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Un Zest de Rose – When life gives you lemons…wear ‘em! - August 19, 2013 New Fragrance Listing


When I was a kid, I hated the strong, sour tang of lemon flavoured foods. I hated it so much that over time I associated lemon flavour with the colour yellow and soon I hated that too. If yellow candies were part of the mix – Skittles, Starburst, Fruit Chews and, yes, even yellow covered chocolate Smarties, they were picked out and ‘shared’ with my sister (hey, don’t judge me – you know you did it too). Yellow Fruit Loops or Lucky Charms were left to languish in a puddle of milk at the bottom of the cereal bowl and yellow drinks went ignored.

But then something happened. I grew up. I learned to cook and I learned the difference between lemon taste (sour) and lemon flavour (citrus, tart, fresh, bright). And I realized that what I hated about lemon flavoured foods - that strong, sour tang - was really the artificial lemon flavouring used in processed foods. And I learned that I love the flavour of fresh lemon – the juice, the flesh and the zest - in foods like tarte au citron or lemon chicken.

After salt and pepper, lemon is the most important flavouring agent in food because it’s a flavor catalyst. It interacts with taste buds in such a way that the flavours that follow are more pronounced. Lemon and her citrus sisters – orange, bergamot, grapefruit, lime, yuzu – play a similar role in perfume. Commonly used in top notes, they add a bright sparkle to the opening of a frag preparing scent receptors for what is to come.

So what’s got me in this lemony mood? Un Zest de Rose by Les Parfums de Rosine. No other fragrance says “Wear me!” on the sultry dog days of summer than this one so I’ve been wearing it, and loving it, a lot lately.

Marie-Hélène Rogeon loves roses and she loves perfume, that’s why all the fragrances in her line, Les Parfums de Rosine, are rose-based which makes the name ‘Un Zest de Rose’  a play on words – ‘zest’ as in the rind of the fruit and as in an enthusiasm or passion for something like, well, roses.

Inspired by a rose, so pale yellow in colour that it’s almost white, Un Zest de Rose opens with a bright sparkling note of lemon, fortified with a green note from bergamot and sweetened with orange peel. A note of dried fruit, candied citrus rind to my nose, gives it all a lovely depth. The beauty of the opening lies in how delicate the fresh, natural citrus is – no blast of mouth-puckering lemon here. At the heart, a lush, velvety rose note comes forward and while the effervescence of the opening fades, the lemon never really does, thanks to the citrusy freshness of green tea and yerba maté – it stays delicate and soft playing off the rose, now bolstered by jasmine, each complementing the other beautifully. The rose goes right to the base where amber gives it a sweet earthiness and musk keeps it smooth.

The drydown is a soft, fresh and delicate, despite the citrus-heavy notes, and with just enough earthiness and musk to give it some heft, making it the perfect fragrance for a summer’s day. 

Un Zest de Rose reminds me how much I love the taste and smell of fresh lemons. Still hate the colour yellow though.

Un Zest de Rose is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.