Roses, rain or shine

It’s halfway between the beginning of February and Valentine’s Day, which means I’m halfway through wearing a different rose perfume each day leading up to the one traditionally associated with roses, chocolates, and other sweet (no)things.

Tuesday, Feb. 1: Krigler Chateau Krigler 12—Known to have been the signature scent of Grace Kelly, this is the scent that captured my nose the most when I visited the Krigler kiosk in New York City last year, and I bought a sample. Rose and elegance, which turned out to be mimosa, and a strong one at that. The sweet, dense, floral heart has good longevity on me. A green top note heralds everlasting spring and morphs into violet, which unexpectedly brought back memories of Atelier Cologne Sous le toit de Paris. This phantom violet forms a sheer, green, powdery shield inside the nostrils—as though to distract you from noticing the rose slipping away for a moment.

Wednesday, Feb. 2: Calvin Klein Contradiction—I chose this icy rose, flanked by watery flowers and flaunting a touch of lipstick, mostly for the name today, because it’s Groundhog Day and yet I know that when I wake up the next day, it’ll be the next day. As though to soften the transition, Contradiction dries down to a blanket of fluffy musks.

Thursday, Feb. 3: Penhaligon’s The Coveted Duchess Rose—My bottle was a Christmas gift that I’d “requested” a few years ago based on the memory of a sniff of a tester bottle’s nozzle at a duty-free shop in Heathrow Airport (before my perfume obsession started). A lucky one, too, as it immediately became another favorite that I therefore find hard to write about. This is a dark rose in its prime of freshness, but by no means a soliflore. It opens with mandarin orange and also, if you sniff too close, something rubbery and chemical that I noticed only today. However, it spends its day as a lovely, fruit-enhanced rose that’s well balanced by “woody notes.”

Friday, Feb. 4: Velvet & Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery Pangolin Violette Rose—I won my 5-mL bottle from a ÇaFleureBon draw last year. This is an exquisite harmony of rose, orris, jasmine, and carnation, kept slightly green with violet leaf, resting on a soft base of sandalwood and vanilla that never takes over from my luxurious floral indulgence. I am amazed at how long this all-botanical perfume lasts on my skin, as it doesn’t absorb quickly compared with typical perfumes and seems to do better on skin than on fabric.

Saturday, Feb. 5: 4160Tuesdays Red Queen—This is a rose and incense fragrance designed for one who doesn’t particularly like rose or incense, inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and I bought my bottle when I attended a perfume-making workshop with perfumer Sarah McCartney in 2019 (an adventure in wonderland for me!). I share her love of raspberry in perfumes, which goes so beautifully with rose, and the opoponax makes me smile—it provides a warm, resinous counterpart to the red notes.

Sunday, Feb. 6: L’Orchestre Parfum Rose Trombone—Rose, pear, rum, and vanilla, with a trail of honey that I had not noticed on previous wears. Nothing deep or sticky; more like the light, sweet honey from store-bought squeezy bottles. The perfume is quite strong and settles into a slightly boozy rose-vanilla.

Monday, Feb. 7: Essential Parfums Rose Magnetic—A sparkly rose with a briefly aromatic opening, made sweeter by a fruity (lychee) companion note and darker by a woody and musky base. In the same genre as Penhaligon’s The Coveted Duchess Rose and Les Liquides Imaginaires Dom Rosa, but better for the wallet. I am still using my sample from the discovery kit I bought last year, but have already planned for the future by buying a travel spray on my visit to The Scent Room in Dallas.

I hope it’s coming up roses for you.

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