Can you believe it is February already?! This most fleeting month, near the start of the year, is ideal for celebrating love… young romantic love may be fleeting, so it is important to remind ourselves not to take our partners for granted. For women, there is nothing more distinctly feminine than the rose. As a declaration of love for all women, Maison Francis Kurkdjian has created À la Rose.
À la Rose by Maison Francis Kurkdjian is inspired by Marie Antoinette’s love for roses, and Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun’s painting of Marie Antoinette similarly titled À la Rose. The famed rose gardens of Versaille makes for a very romantic backdrop for a rose-themed fragrance, and it brings me back to my honeymoon in Paris. I know there is nothing more cliched than that, but such is the folly of youth.
Versailles on a crisp cool morning is quite a sight to behold, and only having actually visited the estate, can I truly appreciate why it continues to be one of the world’s most visited garden. It stretches for 800 hectares (!), much of it was ornately decorated gardens. Carefully manicured hedges and planned color stories, well groomed rose bushes set apart with other foliage. There is nothing brazenly wild nor cheap about Versailles. Instead, it speaks of artistry and poised execution.
The beautiful gardens kept the air fragrant but the wide expense of land punctuated by huge lakes ensured it was all mild-mannered and never overwhelming. This is the Queen’s garden, and it was impeccable. Strolling through the immaculate rows, I found myself wrapped in quiet solitude, which refreshed my soul and reinvigorated.
In a manner fit for royalty, À la Rose is composed of two majestic roses – the Centifolia (“May Rose”) from Grasse, and Damascena Rose from Bulgaria. Plenty of rose scents claim to incorporate those particular varieties of roses, but Maison Francis Kurkdjian is no ordinary fragrance house. Each bottle of À la Rose is distilled from 250 Centifolia roses, and 150 Damascena Roses. Both queens of flowers embrace each other, and revolves slowly as À la Rose unfurls…
Upon first spritz, À la Rose emerges as a green spring bud, freshened by a citrus blend of bergamot, orange and lemon. This fades within seconds to reveal the Damascena Rose. There is a fruity sweetness to this rose, reminiscent of pears and lychees. It is a crisp, light fruitiness, easy on the palette, the way Versaille presents itself. À la Rose feels modern, elegant, yet very girlie at the same time. It is quite addictive, I cannot stop bringing my wrist up to my nose like a compulsive obsessed.
As soon as I forget about it though, the À la Rose starts to evolve. A short interlude of violet and magnolia presents itself, warming up the fragrance. It is on this creamy palette that the Centifolia Rose starts to emerge. It is accompanied by cedar and musk, providing a clean frame to showcase the May Rose.
Here’s a lovely video from Maison Francis Kurkdjian that sums it all up succinctly:
À la Rose was designed and first sold exclusively in the Japanese market. It is important to point out here that Japanese view fragrances as a very private affair, and it is deemed impolite to impose your private scents on others around you. As such, À la Rose stays very close to the skin and does not have much sillage. Despite the accompanying notes, it remains a crisp and clear scent, well-composed like the gardens of Versaille. It does not last very long, so I find myself reapplying generously throughout the day just to douse myself in the beauty of it all.
For the month of February, I will be celebrating the spirit of Saint Valentines by introducing various rose-themed fragrances every Friday! If you have any personal favorites or anything you’ve been curious about, drop me a note below and I’ll try to incorporate it into the weeks ahead!
This post features a small miniature provided by Escentials Singapore for my consideration. All opinions expressed here are my own honest, unbiased views, and are not influenced in any way.