Eau d’Italie Paestum Rose : Perfume Review

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Paestum

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

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24 Comments

  • Marina: Rose and myrrh is a union made in heaven 🙂 Must try this. May 12, 2006 at 9:28am Reply

  • Christina H.: I agree with Marina. I can’t wait for this to become available here!I really enjoy the Montale Rose Aouds so,I suspect I’ll enjoy this as well based on your review! May 12, 2006 at 10:42am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Marina, it is a great pairing indeed. I love myrrh, so Paestum Rose appealed to me right away. May 12, 2006 at 1:41pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Christina, I would not say that Paestum Rose is nearly as intense and rich as Montale Aouds, but you will see some similarities. It is more suitable for warm weather, at any rate. May 12, 2006 at 1:42pm Reply

  • Robin: Really liking this one, V. At first I thought it might be too sweet, but the dry down is just right. Lovely review 🙂 May 12, 2006 at 1:47pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, yes, the top notes are nice, but it is the drydown that made me want to return to it again and again. A very nice new release from Eau d’Italie. May 12, 2006 at 1:50pm Reply

  • Laura: Maybe I’ll like this! Since I haven’t liked anything (other than Terre d’Hermes) this spring, it would be a nice change! May 12, 2006 at 1:55pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, this spring has been lacking in exciting releases. This was a very pleasant surprise–a modern floral with a twist. Quite lovely. May 12, 2006 at 1:57pm Reply

  • peter: Sounds great! So, where does one find testers of it? May 12, 2006 at 2:18pm Reply

  • peter: Duh! You say so right in your review–Liberty and Aedes. Sorry! I skipped my morning coffee today. May 12, 2006 at 2:20pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Peter, it should be coming to the States soon, but right now, it is at Liberty’s, London. May 12, 2006 at 3:11pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: I also wanted to add that Aedes does not have it at this point, but they have the rest of Eau d’Italie line. May 12, 2006 at 3:11pm Reply

  • Kat: I received a sample of Le Sirenuse from Aedes, but it was very sharp. Sorry, I am not good at describing perfumes. Something about it didn’t work for me. Is Paestum Rose sharp? May 12, 2006 at 4:45pm Reply

  • Katie: Oooh, I’m quite looking forward to being able to try this one soon. It sounds just *perfect* for me 🙂

    Is the myrrh in it a vanillic one or more of a mildly pungent one? May 12, 2006 at 5:31pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Kat, I would not call Paestum Rose sharp, but it does have that quality in the top notes. If spices and incense bother you, you may not like it. May 12, 2006 at 7:40pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Katie, it is a lovely fragrance. Its myrrh note is fairly pronounced–smooth, cool, slighly mushroom-like. This is at least how I tend to think of myrrh–cool, savory, with a touch of sweetness. It is not at all vanillic, and even benzoin does not make it so. May 12, 2006 at 7:42pm Reply

  • cynthia: Hi, I am new to posting here, but I wanted to say how much I’ve been enjoying your writing. Your blog is now an important part of my morning coffee. Paestum Rose sounds like something I would like. Can you please recommend another rose and incense perfume for me? Thank you. May 13, 2006 at 5:54pm Reply

  • marchlion: I am just getting over here — this sounds like a must-try, just the sort of spicy notes I like as I try to expand my rose-love…. I am looking forward to its arrival at Aedes. Thanks! May 13, 2006 at 9:06pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Cynthia, thank you very much for your nice words. I am glad to hear that you are enjoy the blog. As for rose and incense, I love Caron Or et Noir. It is one of the first that comes to mind. Ta’if is another gorgeous spicy rose. May 14, 2006 at 11:52pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: March, I have a feeling that you might enjoy it. It has a spicy touch that makes the entire composition interesting. May 14, 2006 at 11:53pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: March, I have a feeling that you might enjoy it. It has a spicy touch that makes the entire composition interesting. May 14, 2006 at 11:53pm Reply

  • Steve: How is the lasting power? Thanks. July 13, 2006 at 8:20am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Steve, it lasts through most of the day on me. July 13, 2006 at 3:27pm Reply

  • The Perfumed Veil: Hi Victoria, I have loved Paestum Rose for years, ever since I got into niche perfumes. This weekend, I discovered a Lafco perfume store in my city which carries Santa Maria Novella and Eau d’Italie. I was so excited to discover this store after looking around for so long that I just had to have a new bottle of perfume. Among the astounding smells of Santa Maria Novella, the sales lady sprayed Paestum Rose and I swooned with pleasure. After many years of hoarding my decant, I can now liberally spay my new rose all over myself and bed. Amazing! August 17, 2014 at 4:00pm Reply

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