Thursday 4 February 2016

Three Roses For Valentine's Day

Maybe it's cliched but the rose is still the epitome of romance on Valentine's Day. Inflated prices of a bouquet can take the lustre off the experience, so what are the alternatives? Well, fragrances don't have to have a three figure price tag in order to convey quality and so I thought it would be fun to see what some high street stores can offer. All of these are available from Edinburgh to Eastbourne, because none of them are "exclusives", and so you also don't have to worry about a journey to London or the lottery of mail order. So, here are three fragrances that cannot fail to impress, or break the bank.

In 2012 Guerlain started the La Petite Robe Noire series, and it is rumoured to be releasing a fifth version, La Petite Robe Noir Intense, in September 2016. Whether this was the abandoned Canadian release is unknown at the moment. However, we're going back to 2013 today and revisiting the second version, which was the wonderful Eau de Toilette. With a beautiful citrus note at the top, and a fresh “red” cherry which is no longer mentioned for some reason, this fragrance’s crisp rose is beautifully supported by white musk, orange blossom and the merest hint of jasmine. In my opinion this is the best release from Thierry Wasser’s La Petite Robe Noir series, and a guaranteed winner for any lady.

We now move onto that English bastion, Marks And Spencer. In 2015 they launched Rosie for Autograph, which was created by perfumer Ralf Schwieger with input from British model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Okay, M&S is not known for luxury scents but with this one they really hit the nail on the head. Within a bottle inspired by the Jean Patou Joy flacon, a fresh rose radiates with the support of magnolia and jasmine. What you also get with this fragrance though is the unexpected edge of black pepper mixing playfully with a sandalwood and vanilla pairing. I know that M&S is not the first place that you would chose to shop for fragrances, but their range is increasing by the month.

Number three sees us go to Serge Lutens, which is available in House of Fraser thanks to the wonderful Kenneth Green Associates. We’re getting Parisian chic dressed up in the naughtiness of twenties Germany. La Fille De Berlin is definitely the richest of my choices but with notes of violet, jasmine, pepper and musk you will experience a Marlene Dietrich sensual darkness that is guaranteed to leave you “in the mood for love”. Created by Christopher Sheldrake, femme fatale meets orchestrated innocence in this blood red expression of desire … you have been warned.

Whichever scent you chose to give to the lady in your life it might be advisable to also purchase a single red rose. If you are buying your own Valentine’s gift then dispense with the rose and buy the bigger bottle. Whilst all are “feminine” the Serge Luten is exquisite on a man as well, so, happy Valentine’s!

*With the exception of Rosie for Autograph, the fragrances are easily available in any country.

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