In order to round off the month of February with its romance intact, I decided to write a couple of lists, one for the best violet scents I know, and one for the best roses. In order to be fair and to make life easier for people who may not have smelled some vintage wonders, all my picks are still in production. I’m not recommending something you just can’t come across, and one-at least- will be in the under fifty dollar range. We must have some mercy upon our wallets.
1) Guerlain’s Nahema: This is still one of the best and most interesting perfumes out there if you like roses not photo-realistically portrayed. Nahema is a beautiful abstract impressionist rendering of roses, a glorious splat of rosy pigments on an outsized canvas. The fragrance has big lift, lovely enveloping sillage, and is not a scent for the shy and retiring. A great big pink/peach greeting to the atmosphere. You really need to smell it at least once in your life.
2) CBIHATE PERFUME Tea Rose: This is a very affordable option at 25.00 for 2mls of the extract, Christopher Brosius gives you real rose, the clarity and sweetness of which tends to clear your head. He points out that people often think they know what rose smells like, only to discover they were familiar with synthetic roses (soap, tissue, and toilet paper scents) until they try this perfume. He’s got a point.
3) YSL’s Paris Premieres Roses: This is not straight rose, even the original Paris was always a mixture of flower scents, principally violet, but this one with its freshness and slightly green inflection is a winner. People tend to love PR and re-purchase it, the hallmark of a successful fragrance. At the price worth trying, the best of the Paris flankers, and that is saying a lot. This perfume is out in a new Limited Edition this spring, you have your chance.
4) Parfums de Nicolai Musc Intense: This constitutes a bit of an upset. I had been going to say, conventionally, that Serge Lutens’ Sa Majeste la Rose was the next on the list, but I find this perfume slightly less than wearable. Musc Intense though nestles happily onto skin and despite its name, is more rose than musk, although the musk is discernable, peaking out at intervals from its flowery environment, like a brawny repair man at a garden party. The scent is very highly colored, in overlapping gels of hot pink and crimson, an effect of the Turkish rose, which gives the perfume a slightly oily transparency, and the aldehydes, which also give it a translucent rather than an opaque quality. This perfume reminds folks of White Linen, though it reminds me of Guerlain’s own Rosa Magnifica, being a rose aldehyde. This too is a reasonably priced scent at 65. 00 the oz.
5) Strange Invisible Perfumes Black Rosette : This is my one great sin against economy at 385.00 for 1.7oz. Therefore it is chosen because Black Rosette is stunning. Perfectly unisex, a very elegant leather/rose fragrance that is entirely natural, lasting and un-stodgy. I prefer this even to Frederic Malle’s hit Portrait of a Lady. This is very sexy, and very opulent and does make you smell completely different from any mall-crawl trawl you may ever have carted home with you. Black Rosette may or may not be for the 1%, but it certainly is for perfume connoisseurs, just like the Guerlain Les Deserts series. I don’t own a bottle because I can’t afford it-but it is that good.