfactory path. Marni EDP, $125 (65 ml), www.holtrenfrew.com

Read more on Marni here.

perfume, fragrance, lilac perfumeLOVELY LILAC
And yes, we’re also suckers for the fleeting beauty of lilac – from the common roadside variety to all manner of highly fragranced cultivated hybrids. That bloom’s sweet scent wafting through the breeze on a warm spring evening: Heaven.

Calvin Klein’s perfumers channel the moment in the new Calvin Klein Endless Euphoria perfume, but not verbatim. Theirs is a violet, rose and lilac-centred heart with a young-minded and sparkling citrus opening and a base of bamboo, sandalwood and musk. Calvin Klein Endless Euphoria EDP, $79 (75 ml), at department stores.

Aerin Lauder’s more luscious Lilac Path, from her self-titled boutique fragrance collection of last year, is a timeless treat. It’s feminine and strong, poetic but powerful. In it, ladylike lilac is offset with green galbanum, while jasmine lactones harmonize with angelica seed oil and orange flower. It’s a beauty. Aerin Lauder Lilac Path, $125 (50 ml), at Holt Renfrew and www.esteelauder.ca. 

Peonies, roses, lilacs: Don’t you think it’s time you headed to the garden?

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Deborah Fulsang has spent the last two decades as a journalist covering news and trends in the worlds of style—in fashion and beauty, design and décor, food and entertaining. Her long-held love of fragrance led her to launch The Whale & The Rose, a destination for all things perfume-related. Now, when she indulges in a crazy-expensive bottle of fragrance, she can do so guilt-free. Well almost. It’s all in the name of research after all.