A Rose is Still a Rose

(With Global Fragrance Expert – Marian Bendeth)

See a rose is still a rose
Baby, girl, you’re still a flower
He can’t lead you and then take you
Make you and then break you
Darling, you hold the power

-Lyrics by Aretha Franklin

It was a snowy day in January in both New York City and Toronto, when my friend Marian Bendeth, Global Fragrance Expert and owner of Toronto-based consulting company “Sixth Scents” and I began talking about her English rose garden, which she dearly missed…buried under five feet of snow. I tried to comfort her, but since I can’t even grow a chia pet, it was of no use. She told me how much she loves the scent of roses; one of her great joys is the view of her next door neighbor’s driveway, which is in full blossom by June; a visual and olafactory delight. A flood of roses; some are full-bodied and peppery, some are whisper-light and some are creamy.

Which got me thinking; the fragrance of roses do not require balmy weather to evoke memories and emotions. We could create our own perfumed rose gardens in the chill of winter, a dozen perfect rose fragrances each…and no gardening skills required.

Marian Bendeth, Global Fragrance Expert

I invited Marian Bendeth to plant the seeds of knowledge with BN readers who may not know everything there is to know about roses and rose fragrances. Her credentials are impressive; as a global fragrance expert, she has worked with over a 1,000+ prestige and niche fragrances, the Fragrance Industry, the Global Media, Fragrance Retailers and Universities and Colleges as well as the general public:

“The old adage, ‘stop and smell the roses’ has more literal meaning than prose”, Bendeth explains.

The anthropological symbolism of roses in cultures around the globe is steeped in mysticism, passion, romance and the life force that reflects the beauty in nature.

Turkish rose, Egyptian rose, and basket of Bulgarian roses

There are over 118 species of rose oils available to modern perfumers, each with very particular nuances such as notes of: warmed tea, exotic spices, sweet sugar, warm fruity notes and honeyed accents. Each species glove a fine perfume and round out and rosy up what would otherwise be a bland accord.

Perfumers still struggle to capture the true essence of roses with molecules. Some are so unique, they cannot be reproduced to perfection with synthetics and some essential notes such as the Centifolia Rose from Grasse or Bulgarian Rose can be costly to cultivate and manufacture.

Many harvests are born as hybrids, where two plants from different parts of the world are cultivated over extended periods of time on land with generous healthy soils, rainfall and sun exposure. Others have been cultivated in the same spot for centuries, bringing a unique personality and headiness to perfume blends.

There is a rose for every kind of taste, every kind of personality, every kind of environment. From Cleopatra to the Corporate boardroom, the rose is the ultimate gift and symbol of perfection.

My selection reflects “The Rose as the Diva”, surrounded by a supporting cast of other essences. My selections are mostly current fragrances, vintage fragrances and a few niche, whilst Michelyn favors cutting edge niche with a nod to their classic inspirations.

There is a fascinating mixture of a traditional horticultural garden meets valley roses with a twist here. I think a lovely and exciting combination.

When I was invited to share my dozen perfect rose-based scents, my nose floated to a thousand exquisite perfumed petals, but these bouquets spoke the loudest to my heart.”

– Marian Bendeth

1. Paris -Yves St. Laurent, Available at http://www.neimanmarcus.com
2. Rossy de Palma Eau de protection – Etat Libre d’Orange, Available at Henri Bendel
3. Lipstick Rose – Frederic Malle, Available at http://www.barneys.com
4. Rose Ikebana – Hermès Hermessence, Available at Hermès Boutiques
5. Elizabethan Rose – Penhaligon’s, Available at http://www.penhaligons.com
6. White Rose – Floris, Available at http://www.lusciouscargo.com

7. Rumeur 2 Rose – Lanvin, Available at http://www.saksfifthavenue.com
8. Joy – Jean Patou, Available at http://www.nordstroms.com
9. Lady Vengeance – Juliette has a Gun, Available at http://www.luckyscent.com
10. Recolte Harvest 2007 Very Irrésistible – Givenchy, Available at http://www.nordstoms.com
11. Soir du Lune – Sisley, Available at http://www.neimanmarcus.com
12. Chamade – Guerlain, Available at the Guerlain Boutique at Bergdorf Goodman

Michelyn’s perfect dozen represents two extremes; sweet/fruity or dark/spicy.

1. Rose Barbare – by Guerlain, Available at the Guerlain Boutique Bergdorf Goodman
2. Paris – by YSL, Available at http://www.saksfifthavenue.com
3. Rossy de Palma Eau De Protection – by Etat Libre d’Orange, Available at Henri Bendel
4. Liaisons Dangerouses – by Kilian, Available at Bergdorf Goodman
5. Sa majeste de rose – by Serge Lutens, Available at http://www.barneys.com
6. Bulagare de The Rose – by CREED, Available at Bergdorf Goodman

7. Le Sirenuse Paestum Rose – Eau d’Italie, Available at http://www.clydesonmadison.com
8. Une Rose – by Frederic Malle, Available at http://www.barneys.com
9. Un mille et un rose – by Lancôme collection, Available at http://www.saksfifthavenue.com
10. Tea/Rose – CB I hate perfume, Available at http://www.cbihateperfume.com
11. Miele Rosa – i profumi di fiorenzi, Available at http://www.beautyhabit.com
12. Le Labo Rose 31 – Le Labo, Available at http://www.barneys.com

***Honorable mention: Drole de Rose – L’Artisan Parfumeur
Available at http://www.neimanmarcus.com

Marian Bendeth’s Website: web.mac.com/sixthscents
To Contact Marian Bendeth: SixthSen@aol.com

Editor’s Note: Marian Bendeth and Grant Osbourne of http://www.basenotes.net , are the recipients of the Best Media Editorial Award for two combined articles by a Media Judging Panel at the Canadian Fragrance Awards, Thursday, April 24, 2008.

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