Queen of flowers, the rose has been grown since the dawn of time and it's the most
celebrated flower by poets and writers. There are around 400 species of wild rose and in between ten and fifty thousands different varieties.
The majority of the species come from crosses and selections, with the aim to obtain varieties with an intense and vivid scent. Amongst the most appreciated we find Aida, Captain Harry Stebbing, Dublin, Limelight , Royal Highness and Tiffany.
Despite the numerous variety of roses,only two of them are used in perfumery to create rose perfumes: the Damask rose, mainly grown in Bulgaria and Turkey and the Centifolia rose, also said May rose and particularly cultivated in South of France and Morocco.
For a better understanding of the olfactory differences of these two qualities, we need to think that the oil of rose is a perfume in itself, with a mix of more than 400 different scented molecules and accordingly to the largest concentration of one molecule rather than another, diverse olfactory facets will be more or less exalted .
The most important are the citronellol, which gives it a fresh and citrusy characteristic; the geraniol which gives it a flower spiced facet; the eugenol with its warm and spicy characteristics and finally the phenyl ethyl alcohol, the facet more specifically related to the rose petal scent, when it's freshly collected , the one which gives elegance and gentleness to the whole .
In the Damask rose, the most spicy facets, carnation-like, are more evident compared to the phenyl ethyl alcohol ones, more accentuated in the May Rose.
In perfumery the rose is used in various forms, each one coming from diverse extraction methods.
The Rose absolute is certainly the finest and it keeps more intact the olfactory complexity of the flower; then we have the essential oil and the rose water.
In the month dedicated to this flower, I wanted to ask one of the emerging nose of modern perfumery, Luca Maffei, to tell us something about his Queen.:
"The May Rose also said Rosa Centifolia , the finest and most rare rose specie used in perfumery. Originally from Caucasus, through Persia , the May rose made her majestic entry in Europe around the XVI century.
As time went on the May rose became the fulcrum of the precious harvest tradition in the area of Grasse, the perfume town in the south of France.The harvest for this flower happens in Spring, in between May and June .
This very scented flower is collected by hand with extreme gentleness , early morning , when the sun is not high and the petals are at their fullest scent.
It's incredible to think that for only 1 kg of absolute of rose Centifolia you need around 200 thousands flowers!
Its intense scent is composed of a velvety flowery note , hugged by honey sugary ones.
Its olfactory structure is really complex and it’s perfume particularly persistent. This raw material stands out for its elegance and unicity compared to the other types of roses. This is why it’s praised by the most skillful perfume makers in the world .
Its unmistakable note in fact constitutes the heart of the most prestigious perfumes, amongst which Chanel n.5”
It’s therefore about time to wake up the elegance and gentleness inside ourselves , let’s wear thousands petals and make the world beautiful!