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Stella from Stella McCartney starts with rose essence, crisp sweet mandarin citrus and spicy peony, a gentle accord which feels dewy and transparent rather than juicy or sparkling. The soft natural rose becomes stronger as it flows into the heart, now more lush and velvety with the addition of rose absolue which has a quiet rather than dramatic opulence. In the base, rose is paired with warm woody amber, an accord which repeats the transparent sensation of the opening and which perfectly highlights the natural rosy floral in the heart of Stella.

Stella is all about the rose, not rose “others”, and it feels a lot like the way Stella McCartney’s clothing designs look: classic, sleek, tailored, with a non-gendered vibe. Its sheer quality makes it appealing to modern noses. Indeed, Stella is a floral that can easily be worn by both sexes, who want to appreciate the beauty of a classic note but prefer to experience it in a subtle format.

According to an interview with Stella McCartney , she “wanted to capture the fragility of the high summer rose when the petals are just about to fall off. It's not about skipping around the country in a frilly skirt on a summer day.”

Perfumer Jacques Callavier (Kingdom by Alexander McQueen, YSL Nu, L’Eau d’Issey, among many others) captured that fragile quality of the summer rose to perfection, and delivered to Ms. McCartney her signature fragrance that has stood the test of time. The original Stella EdP was launched in 2003, remains a best-seller and has inspired 14 more fragrances, mostly iterations of the original Stella’s rose heart.

I think Stella EdP is still the best of the bunch, and one of the best modern roses you can find.

Notes: rose essence, mandarin, peony, Bulgarian rose absolue, amber

Type: EdP

Parfumeur: Jacques Cavallier


Price: $4.00