Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
The romantic in me is attracted to the idea that Paestum Rose by Eau d’Italie is inspired by the roses that grew in such profusion around the temples of Paestum, a city south of modern Naples, that Virgil referred to them as “the rose-gardens of twice-bearing Paestum.” These were the same roses that were sacred to Aphrodite on the island of Samos and that were showered upon guests during Nero’s decadent feasts.
Although such a story might lead to expect a composition similar to Ormonde Jayne Ta’if, a rich crimson rose hiding honey and incense ashes in its petals, Paestum Rose is a modern spicy flower, the transparency of its rose notes being more reminiscent of Stella than of ancient unguents. The spicy touches are embroidered upon the sheer floral accord, with the composition foiled in the dryness of woods and the subtle earthiness of patchouli. …
What makes Paestum Rose part ways with Stella and deviate from the classical rose theme is a generous addition of myrrh. The soft resinous sweetness of myrrh—which was widely employed by the Greek and Roman perfume makers—accentuates the silkiness of rose and dims the fire of spices to a gentle glow.
Paestum Rose is less rose dominant than the name would suggest, and for someone who loves this classical flower to be reinterpreted in novel ways, it would be an interesting discovery. Even if Eau d’Italie’s rose is not a close kin of the ancient Roman blooms of Paestum, neither does it share any relation with the sweet and powdery Victorian roses. In this light, Paestum Rose would be perfectly suitable for men, especially those who enjoy the rose notes in Rosine Rose d’Homme and Montale Aoud range.
Paestum Rose by Eau d’Italie includes notes of davana, cinnamon, pink and rose pepper, black pepper, coriander, blackcurrant buds, osmanthus, peony, Turkish rose, tea, elemi, incense, myrrh, opopanax, cedarwood, papyrus, patchouli, Wenge wood, vetiver, musk, and benzoin. It is exclusive to Liberty, UK, but it is coming to the United States shortly. Other Eau d’Italie fragrances are available from Aedes.
For more reading on roses and rose fragrances, please see my article on rose.
Photo: Temple of Ceres, Paestum, Italy. www.italie.iipardubice.cz