Known for its skin-healing, anti-ageing and moisturising properties, it’s no wonder rose in its many forms is a key ingredient in some of the most exquisite beauty products around. A scent that has evolved over the years, what was once recognised as a classic, timeless fragrance has now taken on contemporary iterations. Not just reserved for invigorating pulse points, the essential properties of a rose can also be used to your skin’s advantage.
Discover how you can make rose a part of your beauty regime...
Historically, Cleopatra is said to have had the sails of her boat soaked in rose water so that she was always surrounded by the captivating fragrance. An ingredient which dates back centuries, it remains a go-to for most contemporary beauty brands due to its distinctive, alluring scent, and restorative properties. From stem to leaf, many luxury fragrances are derived from the different elements and species of this remarkable botanic.
From rosa centifolia (also know as cabbage rose or Rose de Mai), Turkish, Damask and Bulgarian rose, with a seemingly mesmerising array of rose scents available, whether sweet, light, darker or bold, whatever your preference, there's a rose to suit all. "Rose is so important to a perfumer’s cannon because it has such great versatility. It can have lemon-like, spicy, floral, sweet, or animalic nuances, to name but a few, but above all it displays coolness, which is often used to help temper the sensuality of white flowers," says top perfumer Roja Dove, who weaves rose into many of his well-known fragrances.
At times almost symbolic or even part of a ritual, how a rose is harvested can also be key to unlocking its scent potential. "There's an old saying in Bulgaria that ‘rose smells best when there is dew on the petticoats,’” he adds, describing the famous Moroccan rose which can be found in the Valley of Roses at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. “It's very special because the rose must be picked before the sun touches them as the quality of the oil will start to diminish as the sun intensifies."
Other instances of rosa centifolia are featured in Acqua di Parma in its iconic Rosa Nobile, while TOM FORD’s Café Rose updates the classic essence blending it with the rich, sensual notes of Turkish rose and Bulgarian rose absolute. But for a complete party of all the various roses, French perfume house Annick Goutal with Rose Absolue offers a divine scent which comprises rosa centifolia, Turkish, Bulgarian, Damascus, Egyptian, and Moroccan roses, while Rose Pompon, infuses pink pepper and blackcurrant with the enchanting notes of Taif Rose – of Saudi Arabia - making for an innovative take. "The Turkish rose is one of my favourites," explains Camille Goutal, perfumer and daughter of Annick Goutal. "It’s elegant, ultra-feminine, very well-balanced and has a lovely and delicate lychee aspect. It’s also one of the most expensive and qualitative roses you can find."
"This flower is so delicate, yet it has such powerful properties."Terry de Gunzburg
From redness to dryness, thanks to its comforting, naturally anti-inflammatory and healing, skin-soothing properties, as well as its fragrance, rose is a must for use in skincare. Featured in an array of leading facial beauty products - most notably rose oil, moisturisers and rose water - it is a natural toner, lauded for its calming, preventative effects.
Top make-up artist and creator of the world-renowned Touche Éclat, Terry de Gunzburg counts rose as a key ingredient in her brand By Terry's skincare and make-up collections. "This flower is so delicate, yet it has such powerful properties. It is ultra-embellishing, stimulating and protecting," she shares. "In the By Terry Cellularose skincare range, we use the anti-ageing, brightening, collagen-boosting and rejuvenating properties that are present in the rose native cells."
Using rose at the heart of its Cellularose range, each By Terry product has been instilled with the stem cells of white roses meaning that skin is nourished and given a boost of radiance with pigmentation kept to a minimum due to the white flower’s powerful, skin-brightening effects.
Meanwhile, for more of an intensive treatment, Sisley’s Black Rose Precious Face Oil is a cult product for a reason. Labelled by the French brand as a 'Beauty Elixir', the dry oil nourishes skin and helps combat the visible signs of dermal ageing. Created using black rose extract, combined with the essential oils of Bulgarian rose, this floral infusion enhances, softens and protects skin.
For the ultimate multi-tasker, whether used as a refreshing cleanser or make-up remover, Chantecaille’s Rosewater is just the antidote you need for irritated, sensitive skin. Formulated with 100% Rose de Mai extract, it is one of the few products available which uses such pure ingredients. Simply apply the brand’s La Crème A La Rose De Mai afterwards to seal in moisture and stay hydrated. Olivia Chantecaille, Creative Director says, "I love the Rose de Mai because it has the most uniquely uplifting aroma with calming and uplifting qualities, but it also has impeccable skincare benefits. We replace all the water in our Chantecaille skincare with pure rose water as the base, and make a face spray as well. It is widely loved for its singular fragrance - clear and sweet, with light notes of honey."
Rose Beauty Benefits
When it comes to make-up, less really is more; with beauty regimes becoming more complex, it makes sense to invest in multitasking make-up and introduce rose into your daily ritual. Ever the advocate of make-up with benefits, By Terry’s Cellularose range not only includes skincare, but colour products, too: the brand’s Blush Glace is a refreshing gel that leaves a dreamy, radiant finish thanks to those white rose native cells. The Baume de Rose – By Terry’s hero product and bestselling lip salve - is made with rose flower essential wax to boost cell renewal so that your lips are receiving a dose of nourishment as well as a pretty pop of colour: Mandarina, Fig Fiction, Toffee Cream, to name a few, or, layer it under and on top of your favourite lipstick for protected-pout perfection.
Also helping to blur the line between skincare and make-up, AERIN’s Rose Balm Lipstick range has been produced using wax extracted from rose petals for a sensual, soft finish. With shades ranging from Wild Lilac and Coral Sand to Lady Beige, there’s a colour to suit all tastes. In harsher seasons, provide extra care for your lips with AERIN’s Rose Lip Conditioner – layer these two products for an extra-lustrous finish.
For precision-lined lips, it’s hard to resist Hourglass' Panoramic Long Wear Liner. The emollient-rich pencils are formulated so they don't crease or feather, resulting in wear that lasts all day. Canvas is a particularly irresistible rose-tinted shade.
Make your eyes stand out every day with Chantecaille’s beauty-editor-favourite Faux Cils Mascara; it plumps your lashes giving that coveted false-lash effect and is made using rose water to prevent discolouration and irritation, and leave lashes conditioned- giving you a captivating flutter.