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Perfumer Marie-Héléne Rogeon has a thing for roses. She also has a thing for perfume.

Born into a family of perfumers Mme. Rogeon’s great-grand father, Louis Panafieu, created  eau de cologne for Napoleon III and her grandparents created fragrances for Paul Poiret, the first designer to produce a line of perfumes called Rosine, after his daughter. Sadly, Poiret’s house closed in 1929 and his perfumes went out of production. 

Inspired by her rose garden in Picardy she decided to revive the Rosine line and produce only rose-based scents. She renamed the line Rose de Rosine and launched it in 1991. Currently, she sells over 20 fragrances in her Palais Royale boutique. One of them, Rosa Flamenca is one of my all time favourite frags. One whiff and I was a goner!

Rosa Flamenca was inspired by Mme. Rogeon’s visit to the rose gardens of Andalusia – that province of Spain known for its eastern influenced Moorish-style architecture and where the blood sport of bullfighting and hot, passionate flamenco dancing originated

It opens with orange blossom and sweet, honeyed neroli, with a backbone of green, woody orange petit grain. The neroli has a slight metallic edge that is amplified by the addition of bitter green orange peel. The different aspects of orange are here, yet it doesn’t have a cloying sweet/fruity/orangey smell. Instead, it smells slightly sweet and softly exotic. This impression stays as it moves to the heart where armfuls of roses, big bouquets of ‘em, show up and stay for the rest of the ride.
But too much of a good thing can be too much, so white jasmine is there to temper the rose by giving it another floral dimension. Just as you are trying to find a word to capture this sublime scent experience so that you can store it in another part of your brain, fig wood appears and adds an animalic note. Now, it becomes a soft powdery rose scent warmed by hot skin – Olé indeed - until sandalwood and soft musk at the base mellow it out.

Rosa Flamenca sounds like it should be all peppery heat and spiciness, but Rosa Flamenca is not as crude or predictable as that. It’s the experience of the eastern influence, the dance and the roses unique to Andalusia that are distilled and expressed in this refined, elegant and sensuous scent. That’s what makes it so wearable and so memorable that you keep going back to it.

Notes: orange blossom, neroli, petit grain, green orange peel, j asmine, rose de mai absolue, rose essence, fig wood, sandalwood, benzoin, white musk

Type: EDP

Parfumeurs: Marie-Héléne Rogeon and Francois Robert


Price: $4.00