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It has been coveted and scorned, but most of all, it has been present, wafting off our wrists and décolletage more than perhaps any other scent throughout modern-day fragrance history.
The rose : It claims a well-worn place in our memory—the flower’s powdery trademark scent did, after all, make fragrance history in 1921 with nose Ernest Beaux and designer Coco Chanel’s iconic Chanel No. 5 parfum.
While classic, balmy renditions like Jacques Guerlain’s Shalimar, Lanvin’s Arpège and Nina Ricci’s L’Air du Temps followed and helped funnel the flower into pretty glass bottles for nearly nine decades, there’s a new hybrid worth spritzing.
“The rose is back,” affirms Olivier Polge, senior perfumer at International Flavors and Fragrance. “But with a modern twist: highly trendy fragrances with a touch of vintage inspiration” is how the expert describes them.
Crisp and fresh, sparkling and smooth and enticingly sexy, this season’s bouquets—Chloé L’Eau de Chloé, Givenchy Very Irresistible Electric Rose, Paco Rabanne Black XS L’Excès For Her, Viktor&Rolf Flowerbomb La Vie en Roses and Yves Saint Laurent Paris Première Roses—reinstate the rose’s relevance to an audience who may lately have been considering the bloom rather old-school.
“Rose scents used to be blended with dark, powdery and animalic notes,” explains Polge. “Today, they are fresher and combined with more luminous notes.” Now artistically mix-mastered with seemingly unconventional notes like tart citrus, sparkling water, juicy cranberries, spicy pepper and sleek wood, the rose “is a very multi-faceted scent that can bring very different inflexions into a fragrance,” says Polge.
PHOTO: ADRIAN ARMSTRONG; ROSES: TEATRO VERDE
The range of today’s new rose scents includes the following standouts:
Roses mix with neroli, black pepper, jasmine and cashmere wood in Paco Rabanne, Black XS L’Excès For Her EDP, $75CAD (50 ml), www.pacorabanne.com; www.sephora.ca; www.holtrenfrew.com; www.shoppersdrugmart.ca
Rose is enhanced with violet and bergamot, lily of the valley, wood and musk in the new Yves Saint Laurent, Paris Premières Roses Limited Edition, $75CAD (125 ml), www.ysl.com
Roses unite with peony, lemon, green apple and amber in Stella McCartney Stella Summer Rose Eau Fraiche, $90CAD (100 ml), www.stellamccartney.com; www.holtrenfrew.com, www.sephora.ca, www.thebay.com, www.sears.com
Check our PERFUME-O-PEDIA for more fragrant details.