A Rose by Any Other Name…

By Thessa Verwolf

The rose conjures up so many visual images, deep and intense smells. Its velvety petals along with its antagonistic thorns appeal to a lot of  romantic ideas. For example, the line from Romeo and Juliet “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, holds an image of forlorn lovers.  We know the taste of rose, we know the power of rose.  She is the queen of perfumery, loved by many and loathed by a few.  Yet in so many ways the rose is misunderstood. Each has its own specific fragrance, yet only two strands of the flower are ever used in perfumery, Rosa Damescena and Rosa Centofuliia

In the UK we think of the pale delicate girl know as an English rose, seen so often in period dramas and literature,  or country cottage gardens. Yet the Rose is not native to Britain, but imported from France, Persia or India amongst other countries.

Although very much adopted from foreign soil, these flowers have become the epitome of English elegance. Roses symbolise simplicity, romance and grace. Describing a girl as an English rose perpetuates this nostalgic romantic ideal of beauty. Think Mary from the BBC series Downton Abbey or Fiona from the film Bitter Moon; a delicate, pale skinned girl with a pink blush on her cheeks. She is a modest, dignified, upper class lady with a certain type of natural charm that tells you she hasn’t been working in the fields but rather sits in the windowsill writing poetry and reading Jane Austen.

Most think of sweet powdery ‘old lady’ scents when they think of rose and it certainly went out of fashion because of this association.  Thankfully niche perfume brands have over the years revisited the majestic flower and brought out not just floral notes, but green notes, citrus notes even earthy notes.

This makes for a collection of stunning fragrances that offer upon a totally new facet of rosy scents and it has given the flower a whole new lease of life.  There may only be two actual rose breeds used in perfumery but this joyful flower brings a profusion of new flowery twists to the table and ultimately to the bottle.

Below is a small selection of rose fragrances to admire:


Shot One

A Rose by Any Other Name...

Rose of No Man’s Land, Byredo

The perfume is like a soothing balm; sophisticated elegance envelops the skin and strengthens the backbone.

Top: pink pepper, Turkish rose petals

Middle: raspberry blossom, Turkish rose absolute

Base: papyrus, white amber


Une Rose by Edouard Fléchier, Frederic Malle

An earthy rose is tinged with Périgord truffle for a subtle taste of the gothic. This crimson femininity is bound by wine drag to a darker base, the rose’s secret roots.


À la rose, Maison Francis Kurkdjian

À la rose is an ode to femininity, a declaration of love translated into a fragrance.

Damascena rose from Bulgaria

Centifolia rose from Grasse

Bergamot from Calabria

Orange from California

Violet flower accord

Magnolia blossom

Woody cedar musky accord



Shot Two

A Rose by Any Other Name...


MAGENTA Midnight Rose & Musk, Sri London

Dry amber accords are enhanced with sandalwood and leather. The heart entwines jasmine with orris and rose whilst the top leads with orange and red fruits, creating multiple layers of mystery that is both beautifully menacing and undeniably addictive.

Top: citrus

Middle: jasmine, violet, rose, pink pepper, orris

Base: musk, cedarwood, oud, amber, saffron


Fragrance Oil Préparation Rose Oil Isparta, Ostens

The highest concentration of Rose Isparta oil is blended in Ostens’ silky-smooth dry oil formulation.


Noorolain Taif, Thameen

The world famous Noorolain Tiara has inspired this fragrance; noorolain literally means “light of the eye” and captures the notion of the most beautiful thing the eye can behold.

Top: orange, coriander, pink pepper

Middle: Taif rose, Moroccan rose absolute, jasmine absolute

Base: Haitian vetiver, cashmere wood, musks


Arcana Rosa, L’Artisan Parfumeur

Thorny. Impertinent. This rose favours dark suits and masculine spicy notes.

Top: cistus labdanum

Middle: rose

Base: vetiver

Shot Three

Midnight Rose & Oud, Helm London

Notes of geranium, saffron, clove leaf and vanilla are matched by the old wood, musk, patchouli and cinnamon bark finale.


Crushing Bloom, Tom Daxon

A rose fragrance with darkness and weight. Green, spicy top notes partner a floral heart of rose, jasmine sambac and iris. At its base, the finest musks produce a silky feel, like running petals through your fingers.

Top: lily of the valley, cardamom, pink pepper, black pepper

Middle: rose, jasmine sambac, iris

Base: oakmoss, vetiver, silken musks


Red Roses Cologne, Jo Malone London

Inspired by a voluptuous blend of seven of the world’s most exquisite roses. Clear and romantic.

Top: lemon

Middle: red roses accord

Base: honeycomb


Eau de Parfum Impression Rose Oil Isparta, Ostens

An alluring darkness at its core, effervescence in its finish.

Pink pepper CO2 LMR

Rose essential LMR

Patchouli oil LMR

Labdanum resinoid LMR



Shot Four

Elisabethan Rose Eau de Parfum, Penhaligon’s

A fragrance with (of course) a most commanding presence. Regal, demanding, imposing and yet so perfectly at ease. Delicate indeed.

