Rose, the note that has formed the backbone of many of the most iconic scents ever invented, is now having its well-deserved time back in the spotlight. No longer the fusty, saccharine scents of old, these are assuredly modern, as much as the fresh, light as air offerings that have dominated the perfume market over recent times. And they may well be cool enough to convince the anti-floral perfume brigade to change their ways.
A classic, wholesome and bright scent – nothing too complicated, Jo Malone’s Red Roses smells just like a bountiful armful of the blooms. Wholeheartedly romantic, it’s little surprise it’s one of the scents favoured by Jo Malone’s bridal clientele. Gorgeous on its own but also equally lovely paired with another scent as it adds a dose of extra softness and femininity.
Eau de Givenchy Rosée is built upon the classic pairing of rose and jasmine, but skews fresher than the combination of these heady flowers might suggest, thanks to the addition of bright hyacinth and mandarin notes. It’s neither too heavy nor too effervescent, making it a crowd pleaser scent (in the best way possible) and perfect for wear year round. We also love that elegantly delicate, watercolour-pale pink bottle.
If you’ve long lusted after one of Bulgari’s opulent pieces of jewellery, the bottle of Bulgari’s Rose Goldea Blossom Delight might just satisfy – it’s adorned with a ring inspired by their iconic Serpenti design. Flacon aside, the scent is a lush garden in a bottle – opening with notes of leaves and tropical fruits, before evolving into a bouquet of rose and jasmine. It’s a confident, happiness-inducing sort of fragrance.
Ode to the Rose
Rose Alexandrie is part of the Armani Privé collection, the brand’s edit of scents crafted with highly precious materials, and is Mr. Armani’s homage to the rose, that “strong and fragile flower” (as he puts it), and the fabled palatial gardens of Alexandria. In the spotlight is the Rose de Mai, a particularly luxurious varietal used in haute parfumerie, as well as zesty citrus notes and neroli for a fresh but velvety finish.
As much as we’ll always be fond of it, The Ayu’s Smoking Rose is as far from your Grandmother’s old-fashioned rose as you could get. This hand blend of rose damask oil, patchouli, sandalwood and smoky balsam makes for an intoxicating mix – an obvious scent for winter wearing, but would be very modern and bold worn to a summer soirée.
Byredo’s Rose Noir subverts the typical prettiness associated with roses, opting for something on the whole darker and more grown up. It’s rendered deeper by musk, patchouli and moss, while citrus and grapefruit notes give it a cologne-like, somewhat unisex quality (it would smell gorgeous on a man, too).