Natural Rose Perfumes by Velvet & Sweet Pea and Lalun Naturals

The Roses of Heliogabalus

Truth be told, I am not typically drawn to rose perfumes. It’s not that I don’t appreciate or even enjoy the scent of rose, I do. I actually love rose in body and skincare products, but in terms of perfumes being focused on rose, it’s not what I seek out when perusing fragrances. Recently, I had the pleasure of trying out perfume samples from Lalun Naturals and Velvet & Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery, and was quite surprised to be most impressed by their rose offerings.

Rose Encens VSP

Rose Encens, from Velvet & Sweet Pea’s Perfumery, opens with Italian blood orange and Mexican lime, full-bodied citrus notes that match the rich and fleshy floral bouquet of the rose. Because this perfume is in a jojoba oil base, the aroma is smooth and the opening lacks any sharpness that you might expect from citrus. This allows the blood orange and lime to be juicy, enhancing the voluptuousness of the rose. Upon application of this luscious oil, you feel as if you are walking amidst roses in full bloom.

Once the topnotes dissipate, the encens facet of Rose Encens begins to emerge. You will notice that you have now moved from the garden, and into a more resinous venue. Frankincense is at the helm now, morphing the roses into a deeper powdery form. Interestingly, the rose in the drydown still maintains its vibrant and fresh character, but it is more mysterious, having taken on the basalmic quality of the frankincense. After several hours of wear, there is a yet another phase of the drydown which is an absolutely radiant honeyed rose that is warm and perfectly sweet. Laurie Stern, the nose behind V&SP, harvests honey and beeswax from the bees in her garden and it’s not difficult to imagine being in her rose garden among the bees and their fresh beeswax. Divine!

qajar

Qajar Rose from Lalun Naturals is another striking rose perfume that is laden with rose ottos from Iran, Turkey, and Russia. In the topnotes, Qajar Rose employs rose otto, tagettes (marigold), chamomile, pomegranate and galbanum for a truly unexpected but pleasurable olfactory experience. All combined, the rosy opening is sharp and green, yet sweet and haylike. Complex to be sure, but in a compelling manner that draws you in gracefully.

There are many notes and nuances to discover within the heart and base of Qajar Rose: saffron, coffee, davana, Buddhawood, sandalwood, oud, ambrette, and patchouli to name a few. Like I said, it’s complex but wholly approachable as aspects of each note undulate as the perfume evolves. There are moments when coffee is more pronounced, and then recedes allowing the chewy-leathery quality of oud to move forward then gives way to the rich and earthy patchouli. This interplay of notes and melding of contrasts with the backdrop of a regal and romantic rose is expertly executed by Maggie Mahboubian, the creator of Lalun Naturals. Qajar Rose, such a fascinating and deeply alluring rose fragrance.

Rose Encens is $64 for a 5ml roll on in a jojoba oil base.

Qajar Rose is $95 for 15 ml spray bottle.

Disclosure: Samples were sent to me for consideration by the brands. All opinions are my own and I am not financially compensated for my reviews.

Image of Rose Encens is from Velvet & Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery

Image of Qajar Rose is from Lalun Naturals

Image of Roses of Heliogabalus by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1888) from Artmagik

Velvet & Sweet Pea’s Orange Blossom Face & Body Frosting

If you’ve read Scent Hive over the past several months, you know that I adore Velvet & Sweet Pea’s Face and Body Frostings. (You can find my praise for Kashmir Rose here, and Tuberose Gardenia here). Although I have not given Tuberose Gardenia the full attention it deserves, nor have I reviewed V&SP’s Orange Blossom,until now.

The common scented thread amongst all of them, is the vanilla infused organic jojoba oil that is sublimely smooth and creamy, and very sensual. Tuberose Gardenia benefits from this milky velvet base as it grounds the unbelievable tropical decadence of tuberose and gardenia enfleurage. (Enfleurage is a very expensive and lengthy process that you can read about near the end of V&SP’s web page here). The blend of pure gardenia, tuberose and Tahitian vanilla beans that have been infused in the jojoba oil for at least 6 months is intoxicating, and only a tiny amount is enough to send me into a blissful stupor.

But I digress. The focus of this post is Orange Blossom, another incredibly gorgeous Frosting that Laurie Stern, the artist behind V&SP, has created for us orange-loving fools. Orange Blossom is a bit of a chameleon. One moment she has me sitting on a comfy couch, ’round the fire at a holiday party… hints of mulled spices in the air. Neroli sometimes has that effect, it can be slightly herbally and aromatic. Then within a moment, Orange Blossom will hasten me away to a beachy holiday that’s all tangeriney and breezy. I love that about Orange Blossom, its dichotomous nature.

Of the three Frostings, Orange Blossom has the smoothest vanilla quality. It is luscious. It’s easy to think Creamsicle because of the orange/vanilla duo, but don’t. All of them have a very sophisticated vanillic base that lean gourmand, but never in a foody or cloying manner. Only in a swoon-worthy, I-hope-I-can-always-get my-hands-on-this-stuff kind of way.

Matisse Odalisque at galanart.com

Disclosure: Samples from the company were provided for this review. The opinons in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

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Velvet and Sweet Pea’s Narcissus Poeticus

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Narcissus Poeticus is one of those rare fragrances that holds both darkness and light in its grasp. The darkness of the soil that we don’t dig into, so as to not disrupt the burgeoning bulbs below our feet. And the light of the sun hitting delicate petals once they emerge victorious after the harsh winter. Wearing Narcissus Poeticus for the first time felt like my springtime emergence from the damp, cold soil. 

 

The fragrance began dark and bitter, like pulling up a half-buried stone covered with rich soil and moss. Beautiful and haunting woody notes swirled around as well, like deep oily resin from an old-growth forest. I had to ask the creator of the fragrance, Laurie Stern, about this and she confirmed that Blue Spruce is in the mix which I can assure you is not piney, but deep and earthy. Ms. Stern has used narcissus absolute in this fragrance which allows for narcissus’ pungency to shine through in the opening, but not overpower it. Once the soil dried and dusted off, the narcissus subdued and made way for the fleshy sweetness of osmanthus and the green charm of violet leaves. The drydown evolved into an alluring floral blend that retained hints of the initial earthiness, but rather than being linear, the remaining darkness became slightly smoky and weightless. What a complex and stunning fragrance! 

 

Narcissus absolute is very rare and very expensive, so Narcissus Poeticus is a special perfume to have in your collection if you are so lucky to have it, or plan to own it. It is a limited edition, and there are not many bottles left, so don’t delay in your decision to buy a bottle.

 

Velvet and Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery has loving care and attention in every last detail. The sample sets that I received from Ms. Stern were impeccably and gorgeously packaged and her website, scent descriptions and handwritten notes exemplify her dedication to natural perfumery and her joy of creating beautiful fragrances. One only needs to read her FAQ page on her website to discover more about her devotion to 100% all-natural perfumes, humane treatment of animals, and use of rare and limited essences. You can also read an inspiring and educational interview with Laurie Stern at Sniffapalooza Magazine: The Natural’s Perfumers Corner where you will learn many things about this perfumer, including her early days of hand making lingerie for high end stores like I. Magnin. (A big shout out to those of you who remember I. Magnin!!) Once you hit the link, you’ll need to scroll down past a few of the interviews to find Velvet and Sweet Pea’s.

 

Narcissus Poeticus is available at Velvet and Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery

 

Posted by ~Trish

 

Narcissus by dianamarshall on etsy.

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