Saturday, April 30, 2005

Perfume review: The Different Company - Rose Poivre

This fascinating perfume has notes of Rosa Damascena, Rosa Centifolia, rose bay, pepper, coriander, vetiver, and civet. The damask rose is a pungently fragrant rose that has an old fashioned rose smell. Rosa Centifolia also known as the "cabbage rose" has a very sweet and strong old rose smell and often has a pine-smelling moss on its buds. Baies rose (bay rose) is a synonym for pink peppercorns that are plucked off trees and used in wreaths and potpourri. Baies come from the Brazillian pepper tree. The peppercorns smell robust, hearty and sweet with an herbal/peppery/green quality that is similar to juniper. Coriander, the leaves of which are known as cilantro, smells warm, spicy and nutty, and some find that it also smells a little like orange. Civet adds longevity to the perfume and a musky quality to the scent. Vetiver smells smoky and woody.

Let's put it all together: On me I get strong pink pepper topnotes which are sweet and herbal. These are well blended with a beautiful and soothing rose accord, that is as familiar as an old garden rose, but woody and powdery, and faintly reminiscent of iris. There is a hint of an animalic, or musky quality that makes it seem a little sexy. As the perfume dries down, the peppercorn dissipates but the roses do not; the perfume morphs and smoothes into a big heady bunch of old fashioned roses. I am transported to a place of aromatic woods and resins where these heady (but slightly powdery) roses dominate a sturdy wooden table. This beautiful heart accord continues through the rest of the drydown where no other notes are detected.

Further reaading:

A fascinating article about how Rosa Damascena is produced for the perfume trade.

Rosa centifolia cristata.