Alexandra Balahoutis and hydro distilled roses
Strange Invisible Perfumes released Aquarian Roses in 2009, my first and favorite of the house. I intentionally sought it out on a trip to LA and my first time at the original boutique on Abbott-Kinney. How fitting a name for the definition of something “Aquarian” can mean something related to New Age thought or metaphysics and the hydro-distilled rose a precious staple of Alexandra Balahoutis, perfumer and founder. Artisan distillation of both aromatics and alcohol all combine to create the alchemy behind the deservedly praised offerings.
Andrej Pejic's iconic Androngyous rose fashion editorial for Vogue Paris 2010
The perfume itself is a paradox of rose and marjoram, aphrodisiac and anaphrodisiac, yin and yang, cold and hot meeting, melting into each other and the steam such occurrences produce. Rose is the ultimate symbol of romance and sensual passion; marjoram is an herb scientifically proven to reduce libido- the combination of these strange bed fellows is as sizzling as a droplet of water into a hot frying pan. Symbolic of the thought that “opposites attract”, Aquarian Roses unifies two sexual extremes and allows us voyeuristic privilege when desire trumps frigidity.
Model Coca Rocha in “Agua Caliante” for Numero by Sofia Sanchez & Mauro Mongiello
Aquarian Roses opens with a presentation of the two main ingredients, catalyzed by orange into an olfactory reaction. Austere marjoram wrestles with the sensuality of rose- the chaste herb used to be woven into crowns for marriage couples (although this is rumored to ensure a romantic evening, it was probably used to calm the nerves of the proposed during the ceremony or a slight of old crone wisdom to prevent the bride from rushing into motherhood) and it is this small gesture which must fight the urgency of the marriage bed. It is a losing battle and the consumption of the marjoram by the fires of rose is a glorious death. As the marjoram evaporates into the rose, there is a marine note which rises from the passion play not saline exactly, but fresh like a breaking wave or a boat's wake.
Photo: Rosie Huntington Whiteley Ben Hassett for Violet Grey.com (Glamour Magazine UK)
Eventually the marjoram is no longer; something lost in the heat of the moment. What remains behind is afterglow attar of rose and sandalwood and perhaps the feeling you have experienced through scent what seduction is and the role play of resistance and submission. Aquarian Roses is eroticism without pornography; it tells its tale of sensuality without ever becoming vulgar or verbose. In fact, all the while, it could be a fairy tale, with hidden meaning behind the rose and the marjoram, which taken at sniff's value is merely a beautiful love story between an odd couple who find love despite their differences.
Notes: Hydro-distilled rose, orange, marjoram and sandalwood
–Einsof, Natural Perfume Editor
(disclosure: my sample was provided by SIP for review.)
Editor’s Note: Now is a great time to stock up on your favorites; with every purchase of $150, you will receive a body lotion valued at $75.000 (while supplies last). Might we recommend the Sage and Rose?
Thanks to Strange Invisible Perfumes we have a draw for 15ml bottle of Aquarian Roses for a US reader. Please leave a comment with why you would like to win this yin and yang of rose botanical perfumes, Aquarian Roses and if you have a favorite Strange Invisible Perfume. To be eligible you must be a registered CaFleureBon reader. Draw closes April 17, 2015
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