12 Unexpected Rose Fragrances, From Feminine To Unisex

New takes on this classic perennial make for a modern scent.

by Samantha Tse
Courtesy of Van Cleef and Arpels
The   Collection Extraordinaire Rose Rouge Van Cleef & Arpels bottle surrounded by roses

One of the most romantic flowers is undoubtedly the fragrant rose, inspiring numerous poets, artists, and perfumers who try to capture its essence. It's rumored that Cleopatra filled her room with rose petals before inviting Marc Anthony to her bedroom. Their love was so strong that Marc Anthony forgot about his country and his family, giving up everything to be with the Egyptian queen.

The idea of love, in one of its many forms, is often what perfumers try to evoke when using rose as one of its key notes in a new creation. Rose oil is one of the most powerful aphrodisiacs and the amount of work it takes to create the smallest amount of it is truly a labor of love. It takes approximately 60,000 roses to produce 1 ounce of oil. These roses must be picked between 4:30a.m. to 9:30a.m. as the heat will compromise the oil. To put it in perspective, a bag of flowers is about 5,000 flowers and the most skilled pickers can gather approximately three bags each morning. According to the Perfume Society, it takes 170 roses to make a single drop of rose absolute.

And while it has been often associated with femininity, the rose is actually gender fluid. In the 18th and 19th centuries, it was popular with Italian dandies and modern iterations of rose-based fragrances such as Le Labo’s Rose 31 and Maison Francis Kurkdijian’s L’Homme A La Rose feature warm wood notes and spices to undercut rose’s femininity.

Rose has been and continues to be a favorite among perfumers because of its versatility and sensuality. Whether it’s the freshness of spring bloom you love or the headiness of a more grown-up rose scent, indulge yourself with a rose-based fragrance. Check out the 12 perfumes TZR has rounded up that are poetic, romantic, and alluring.

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