On That Note: What Do Rose Fragrances Really Smell Like?

On That Note: What Do Rose Fragrances Really Smell Like?

Every fragrance description contains a list of notes, which is meant to give an idea of what a scent should smell like. 

We are generally familiar with common culinary notes like Marshmallow, Vanilla and Grapefruit, and know how they should smell. The tricky part is when a description contains more atypical notes like Oakmoss, Benzoin and Labdanum.

In this series, we’re breaking down specific notes so you can gain a better understanding of your fragrance, all from behind a screen. 

It’s one of the most popular notes in fragrance, yet remains relatively unknown.

Commonly associated with women’s perfumes and terms like “sexy” and “girly,” it’s actually a popular note in men’s and unisex fragrances. It’s also assumed that fragrances with this note must be soft, powdery florals, but the note provides perfumers with much more versatility. 

Because of its complexity, Rose often remains misunderstood. But ahead, we’re breaking down any barriers…

Rose in Perfumery
While thousands of different rose species exist, only 2 are used in perfumery: Rose Centifolia and Rose Damascena. 

A rose’s scent is determined by its species, as well as the soil and climate it grows in, its maturity, the time of day it’s harvested (read: hand picked) and its extraction method. Today, Turkey holds the record for the largest production of Rose Oil.

Rose is also often seen as a symbol of passion and romance. While that remains true, it’s also an ancient symbol of secrecy or confidentiality. In mythology, Cupid gave a rose to Harpocrates, the god of silence, to keep him from telling a secret. 

That symbolism has translated into perfumery, with Rose used to add an air of mystery instead of the predictable girlishness. 

Rose Centifolia and Rose Damascena
The first Rose you’ll find in perfumery, Rose Centifolia, is grown in Grasse, France. It’s often used to create more timeless rose scents and has a more delicate, fresh scent with honeyed facets.

Rose Damascena is the type of Rose you’ll find in Commodity’s Velvet scents. Cultivated in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, it has a deeper, richer and more velvety aroma.

Try Rose
You can find Turkish Damascan Rose in the Velvet Scent Space. Each full-size (100ml) Velvet bottle contains absolute oil from about 60 roses—that’s 5 bouquets that won’t wilt. 

Velvet Expressive
Our original version of Velvet was inspired by the indulgence of its namesake texture meeting bare skin. The mysterious and elegant scent is an ambery blend of Roasted Almond, Rose Petals and Black Amber.

Velvet- Personal
For those wanting a more subtle take on rose, Velvet- is a smoky, ambery skin scent of Skin Musk, Rose Petals and Black Amber that creates a more breathable indulgence.

Velvet+ Bold
A deeper, more opulent take on Rose, Velvet+ incorporates Labdanum, Rose and Amber for a rich, opulent over-indulgence.

You may also find Rose in another Commodity fragrance, coming this year…

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