Rose – it’s the little black dress of fragrances and it’s back in the scent spotlight – and for good reason. Rose aromas offer a realm of complexity rarely found in other florals. In fact, when Gabrielle Chanel created the iconic CHANEL N°5, she always remained true to May roses because they bloom at night to release their unique honey and spice aroma.
Although rose has become a fragrance so many of us are familiar with, we've forgotten about its ability to transform into a plethora of scents – it takes 60,000 rose heads to create 30ml of pure rose oils and that can provide 300 variations of fragrance. While the rose scented spectrum is vast, we have boxwoods, green tea, honey, vine, moss... the list goes on. But, let us talk you through the four key rose fragrances – traditional rose, fruity, musky-wood and tea. You can then decide for yourself which rose scent belongs on your nightstand.
Keep it Sweet: Traditional Rose
The scent that most people imagine when you say the word ‘rose’. Ancient and beloved, damask rose smells flowery and slightly sweet; it can even spark notes of lemon, spice or fruit in some instances. Try Jo Malone London's Special Edition Red Roses Cologne, it's lemony hints take the classic honey-rose scent up a noch. If this heightens your senses, you'll also love Penhaligon's Elisabethan Rose Eau de Parfum, it's made with red lily and concentrated rose for a powerful, rich aroma.
Feel Exotic: Fruity Rose
Fruit and rose make a fail-safe combo – think an olfactory fruit bowl of raspberry, lemon, apricot, peach, and even banana. You’ll often find that a classic powdery rose scent is subtly elevated with fruity aromas that can be layered with notes of clover or berry. Gourmand scents are big for 2022 – so look out for ‘Bourbon roses’ that smell like raspberries and nectarines, and are showcased in Parfums de Marly's Oriana Eau de Parfum.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Parfums de Marly
Warm and Embracing: Rose With Musky-Wood Tones
Some flowers release a fragrance that is similar to musk – a simultaneous sweet and spicy smell that conjures up images of meadows and honey. Unlike other rose scents, the muskiness comes from the plant’s stamen, (other notes tend to come from petals), so you don’t have to lean in and smell the roses – the aroma envelopes you from afar. Paired with earthy and woody undertones from ingredients such as the patchouli and sandalwood in the ever-iconic Portrait Of A Lady Eau de Parfum by Frederic Malle, scents will transport you to springtime woodlands.
Fresh and Leafy: Olfactory Tea Rose
Tea notes in roses are reminiscent of freshly plucked tea leaves. This scent can be earthy or fresh, and is often supported by the smell of violet. Keep your eyes peeled for rose tea with notes of nutmeg, nasturtium and fruit. Next time you’re in a rose garden, look out for roses with cheerful yellow and cream coloured petals – when you smell them you’ll notice the hint of tea. And when you’re shopping for tea-rose fragrances, pick up perfumes with refreshing white and green tea notes such as Fresh's Rose Morning Eau de Parfum.
Rekindled your love affair with rose? If you’re ready to smell like springtime florals, scroll through our sweet-smelling edit of the finest fragrances.