<WARNING: this post includes language that some may find offensive. If you likely to be offended by such language, please either skip this thread or, alternatively, just get over it>
Well, my rose thread is trapped on a Huddler server (and Grant's laptop, I guess) for now, so I thought I'd start a spin off thread. A flanker if you like.
Just until the other one comes back (I hope it comes back - I put a lot of effort into it and didn't make a backup!)
When we left off, I had been deep-diving some rose soliflors and posting my thoughts on them, and had some great input and advice from several awesome fellow Basenoters.
I got into this rose odyssey because I had tried Malle's Une Rose, and it opened a door to a new, rose-tinted world for me. I wanted more. I hit Lutens Sa Majeste La Rose next, then Perfumers Workshop Tea Rose, and still have a bunch more lined up. I'll dump a few more into the rose thread when it comes back. All soliflors so far. And the next ones to come will probably be the Caron, Guerlain, and Creed ones.
After my rosepiphany, I wanted to try as many rosefumes as I could get my hands on. Soft and innocent, earthy and grounded, rich and opulent, crunch green and Gaian, dark and sexy - this flower could do seemingly do anything, and still remain a rose. I wanted to explore her range and try to figure out how she does it.
But I didn’t want to mess around with any half-assed roses, at least not at first. Know what I mean?
I didn’t want a rose that’s part of an ensemble cast with a chypre accord, or lounging on an oriental base, or, god forbid, butched up with a patchouli / cumin / whatever man-note to make it dude-friendly.
No – I wanted a no-bullshit rose, a rose that doesn’t share the stage with anything else.
In other words, I guess I wanted a rose soliflor?
Let's see ...
From French Wikipedia:
peut désigner :
• en art floral
, un vase
destiné à ne contenir qu’une tige de fleur ;
• en parfumerie
, un parfum
avec une unique dominante florale.
So, either a vase, or “in perfumery, a perfume with a single dominant floral.” OK – that seems pretty simple.
But that doesn’t quite capture what I’m talking about. The "no-bullshit rose" is a more specific. It’s a perfume that creates a single olfactory image - that of a rose, of course.
Now that could be a photorealistic image of a rose. Do a headspace analysis of an actual rose and recreate it, and you’ll get a photographic NBS.
A good perfumer can get close using his nose – maybe equivalent to a naturalist painting?
But a great perfumer can go beyond naturalism. He can create an image of a rose that doesn't exist in nature, an abstract, or impressionistic one, maybe a surreal one?
At least for now, I wanted to find perfumes that tell me a story about a rose, but I don’t mind if it takes liberties, embellished the facts a little. Or a lot. It can be a work of fiction – I’ll probably prefer that, in fact.
It might use a "truffle accord" to sketch the damp, loamy earth the rose is rooted in. It might use citronella to suggest the crunchy green vegetality of the plant. Who knows?
It can use whatever, as long as those whatevers support the cause - help to tell the story of the rose, without trying to make the story about themselves. I know this is very subjective.
For future reference:
No-bullshit rose: a perfume that is composed to create an olfactory portrait of a rose that may or may not be realistic
Bullshit rose: by extension, a rose-prominant perfume that is not a no-bullshit rose. E.g. a rose chypre, a rosiental, a manrose, etc.
Rosiental: a perfume with a recognizable rose note lounging suggestively on an oriental base
Manrose: a rose perfume that butches up the rose enough so that a civilian guy can wear it without feeling like he’s wearing lipstick
Brose: a manrose that appeals to the bros
Well, that was a bit of a ramble. What was the point?
I wonder how other people define a soliflor. What makes the difference between a rose soliflor and a rose perfume that is not a soliflor?