A rose by any other name

For all the cutting-edge unisex perfumes out there, some of us can’t help being old-fashioned romantics and wanting a pretty, floral scent. And these are usually based around the trusty rose, a flower seen as “a symbol of upmost femininity” according to Acqua di Parma. Although the feminist in me rolls her eyes whenever I read this sort of thing – I’m nonetheless partial to sporting a pretty rose scent once in a while – if I happen to be in a whimsical Holly Golightly kind of mood.

Indeed, a far cry from the grannyish florals of yesteryear, the classic rose scent has recently taken on a more sexy and stylish allure to suit a new generation of fragrance-lovers (think a black lacy negligee as opposed to a flowing white nightgown). So when two such delightful scents appeared on our radar – Stella by Stella McCartney and Rose Nobile by Acqua di Parma, we thought we would put them through their sweetly-scented paces …

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 12.05.21Left: Stella by Stella McCartney; Right: Rose Nobile by Acqua di Parma

Originally launched in 2003, Stella McCartney’s signature scent Stella (£40 for 30ml EDP at Harrods) has had an image overhaul, with a glossy new advertising campaign shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott featuring Lara Stone and the packaging re-designed with gold polka dots.

The new advertising campaign for Stella McCartney’s Stella featuring Lara Stone

There’s no mistaking the rose notes in this scent, but the addition of amber keeps this on the straight and narrow and prevents it floating into whimsical, damsel-in-distress territory. Yet as modern and fresh as it appears, it’s not just for the young Chelsea girls about town, but is tempered and sophisticated enough to be worn by older women too.

The other rose-scent which piqued our interest was Acqua di Parma’s Rose Nobile, (£70 for 50ml at Selfridges) part of the perfume house’s new collection: Le Nobili inspired by the many beautiful flowers inhabiting Italy’s many famous opulent gardens. The company have used a variety of centifoli rose which is only found in Italy, found near the city of Alba. In this scent, it is served sunny-side-up with mandarin and bergamot, together with slightly peppery undertones, evoking if not “upmost femininity” then La Dolce Vita at least. Delightful and whimsical, with a subtle sexiness to it – it’s the olfactory answer to a romantic weekend in Sardinia. And if you happen to have fallen head over heels with it, there’s an accompanying body cream on the horizon to match.

by Viola Levy

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