One Thousand Scents

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

30 Demeters in 30 Days: Day 18, Bulgarian Rose

You'd think I'd have learned by now that what you expect from a scent and what you get are not necessarily the same thing, wouldn't you?

I knew Bulgarian Rose probably wouldn't smell like a rose on the stem, but I assumed it would smell more or less like a rose. It doesn't. It smells like rose-scented soap, heavy on the soap; the rose component is very blurry and amorphous, and it is very soapy. Bathroom-soap soapy.

For all I know, this is what an actual Bulgarian rose smells like. There are quite a few different varieties of roses, and I've smelled a number of them, but not, as far as I know, that specific kind, so perhaps I have nothing to base my opinion on. I can't imagine, though, that any rose in the world smells like this perfume; it feels entirely manufactured. You can tell it's rose (in the same way that you can tell artificial strawberry flavour is meant to be a representation of strawberry), but it definitely isn't what you'd think of when you think of a rose perfume. Roses, and good rose soliflores, have a crispness and brightness to them, a vibrancy which can't be masked, something which is entirely missing from this.

Bulgarian Rose is a nice enough scent, if you like soapy fragrances (which can be very pleasant), but if you want a true-life rose, this isn't going to do the trick, and you're going to have to spend some money to get a proper rose fragrance. Joy would do the trick nicely, or Tea Rose by Perfumer's Workshop.

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