After reading this month’s Book Club Selection The Perfume Collector I have an increased interest in the perfume world more than I ever thought I would. One of my very dear friend’s Alexis is a trained perfumer so we have done our fair share of talking about scents over the years. Rose is one of my all-time favorites so I was very excited when Sisley Paris came out with a new fragrance Izia centered around the rose. I asked Alexis to highlight some of her favorite Rose perfumes for Every Day Parisian.
Rose is at once both a daunting, yet comforting fragrance profile. It was the very first family I studied as I delved into perfumer training, spending almost six months immersing myself in its mysteries. While I diligently worked to understand its many and distinct varieties and experimented with the numerous raw materials that yield its unmistakable scent, the work that truly spoke to me was my research soaking in the history of iconic rose fine fragrances.
From classics like Chanel No. 5 to Joy by Jean Patou, the power of the rose transcends time. Chanel No. 5 features the rich, sweet May Rose, cultivated in Grasse, France. It is a hybrid of the French rose and the hundred-leaved rose. The lush floral bouquet of Joy by Jean Patou features 28 dozen May Roses. (WARNING: SPOILER ALERT) Not only are these two timeless fragrances associated with the fundamentals of the rose family, but they will also make a reappearance in future Jasmine and Ylang-Ylang fragrance guides.
To be honest, in my studies I personally was not attracted to these particular fragrances; they seemed overwhelming, overbearing and a bit old fashioned. As I continued over the months, I acquired a deep appreciation for the art and refinement that makes up these fine fragrances. But my real interest in the lovely rose really peaked when I learned about Stella by Stella McCartney. Stella changed my world. I may have FINALLY found a fragrance I could (somewhat) commit to. When I first evaluated this fragrance, it immediately felt complex, yet extremely new. It was obviously floral, but extremely feminine, powerful and new. The rich, potent rosy fragrance makes it feel as if you’re stepping into a rose garden of deep, lush pink roses at dusk. The rose notes linger and bring out a touch of spice at dry down.
Louis Vuitton’s much awaited and now recently launched perfume collection features Rose des Vents as one of its seven fragrances. It is described as a light, airy, sparkling fragrance that pays homage to the classics, made up of the May Rose along with two additional roses.
Izia, the newest launch by Sisley, is inspired by and structured around the Rose. When designing the fragrance, owner Isabelle d’Ornano was drawn to the memory of her family’s rose garden. This floral scent showcases the feminine rose along with effervescent citrus hints and is rounded out with sweet, soft musk notes.
Having invested months and months of time surrounding myself with bouquets of roses and raw materials that are at the heart of the rose character, this iconic flower will always hold a very special place in my heart. So the next time you ask me to help you identify the perfect fragrance for you, don’t be surprised when I start the conversation with the question, “So, how do you feel about rose?”
Alexis’ life has long been shaped by her passion for art, fashion, and fragrance. Her professional career began working with non-profit arts organizations before she transitioned into a corporate role focused on identifying emerging socio-cultural, color and fashion trends for one of the world’s largest beauty-care companies. Alexis also studied fashion design in Milan and traveled to Paris, Nice, and New York to complete a series of intensive trainings to be a perfumer. After almost 10 years in corporate positions, she recently opened her own trends and fragrance consultancy