[unpaid/sample/affiliate/ad] I’m hot-foot from doing an on-line workshop making paper flowers (results at the end of the post!) with Jo Malone London to have a reminder of their rose offerings. I very much remember the first Jo Malone London rose fragrance – Red Roses – that came out in the 90’s and remains unchanged to this day. It’s actually still my favourite despite various rose iterations appearing thereafter.
The thing about Red Roses is that it starts with lemon which instantly lifts what can be a rather heady note. It’s fresh and voluptuous at the same time – you can almost smell the thickness of the velvety petals. What I didn’t know is that it has a honeycomb note – I’ve never noticed it before – before hitting creamy sandalwood. I can easily go back to a time where a rose scent was a rose scent and there weren’t many permutations of the basic concept. Now, you can get rose as many ways as you can find sweets in a pick and mix.
The only thing that’s changed about Red Roses is the bottle – this year, given a lavish font in red across the bottle. I’ve given this perfume as both 18th and 21st gifts feeling that I’m on very safe ground because I’ve never come across anyone of any age that doesn’t like it.
Surprisingly, the one that draws in male fans is this – Rose Blush, £76, 50ml HERE. It arrived last year as part of the Marmalade Collection and has basil as its opening note. From there, it’s lychee followed by rose and geranium, leading into the white musk base. It’s not as fulsome as Red Roses but it has a distinct personality that marks it as part of the same family. Velvet Rose Oud, £92, 50ml HERE is the big one from the rose collection – it’s deep, dark and thick with oud wood which is sweetened with a little praline. There’s a hint of bergamot but really, it’s the most dramatic display in the flower shop. Speaking of flowers, the petals I’ve used for these pictures are from the only surviving rose from one of my bushes that has clung on all winter – before I prune, it seemed a fitting way to immortalise its tenacity and strength.
The final rose from Jo Malone London is Rose & Magnolia. It’s taken me a very long time to appreciate the smooth and creamy nature of magnolia and in this fragrance, it’s surrounded by moss and black pepper with a flourish of patchouli. It launched two years ago and has been, apparently, a very popular option. Are you ready for my creation?!
Now, I feel quite impressed that I managed to make that crepe rose! I wasn’t expecting such a good result. Obviously, there is a Valentine’s theme for this – the whole roses, flowers thing and if you go to the Regent Street Jo Malone London store you can personalise a ribbon for wrapping and get a rose stem too (8th-14th Feb) should you be able to. I’m not big on pushing Valentine’s for many reasons and try and keep it to the minimum but it does give a natural opportunity to explore fragrances that might not get the spotlight at any other time. There isn’t a bad time for a rose fragrance – roses have been cultivated for over 5000 years for very good reason as the ultimate universally pleasing flower. If you’re picking one for spring because the mood is lighter and there’s more optimism in the air, I’d suggest Rose & Magnolia, £76, 50ml HERE but you can never go far wrong with Red Roses. You can get the limited edition bottle in 30ml (£55) HERE or the soap as a more budget friendly option at £16 HERE.
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