Top: hazelnut leaf, almond oil, cinnamon

Middle: red lily, rose centifolia oil, rose absolute

Base: vetiver, musk, wood


Persian Rose Perfume Oil, Atelier Lumira

Persian Rose is a seductive scent of bright, floral rose absolute, blended with subtle notes of bergamot zest and dark resinous amber.

Top: sparkling mandarin, bergamot zest, sweet orange

Middle: budding Persian rose, geranium essence

Base: soft musk, patchouli, dark amber


Rose Imperiale, Creed

Opening with a blend of Calabrian bergamot and Bulgarian rose, the fragrance moves to a spicy, woody mix of patchouli and pink pepper at the heart. This sensuous base returns to floral notes of velvety rose, tuberose and neroli to round off this refined scent.

Top: Calabrian bergamot, Bulgarian rose and white iris from Florence angelica

Middle: patchouli from India, pink pepper from Reunion, cedar, bergamot from Italy

Base: Bulgarian and Turkish roses, tuberose, neroli from Tunisia, pepper bay


Rosa Nobile, Acqua di Parma

As a tribute to the “queen of flowers,” Acqua di Parma has created the ear de perfume spray Rosa Nobile, an elegant fragrance celebrating the charm of innate femininity.

Top: tangerine, Calabrian bergamot, pepper

Middle: Centifolia rose absolute, peony accord, violet, lily of the valley

Base: musk, Virginian cedarwood, ambergris


Shot Five

Rose in Wonderland, Atkinsons

A radiant phantasmagorical flower that grows in the green wilds, it is a dizzying hybrid of the rose’s thorny, earthy prickliness and its smooth, luminous, deceptively innocent beauty.

Top: rose dew accord and blackcurrant buds

Middle: geranium and rose centifolia absolute

Base: vetiver and cristal amber


Be Mine Eau de Parfum Intense and purse spray, By Terry

Discover this floral leather fragrance: a true concentration of ecstasy with a lingering sensual scent.

Top: raspberry and Madagascan black pepper

Middle: iris with damask rose petals and absolute

Base: leathery with saffron accents and Indonesian patchouli


A Rose For…, Floris London

Contemporary and dark with a confident, complex character that places the rose with notes of spice, orris and woods, taking the wearer on an altogether diverse journey of romance.

Top: darjeeling tea, incense, cassis

Middle: red rose, orris, oud

Base: sandalwood, patchouli, vanilla


Shot Six

A Rose by Any Other Name...

Mon Premier Cristal Blooming “Tendre,” Absolu de Parfum, Lalique

An overdose of essence of Turkish rose, the most luminous and fruity of the perfumer’s palette, is made more radiant still by playful, crystal-clear pear. A softly rounded, candid Lily of the Valley adds freshness to the accord.


Shot Seven

Eau Rose Eau de Toilette, Diptyque

Pick up the petals of a rose, add its green leaves, its stem, and don’t forget its buds. Immerse in clear water and wait to reveal its rosy delicateness, fruity accents and acidulated green notes. Eau Rose is composed like an infusion of the finest damascena and centifolia roses.

Rose damascena, rose centifolia, litchi accord


Rosier, Nancy Meiland

A contemporary twist on the rose scent composed of Bulgarian rose, pink pepper for the thorns and green galbanum for the leaves.


Tea Rose Eau de Parfum, Perfumer’s Workshop

There is no rose fragrance on the market today that is more timeless, more honest or more classic than Perfumer’s Workshop Tea Rose.

Top: peony, chamomile

Middle: tea rose, damask rose, Bulgarian rose

Base: geranium leaves, violet leaves, cedarwood


Infusion de Rose Eau de Parfum, Prada

This sublime and luxurious scent is inspired by apparent contradictions. Imagine garden roses of ancient variety, highly scented, infusing in a perfumed water of neroli, mandarin and galbanum.

Top: rose from Bulgaria and Turkey

Middle: galbanum, mandarin

Base: neroli


Shot Eight

A Rose by Any Other Name...

Rosa Absolute single wick candle, Molton Brown London

A luxuriant single-wick scented candle blended with intriguing notes of sweet blackcurrant, deep rose and bold patchouli in a mysteriously romantic aroma for the home.

Top: blackcurrant, pink pepper, raspberry

Middle: rose, violet leaf, geranium

Base: patchouli, labdanum, vanilla


Eau Rose solid perfume, Diptyque

On the skin, it imparts a delicate floral intensity accented with green and fruity notes.

Bergamot, lychee, rose, cedar, musks


Shot Nine

A Rose by Any Other Name...

Rose Mignonnerie Extrait de Cologne, Roger&Gallet

Renowned perfumer Aurelien Guichard created Rose Mignonnerie with the sensual precious distilled essences of Bulgarian rose and basil as well as the balsamic woody notes of mandarin, cedre entraine and elemi.


Rose Hair & Body Oil, Ouai Haircare

A fusion of absinthium, shea and rosehip oils works to nourish and protect strands, lock in moisture and impart a radiant glow on your skin and hair.

Rose, bergamot, lychee, cedarwood, white musk


Rosa Absolute Sumptuous Bathing Oil, Molton Brown London

A bathing elixir enriched with luxurious Italian rose and argan oils, laving skin silky, supple and sensually perfumed.

Top: rose oil

Middle: blackcurrant and geranium

Base: patchouli

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