How has your summer been going? Mine has been feeling very transitional, very limbo-like. Covid numbers have been going down in my city; or, wait, have they? I've been notified that I'll be returning to the office on a "hydrid" schedule after Labor Day. I'm enthusiastic about socializing more now that I'm vaccinated, but I'm also out of practice at dealing with people face-to-face. And I want to go perfume-shopping, but many stores are still encouraging mask-wearing and/or keeping testers and blotters out of reach, so it's not actually a fun activity yet.
Long story short: I'm in the mood to fall back on the familiar, which for me means rose fragrances; and I'm still relying on fragrance samples that I receive from friends or in the mail. Here are a few that are new to me and made me feel like I was in my comfort zone.
Les Parfums de Rosine Rose Griotte is a rose perfume for a certain type of summer day: light, flirty, very pink, like the ruffled miniskirts that are inexplicably back in style for young women this year. Its notes include bergamot, tangerine, pink pepper, nashi pear, sakura flower, jasmine, peony, osmanthus, amber, cedar, musk and heliotrope, and it was developed for Rosine by perfumer Nicolas Bonneville. To my nose, it's less of a fruit-salad perfume than you might guess, and definitely not a cherry-centered fragrance. At first it reminds me of those little French candies with anise seeds at their centers, the rose-flavored version; delightful. There's also some very mild citrus and peach in the heart, and then the rest of its dry down evokes cherry blossom rather than actual cherry fruit. Rose Griotte is girlish and "pastel" and very easy to wear.
For something a touch darker, I've been wearing Obvious Une Rose. This fragrance was created by perfumer Amélie Bourgeois, with top notes of bergamot, grapefruit and yellow tangerine; heart notes of Bulgarian rose and geranium; and base notes of pink pepper and cardamom. I'd describe Une Rose as a contemporary woody-floral composition that could appeal to rose-lovers as well as the typically rose-averse. It starts with some greenish citrus and petitgrain-like notes, then shifts to a fruity-rose heart (which makes Une Rose a good follow-up layer to Lush Rose Jam shower gel) and a patchouli-and-rose base. This perfume has recently replaced Byredo Rose Noir in my affections (partly because Rose Noir seems to have been reformulated at some point). Depending on how many spritzes I apply, I can wear Une Rose pretty much anywhere, anytime. I've actually purchased a bottle of it, just because it's such a "no-brainer" scent for me.
Lastly, I can recommend Manos Gerakinis Rose Poetique (not shown), with top notes of saffron and rhubarb; heart notes of damask rose, patchouli, labdanum and raspberry; and base notes of vanilla, cashmere wood, sandalwood and musk. I've actually side-stepped this Greece-based brand for a while in my online browsing, because it employs several "luxury" fragrance-brand signifiers that typically don't appeal to me. (You can guess for yourselves what they are.) Then a friend passed along a sample of Rose Poetique, so I gave it a try, and it actually feels "niche" in the best possible way, as a nod to classic perfumery that seems to have been made with good-quality materials and without much concern for trends. It has a rose-and-peony heart (neither sweet nor fruity) veiled in piquant pepper and saffron notes, and it's very diffusive and very long-lasting. This isn't a work-from-home fragrance; it's a perfume for an evening out, if you're adding any to your late-summer calendar.
Lastly: as I wrote last year, hand sanitizers certainly can't hurt as protection against pandemics as well as common colds, and as a perfume-lover, I’m going to choose ones that I actually enjoy smelling. When I return part-time to onsite work, I'll be bringing along a bottle of this Enfleurage Rose Petal Sanitizing Mist to spray on my hands, on shared surfaces and into the air in my own office. I'll be surrounded by a cloud of the freshest true-rose scent imaginable, and I'll feel happier, even more at ease. Here's to cleanliness and comfort.
Les Parfums de Rosine Rose Griotte is available as 100 ml Eau de Parfum ($170); for buying information, see the listing for Les Parfums de Rosine under Perfume Houses. Obvious Une Rose is sold in 100 ml Eau de Parfum ($140) through Osswald and Luckyscent. Manos Gerakinis Rose Poetique can be found in 100 ml Eau de Parfum ($215) at Osswald or the Manos Gerakinis website. Enfleurage Rose Petal Sanitizing Mist is available in 60 ml ($16) at the Enfleurage website.