The rose has probably received more tributes in writing and song than any other flower; without even trying, anyone can easily think of a famous rose quotation or two. I recently realized that my own formative literary encounter with rose imagery was the classic children's book The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The Rose is an important secondary character in the story: she is vain and coquettish but secretly vulnerable, and her relationship with the Prince symbolizes some of the complexities of love. (As a child, I was also very impressed by the depiction of the rose in the film version of The Little Prince.)
Although rose is my favorite note in perfumery, I try not to discuss rose-scented products too often, just because I don't want to be monotonous. However, June is the month of roses, so I'm going to indulge myself by mentioning a few recent favorites here. And, because we should still stop and smell the proverbial roses even (or especially) during a difficult economy, all of these products are available for $10 or less.
Dr. Bronner's Rose Pure Castile Soap has a fresh, almost fruity rose scent with a hint of raspberry. The members of Makeup Alley's Go Green discussion board are always coming up with new ways to use Dr. Bronner's soaps; I'm not so creative, but I do enjoy my Rose soap as a shower gel and, diluted in a plastic pump bottle, as a hand soap or a shaving foam. ($5.99 for 8 oz. at Dr. Bronner and drugstore.com)
Another "multi-tasking" product is Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner. You can apply it to your face with a cotton ball, after washing, to soothe your skin and remove any lingering traces of your cleanser. You can also put some into a spray bottle and mist it onto your body after a shower on a hot day, or onto your face whenever you need to feel refreshed. The scent is a true rose-water aroma, delicately sweet but clean. ($10 for 12 oz. at thayers and vitacost)
Moroccan Love Soap from Voda Soap just might be the most beautiful soap you'll ever use. A dear friend gave me a bar for my birthday one June, and I admired the soap for a long time before I ever brought it near the bathroom. Each rough-hewn, handmade cube is studded with actual pink rosebuds, and it's perfumed with a swirl of warm, rosy floral notes and subtle, woody spices. ($7 for 3 oz. at vodasoap or nimli)
A rose-scented lip balm? Wonderful! A rose-scented lip balm made with organic Bulgarian rose oil in a base of nut oils, beeswax, and vitamin E? Even better! Alteya Organics Bulgarian Rose Replenishing Lip Balm is moisturizing, healing, and about as pure as a lip balm can get. Its fragrance is subtly dusky, like a crushed rose petal. ($8 for .15 oz at alteyaorganics and smallflower)
EO is another reliable brand for healthy beauty, and all its hair products contain a slew of natural ingredients. EO's Rose & Chamomile Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner are intended for dry or damaged hair; they foam well, once you've worked them well into very wet hair, and they rinse cleanly without leaving any residue. Their scent is a soft, slightly soapy rose, gently brightened with a chamomile note. (about $7 each for for 8 fl. oz. at amazon).