A few weeks back I reviewed Essence Nº1: Rose, one of the latest fragrances from Elie Saab and by all accounts a beautifully gourmand take on the humble rose. I love rose, in perfume and in pretty much everything else, and I admire the fact that one flower can be used so diversely, due mainly to the man wonderful nuances it displays as a material. It’s a true fact that not all roses are the same, and for every gourmand rose there’s an oriental rose or a photorealistic one, or even a ton of oud-soaked roses, creating a wide range of olfactory signatures that stem from one flower. The humble rose is anything if not impressive in this respect.
If Elie’s Saab new creation celebrates the gourmand facets of the rose, Rosa Nobile, the latest launch from Acqua di Parma, honours the beauty of rose in a simple, yet utterly satisfying manner. Rosa Nobile is an olfactory performance that celebrates the prettiness of rose in a dance of purity and simplicity. It speaks in pastel shades of pink and with a lightness of touch that is almost coy, but most of all, serves as an incredibly beautiful take on the queen of flowers.
“Strolling in the shade of centuries-old trees, among lodges and staircases, a sensuous fragrance drifts – the strong notes of the rose. Its scent forms part of Italy’s noble gardens which, like a queen, it pervades with natural elegance. Acqua di Parma takes their unequalled charm to give life to an Eau de Parfum introducing new touches into the universe of Le Nobili, a collection of women’s fragrances inspired by the most beautiful flowers of exclusive and private Italian gardens, where art and beauty blend in perfect balance. Each one a unique fragrance, selected for its noble femininity, for its fine perfumed essence, and for its quality. Compositions designed by Acqua di Parma using precious ingredients. Each one is unforgettable. Iris, Magnolia, Gelsomino and the new Rosa Nobile.”
– Acqua di Parma
Top: Bergamot, Mandarin and Pepper
Heart: Italian Rose, Violet, Peony and Lily of the Valley
Base: Virginia Cedarwood and Ambergris
How Does it Smell?
Rosa Nobile’s top notes are impossibly pretty. The first spritz unleashes a delicate and tender haze of pale pink rose water (it’s all very crisp and fresh up top) that is accented by the hissy and bright tones of lemon. There’s a strong sense of greenery too, that makes one feel as if their nose is being firmly pressed into dense shrubbery, littered with the big and bulbous heads of blush coloured roses. Far from being ‘one note’, this litany of rose-facets present a multi-dimensional feel that showcase the complex nature of the flower in an effortless manner. The nose is never overpowered or crowded with ‘noise’, each facet simply plays out quietly and slowly on the skin.
Rose dominate in the heart, as one would expect however, the mood shifts from purely rose to a dance of fresh flower petals, where the sharpness of peony and the sweetness of violet temper lady rose into something soft and gentle. As the fragrance moves slowly into the base the more astringent qualities become stronger with the earthiness of vetiver meeting the angular softness of cedar wood, to give the impression of fallen rose buds amongst the earth. All the way through, Rosa Nobile is stunning.
I recently took Rosa Nobile away to Tokyo with me for my honeymoon and I saved it for one of the very last days when we visited the Meiji shrine. Amongst the immaculate trees and wood columns of this sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the world’s most lively city, Rosa Nobile felt completely at home. Standing there in this completely tranquil place with the soft plumes of pink roses emanating from my skin, I felt wholly and completely at peace.
Rosa Nobile is simply gorgeous, in the sense that it is full of beauty and simplicity. It doesn’t try to be an overtly complex, or attention-seeking rose, instead it appears without fuss or fanfare, as a simple ode to the pink rose, all of it, from the stem to the head. Rosa Nobile also displays a light and fresh take on rose that is remarkably diffusive, meaning that it has presence but its sillage is definitely on the more dainty side of things. This is a beautiful and photorealistic rose that simply is an utter joy to wear – I highly recommend it.
Acqua di Parma’s Rosa Nobile is available in 50ml (£70) and 100ml (£98) Eau de Parfum. A matching Body Cream (£47/150g) is also available.
Sample, images and quotes via Acqua di Parma. Notes via Basenotes.