Skip to main content

Rose Pivoine – Floral and fresh and summery - April 25, 2016

Rose pivoine/Rose peony -

Spring is a transitional time of year. We come out of hibernation, shed our winter clothes and our winter ways with spring cleaning, spring colours, spring foods and smells lead the way to summer living.

We need to have warmer temperatures for new life to begin, but sometimes Mother Nature drags her heels and needs a nudge. Where I live we’ve had more snow in April than we’ve had in February. I know spring is coming, but it’s too slow getting here. I’m not impatient to wear shorts or flip flops and I can wait for BBQ on the patio, but I am eager to smell some warm weather smells. I want that soul-stirring slow dance to summer to start now. When I think about it, this happens around this time every year, so I’ve had plenty of practice at helping spring come along – at least olfactory-wise.  For me, relief is often found in a bottle of perfume. Right now, it’s in a bottle of Rose Pivoine from French niche line Nicolaï Parfumeur-Createur, formerly known as Parfums de Nicolaï.

In case you haven’t read our blogs on Nicolaï Parfumeur Createur fragrances or its founder Patricia de Nicolaï (and at this point I have to ask why you haven’t), here is a brief recap of the backstory.

Patricia de Nicolaï was born into the Guerlain family, studied chemistry, earned a degree in perfumery and was, many believe, on a trajectory to being the in-house perfumer for Guerlain until she hit a glass ceiling - only men from the family worked on the Guerlain brand.

So, she launched her own family line, Nicolaï Parfumeur Createur, with her husband in 1998. Since then she has created some of the most beautiful fragrances I know. And, Luca Turin backs me up on this saying she is “…one of the unsung greats of the fragrance world…” in his book Perfumes: The A-Z Guide.

Rose Pivoine is one of my favourite fragrances of hers.

It opens with soft, citrusy bergamot balanced with a gentle, sweet, fruity note of apricot. Right of the top it’s light, elegant and feminine. A sweet, tart red fruit accord is here too. It’s a smell I always associate with spring/summer scents, and am happy when I find it here. Roman chamomile, a member of the daisy family, adds an herbaceous green dimension to the fragrance. It also has sweet and fruity aspects that bridge the opening to a fresh, fragrant heart of Bulgarian rose and Bourbon geranium that dominate the fragrance and create a rose/peony effect. The surprise here is how light the rose is. It’s not a deep, heavy, diva rose – but a light, wafting rose that would suit a woman of any age. At the base, ambrette seeds make it musky and vegetal while black pepper warms it up.

The drydown is floral, fresh and a little spicy. Rose Pivoine is pretty much a soliflore – it doesn’t evolve much and feels like the rose/peony accord is surrounded by other notes as opposed to be transformed by them. In many ways, that’s one of the things I like most about it.

The Nicolaï Parfumeur Createur website says, Rose Pivoine is “A rose and peony explosion in a green June garden!” any time of year.

Take that Mother Nature!

Rose Pivoine is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.