Sarah Lamb and Steven McRae in the Royal Ballet's production of Romeo and Juliet, 2015
“Love is a smoke and is made with the fume of sighs.” – Romeo, Romeo and Juliet, act 1, sc. 1.
Shalini (pronounced Shah-lynn-ay)
If music be the food of love, rose must be its fragrance. The flower of the Roman goddess Venus, its potent beauty has for thousands of years been the emblem of love in all its multi-petaled forms. Rose’s heady fragrance has been the source of countless aphrodisiacs and lover’s tokens, so it is fitting that Shalini’s third perfume with master perfumer Maurice Roucel (Jardin Nocturne 2017 and Shalini, 2004) Shalini Amorem Rose is “a perfumed poem dedicated to the greatest love stories,” a smoky, silky romance between damask rose and saffron.
Lovers with Flowers by Marc Chagall, 1927
Shalini Amorem Rose doesn’t so much open as unfurl. The dusty aroma of saffron reaches out of the bottle first, its smoky tendrils drifting up like the last vestiges of a distant fire. As the saffron warms, it releases its characteristic notes of bitter fruit and baked earth. The amber around which it wraps is initially dry and dense. But then the resin and saffron play off each other, saffron providing an arid counterpoint to the gradually sweetening, full-bodied amber. A mournful woody note filters in, adding a quietness like that moment when the orchestra has finished its warm-up, and everything goes silent before the performance begins.
Emperor Shah Jahan and Empress Mumtaz Mahal, Mughal Empire Painting
And then a winy, gauzy rose makes her entrance, glissading into the center of the fragrance with the grandeur of a prima ballerina. Bulgarian damask rose has an ethereal quality not found in its more voluptuous cousins, and it lacks the overt sweetness of rose centifolia. Downy and sensual, with no thorny bite, this rose’s pillowy softness has the effect of lending the composition both luxuriance and lightness. It makes the perfect bridge between the smokiness of the saffron and syrupy amber while making clear it is very much the star.
Richard and Mildred Loving, photo by Grey Villett, 1965
Once the rose has fully opened, the fragrance stays fairly linear. But it achieves a perfect balance between the three main notes, which flank each other like jewels in a tiara, each distinctive but complementary to its partners. A velvety, sensual fragrance, Amorem Rose is for lovers of sensual rose perfumes, lovers of saffron, or just plain lovers.
Disclaimer: Shalini Amorem Rose sample generously provided by Shalini – many thanks. My opinions are my own.
–Lauryn Beer, Senior Editor
Shalini Amorem Rose Lalique bottle (Shalini Amorem Rose is presented in the limited edition Lalique crystal flacon. It will launch this autumn at select luxury retailers worldwide).
Thanks to the generosity of Shalini, we have a 7.5 ml flacon of Shalini Amorem Rose ($150) for one registered reader worldwide. To be eligible, please leave a comment saying what appeals to you about Amorem Rose based on Lauryn’s review, where you live and what your favourite love story is. Draw closes 8/28/2018.
We announce the winners only on site and on our Facebook page, so Like ÇaFleureBon and use our blog feed … or your dream prize will be just spilled perfume.