Blog post by Gwen
One of the questions I’m often asked is: how do you develop a great sense of smell? In an interview with nose Mathieu Nardin, he answers the question: “When you smell something – lavender, a particular perfume, a cooking ingredient – you have to forget what it literally is and instead link it a personal feeling, whatever it makes you feel. The more you analyse those emotions and link that to personal feelings, the better you become at smelling more and memorising those smells. This is how we learn at perfumery school. It has to be personal or it has no meaning.”
The key here is linking a smell to a personal feeling. For me, one of those links is rose-based scents. Here’s a recent example.
I was in Florence a couple of weeks ago, and I was on a mission. There were perfume stores there that I’d researched and wanted to see. List in hand and my sturdy walking shoes on, I meant business. After visiting five perfumeries, I sat down for a prosecco break. Refreshed, I pressed on.
Walking towards the Duomo, I passed a small cosmetics store. The door was open, and the smell of a full, rich rose caught my nose. It drew me inside. What I had smelled was ManRose, created by Mathieu Nardin for Etro. A saleswoman had just spritzed it on a male customer. I asked her to spritz me too. She hesitated and gently said, ‘It’s for men.’ I looked at her, smiled and said, “Please?” She sprayed my arm. And in a moment, I was a little girl being swept up into my Dad’s arms. His neck smelled of roses - my mother’s perfume, which had gone on to him when he’d nuzzled her closely after coming in the door from work. The scent of him layered with her rose perfume is a deep scent memory forever attached to loving memories of my father, and the masculine nature of ManRose sparks those memories beautifully.
It opens with a note of fresh Calabrian bergamot. The bergamot here is elegant and suave, more like smelling the peel than getting a blast of the tart fruit. It’s warmed by Sichuan pepper and aromatic, resinous, spice-tinged cardamom, rounded out with a gentle note of piney/green elemi. This ushered in a thick, lush, rich note of Turkish rose. This is not a romantic rose or a delicate rose, or a coquettish rose. This is a heady, intoxicating, voluptuous, dark rose. This is the rose a Roman soldier would wear in a corona obsidional romana – yeah, it’s that man-worthy, thanks to geranium and incense. The base is decidedly masculine with patchouli, vetiver, leather, musk and precious woods, but the virility of the base is tempered by the rose, which persists to the drydown and a little sweetness from amber.
ManRose is elegant, manly and suave, and maybe it's the link you've been missing.
Check out ManRose in our Shop.