Do all roses smell the same?
Of all the senses, smell is said to be most strongly linked to the emotions. Different scents are connected deep inside us to different feelings – whether happiness or sadness, confidence or desire, comfort or joy. Our sense of smell also acts as a trigger for our memoires, prompting us to recall long-ago experiences or events in vivid detail and evoking a sometimes dreamlike sensation of being transported back to the past.
Here at The Real Flower Company we have long recognised the pleasures conferred by our sense of smell. It was the memory of the scent of roses from the English gardens of her childhood that inspired our founder Rosebie Morton to set up a company to grow and sell roses that would exude glorious and distinct perfumes. Most other blooms available commercially, sadly, are devoid of fragrance, having had their scent gene removed in order to extend their shelf life.
Aromas may be evocative and enjoyable, but their qualities are notoriously hard to put into words. So we were very excited to team up with award-winning perfume designer Azzi Glassier, who agreed to help us describe and interpret the glorious scents of our favourite blooms.
Azzi co-founded Agent Provocateur Parfums in 1999 and two years later her first retail perfume won an award for the best new female fragrance in limited distribution. She is an expert in creating bespoke fragrances that capture the personality and style of celebrities as prestigious and diverse as Helena Bonham-Carter, Kylie Minogue, Noomi Rapace, Orlando Bloom, Tom Hardy, Johnny Depp and Jude Law. In 2015 she released a fabulous collection of limited-edition perfumes under the name The Perfumer’s Story and she continues to create unique fragrances for individual clients.
Here are Azzi’s descriptions of the scents of six of our best-loved roses along with indications of how their distinctive aromas link to her own wonderful creations.
This is a blush-pink, fun-loving rose whose scent combines mystical notes on top of fruity cassis, enhanced by a touch of green leaf. In full bloom this deepens and vibrates into an exotic fragrant cloud of Rose absolute.
The Evelyn accord is muted yet active in After Hours by The Perfumer’s Story.
Named for the 19th-century French writer, this delicate pink rose has strong bohemian characteristics. It opens with a top note of fresh water, enhanced by a green accord and combined with a rich note of the traditional country English rose, conferring a sense of love and loyalty.
The Frederic Mistral accord is pronounced in Amber Molecule by The Perfumer’s Story.
The aroma of this romantic, full-petalled rose is delicate and subtle, with an accord of watery lightness on top that deepens into vintage Rose. Combined with a slight accent of violet leaf and soft powder, this gives Romantic Antike the aura and characteristics of everlasting love.
Subtle yet compelling, the Romantic Antike accord rests in Twisted Iris by The Perfumer’s Story.
This striking red rose with its velvety petals has watery, fresh, green grass top notes enhanced by a sweet and slightly oriental deep finish. Aptly named, its aroma captures emotional extremes with a hedonistic and exotic twist.
The Ladykiller accord is pronounced in Fever 54 by The Perfumer’s Story.
One of the darkest red roses, Deep Secret combines watery top notes with balsamic and woody tones – think warm, rich chocolate or the feel of velvet.
The Deep Secret accord rests in the powerful notes of Sequoia Wood by The Perfumer’s Story – which happens to be my own signature fragrance.
Peony Pink or St Cecilia, as it is also known, has the fresh scent of English wild flowers combining green, fruity citrus top notes with base notes of fennel, basil and juniper. St Cecilia is the patron of musicians, and Peony Pink has definite therapeutic characteristics.
The Peony Pink accord can be found in Twisted Iris by The Perfumer’s Story.
Creamy-white Vitality has a top note of sunshine. Powdery, soft and musky, it has the sexiness of the best love affair ever, lingering in the memory.
The Vitality accord is pronounced in Amber Molecule by The Perfumer’s Story.
All the roses available from The Real Flower Company are grown on our eco-friendly English and fair-trade farms as nature intended, ensuring that their glorious scent is undiminished so each bouquet exudes an aroma that will fill your rooms and linger in your memory. You can browse our collection of stunning, fragrant bouquets here.