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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Technically, this is a men’s fragrance but it’s popular with all genders. À La Rose L'Homme is perfumer Francis Kurkdjan’s love letter to one of the oldest and most familiar notes in fragrance history. His decadent mix of Damask and Centifolia roses is rounded out with grapefruit while amber wood accord and herbaceous sage cuts the femininity and creates an irreverent masculine floral.
Although the botanical-meets-floral notes of Rose Rouge make it initially quite succulent and juicy, it leans into a deeper vetiver anchored by delicious base notes of cocoa and patchouli that is sensitive and romantic. Rose Rouge can elevate even the simplest garments in one's wardrobe into something more elegant.
Nothing quite sets the mood like a blue box from Tiffany & Co. We’re not just talking jewelry, but also its fragrances that have the same timeless, sparkling quality. This fragrance's first spritz is like the lightheartedness of new love – innocent and flirty imbued by grapefruit and basil. Then it matures into white florals before settling into cedar, vetiver, and blue sequoia.
Trust Tom Ford to make a heady scent that evokes an illicit, passionate love affair. It’s an intoxicating blend of the rarest roses in the world – Bulgarian, Turkish, and Rose de Mai – subverted with spicy Sichuan peppers, turmeric, and patchouli that is hedonistic, indulgent, and very sexy. Wallflowers need not apply.
This is my friend’s signature scent, and every time she’d leave her house pre-Covid, someone would stop her and ask what she’s wearing. She’s not obnoxious when spraying it on but the scent has an approachable sophistication. It’s is a well-rounded balance of rose, angelica seeds, and saffron with a woody-leathery base that subtly wafts through the air.
What better time to take a bubble bath than when you’re WFH? Zoom meetings and emails might stop you from actually taking one, but this Maison Margiela fragrance might be the closest thing you'll get to a bubble bath during work hours. This flirty rose and alluring white musk blend is inviting and fun, just as every bubble bath should be.
Santal 33 may be the brand’s most ubiquitous scent, but Rose 31 is a cool girl staple. The femininity of rose is undercut with warm spicy notes of cumin, cedar, and amber before drying down into something more grounded. This modern classic blurs the lines between masculine and feminine with its understated sexiness.
For those who don’t want to commit to a rose fragrance, a dab of this luxurious perfume oil layered atop your favorite scent will transform it into a bespoke blend. Fused with Bulgarian roses, pink pepper, and musk, it's deliciously decadent and the next best thing to having a personal scent created for you.
Evocative of walking on the beaches off the Atlantic coast with a bouquet of roses on a summer’s day, this delectable scent opens with lemony bergamot then leans into the depths of rose before drying down to salty white moss. It’s impossibly sexy, like sun-kissed shoulders with a hint of freckling at the end of beach date.