Post by Trésor
I’m often asked if I were forced to choose a single rose fragrance to wear for the rest of my life, the be-all and end-all of sumptuous carmine petals, what would that rose be? Would I choose to enrapture myself within a bordeaux hued nebula of Frederic Malle’s Une Rose? The labrynthine delicacy of Mohur from Neela Vermeire? The striking and immaculately vivid photorealism of Olympic Orchids’ Ballets Rouges? Though I appreciate their beauty beyond measure and spend many an hour in their passionate embrace the answer is simply no. My rose is Nahéma and it is her panoramic film star joie de vivre which draws me in close and beguiles me beyond the tangible and into a state of resplendent olfactory euphoria.
Nahema by Jean-Paul Guerlain 1979
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Rose, peach, bergamot, green notes, aldehydes
Heart: Hyacinth, Bulgarian rose, ylang-ylang, jasmine, lilac, lily of the valley
Base: Vanilla, passion flower, Peru balsam, vetiver, sandalwood
The incipient rush of Nahéma is an exquisite spectrum of golden sunlight, her rays are a fluid opus of scintillating aldehydes, bergamot and a rather fascinating, fleeting flicker of hesperidic emerald green. Before long she begins to reveal a precious gift passed down to her by her older sister Mitsouko, the most unctuous and extraordinary peach who’s ripe flesh is gilded with flourishing spices. The beauty of the peach in Nahéma is in the way she carries it with utter ebullience and effortless charm. This symphonic assemblage of top notes cannot hold a candle to what comes next, the ripples of which have pervaded the very atmosphere of the entire composition from the beginning, the rose.
Photo Stolen Flickr
To begin to explain this rose seems almost an Olympian task for it is not simply a rose, it is a dream sequence and conceptual art piece in and of itself. It is not a rose of the Earth but a romanticized rendering, an olfactory landscape of scarlet lipstick kisses and lucid eruptions of honeyed, crimson velvet. The facets of Nahéma’s rose are akin to those of an intricately cut diamond, a radiant explosion of luminosity grounded by a weighted, baroque floridity that calls to mind a bygone era of unabashed luxury and excess. As the operatic rose begins to settle into the skin you are met with a redolent hum of rich, balsamic warmth. She’s borrowed some of Shalimar‘s characteristic vanilla and has again worn it in her own signature style.
Photo Stolen WikiCommons
While still a study in resinous complexity it also maintains a dulcet levity to foil a smouldering depth. This is something that must be experienced for all the words in the world seem a failure to convey the inimitable beauty hidden within these treasured vapours.
Further reading: Colognoisseur and The Non Blonde
Beauty Encounter have $320/30ml Parfum
Surrendeer To Chance has vintage PdT samples from $6/ml
My concentration of choice in this pulchritudinous potion is the dense and luxuriant extrait de parfum. It lasts an exhorbitantly long time on my skin, sometimes through a hot bath and into the next day. I’m particularly fond of anointing my skin with Nahéma when I am looking to feel unapologetically glamorous and in need of an instant boost of confidence. For me, it truly is a sacred elixir.