Monday, April 7, 2008

Rosa Magnifica

Years ago I purchased a little sachet pillow in Grasse, France. It was in a pile of sachets in a shop and had the initial "V" on it, which is not my initial, but I couldn't stop sniffing this particular sachet. It was the only one with a peppery, spicy rose scent. For a few years, every time I opened my lingerie drawer the scent of "V" would waft out and I would think two things:
1. That sachet still smells so good.
2. I hope it lasts forever.

It didn't last forever and when it was gone I certainly missed it. I found that scent again when I bought a bottle of Rosa Magnifica.

Maybe the "V" stood for Victorian Rose.

We were on a business trip to Cannes, and had lots of down time to explore. Grasse was a spur of the moment idea, and going there turned us into people who needed to buy many bottles of scent. No regrets, as the old perfume houses had nothing but wonderful stuff that was beautifully packaged.
Even though I had always loved scent, I never thought I'd ever own more than a few bottles of Guerlain, etc... and I never thought I'd write about perfume or take photos of perfume bottles. The beautiful town of Grasse challenged our olfactory senses and we left with a deeper understanding of perfumery. Grasse was quiet that day, so we had the town to ourselves and were able to meet a perfumer and spend some time with him.

Rosa Magnifica Aqua Allegoria by Guerlain (1999)
(Discontinued: available through online perfume discounters)

The Headnotes: Neutral florals, (a very muted blend of jasmine, lily of the valley and iris) -- further muted by the peppery galanga ginger headnote. This 'pepper' fades into a strong rose heart.

The Heartnotes: Rose de Mai is the centerpiece of the rose bouquet at the heart of this fragrance.

The Drydown: A beautiful Victorian English rose, (those roses that were descendants of the heavily scented French Bourbons.)
Softly powdery with a touch of Vanilla and Musk.

It lasts longer than most of Guerlain's Allegorias, and seems to be more complex than many of them.