In May, the queen of flower blossoms everywhere: in our gardens, on our balconies, in our bouquets, but also in our perfumes!
You thought you knew everything about roses? Well, roses have lots of secrets!
First, some history about roses...
There are more than 3,000 different types of rose, yet only two kinds are mostly used by perfumers - for their unbeatable qualities. We are referring to the Rose de Mai AKA Rosse de Grasse and the Damask Rose AKA Damascena Rose.
The Damask Rose is native to Turkey, Bulgaria and Syria. Roses are turned in essential oil for perfumery. The essence is extracted using water vapor, and the captured components are relatively light and volatile. The notes of Damascena Roses are fresh and fruity, slightly lemony and leave a very light and airy trail.
The Rose de Mai or Rose de Grasse is harvested in May and grown mainly in Grasse, France. Its extraction method for perfumery is more complex than the Damask rose. The Rose de Mai is used by perfumers after having extracted its absolue with alcohol from a concrete. Thanks to this extraction method, heavier rose elements can be preserved. Rose de Mai absolute brings honeyed, warm and sometimes adds interesting spicy notes to a perfume.
Rose perfumes : a long and delicate process
In any case, Rose petals must be handled with the utmost care. During the harvesting process, only open roses are carefully selected by our farmers. The harvest process is transmitted from generations to generations by turning the flower gently before making a sharp wrist movement to detach them from the stem. The harvest takes place in May for the Rose de Mai and just after Mother's Day for the Damask Rose, when the first sunlight begins to whiten the horizon - where the flowers are still beaded with morning dew.
After harvesting, the petals are immediately transported to vats where extraction takes place in order to recreate the purest and most sought- after scent of the rose. During all these stages, the flowers must be aired and treated with the utmost delicacy.
Roses not only smells good, they have also active ingredients! Indeed, rose soothes sensitive skin, smoothes fine lines and is astringent for oily skin. It has many virtues and is suitable for all skin types. Sounds like the perfect flower?
Rose : a timeless component in perfume's history
Greatest perfumers worked restlessly on this sublime flower, still very trendy these days. So how do you create a modern rose perfume? The key is to twist the rose in accord, balanced it with other ingredients, and not as a single ingredient anymore, as it was the case a few years ago.
For example, we find Damask Rose in our 101 rose perfume. The perfumer, Alexandra Monet, added a green and spicy cardamom top note. In the heart, the rose is wrapped in sweet pea and delicate lily-of-the-valley accords to create a truly floral bouquet! At the base, musk and white cedar bring a very powdery, fluffy softness while patchouli gives the fragrance character.
We've also asked Serge de Oliveira to create a modern rose perfume for our latest collaboration with our friends from YMC London. The spicy rose YMC perfume was born. A modern creation based on twisting Rose with Sandalwood to add some warm notes to its original powdery notes. The final touch of tangerine spices up the YMC rose perfume to creates a spicy and highly addictive fragrance.
Discover all our rose perfumes here and let us know which one is your absolute favorite!