When you think of rose perfumes, you probably associate them with the traditional floral fragrances worn by your grandmother. Cloying, overbearing, stuffy—and actually quite unlike the sweet, fresh scent you experience when surrounded by fresh-cut roses. Whilst many established (and indeed, iconic) fragrances revolve around it, rose has long since been a note that I’ve avoided and eschewed in favour of brighter green scents or trendy woody and musky ones.
However, I was recently introduced to a new fragrance which totally took me by surprise and made me rethink everything I thought I knew about rose. I am rarely surprised by a perfume—my career as a beauty editor has taught me how to decipher ingredient lists, and so I’m able to look at a lineup of fragrance notes and make an educated guess as to how the scent will come together.
I fully expected to take one sniff of Tom Ford’s Rose Prick and pass it on to my mum, but on this occasion, she wasn’t so lucky. What struck me was the fact that, despite its name, the rose in this fragrance didn’t overwhelm at all, and actually felt like it was taking a back seat to the warmer, spicier notes that I was greeted with. Further investigation revealed that rose is a heart note in this scent, and that pepper and turmeric sit at the top.
The base notes of patchouli and tonka bean are much more subtle, but give the scent an impressive longevity. Altogether, Rose Prick presents rose in a totally unique and truly refreshing way, and I’ve not stopped wearing it since.