10 maggio 2010

Roses again: attar, essence, a scent and a lesson!

About roses, again. A few days ago my friend Prisca sent me from Iran (and exactly from Ghamsar), two generous vials: one with damascus rose Attar, the other one with pure essence.

The two processing methods lead to two different scents: the 'Atr (attar in Farsi language) is the oil floating on rose water after the first distillation. It's still full of wax residue from the petals, and is collected with a syringe. The colour is green, the smell is characterized by a note of green grass, fresh and almost pungent. You can definetly recognized it as "rose" but it’s not in bloom, yet and it’s moistened by dew; there’s no sensuous feeling but one of energy and radiance.



In the other vial there is the essence, obtained by double distillation and centrifugation of the best rose water. It’s not so easy accessible on the market because it needs more work, with more sophisticated machinery. But the result is mesmerizing and completely won me over. It's very present on the skin, with a feeling of spicy, silky richness with a very slightly smoky undertone: I understand it neighbours with geranium and carnation among flowers, with pepper and cloves among spices, with verbena and mint.
If I were a perfumer I'd use this stuff in all my scents (even if its 7,000 euros per 1 kg makes it particularly precious): I imagine a few grams are enough to make any scent fly at sensational heights.
I have to say that seldom have I smelt it in a scent. Amazing.
Prisca also told me a fascinating history: tradition has it that the first plant of rose, that would become known as' damascene rose was collected in Persia, in the valleys around Ghamsar, by a soldier of Alexander the Great, passionately in love with the scent, who then transplanted it into Syria.


I finish my rose exploration writing about Une Rose Vermeille, the new rose fragrance by Andy Tauer. It’ll be released in a few months, in the same format of Une Rose Chypre. It ‘s called Vermeille (red), because is dipped into a raspberry and red fruit syrup. It’s a gourmand scents, yet not so "easy" as you might expect. Though opening with this fruity and delicious aspect, from the heart on it reveals a most seductive, sophisticated rose, serenely dusty; fragrance gets warm, deepens its tone and becomes more "adult". I must say that wore with pleasure.

If you want to know more about roses and you're near Milan, on May 19 at 18.00 Calè organizes a workshop on Rose with the perfumer Maurizio Cerizza! Info here

Pic: here

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