Rose (Czech & Speake)

Czech & Speake used to only deal in bathroom fixtures, but at some point the company mysteriously decided to hire seasoned perfumers, keep their names from the public, and release a line of exquisite fragrances. What we end up with are a modest set of soliflores, with a citrus, three fougères, and a simple oriental to round it out. Among the floral fragrances, Rose tops the list.

If anyone were to ask me what makes a good soliflore, I'd have to steer them to Rose. Sweetened with hints of other white flowers, the central rose accord is so clean, clear, and delicate, that my nose almost swoons. The cleanness borders on being soapy, which snips a star off its rating, but this perfume is beautifully calibrated, enough to make even the staunchest rose-hater reconsider. 

This rendition is simple, ephemeral, effulgent. It educes visions of snow-skinned virgins, clad in nothing but translucent lace, and reclining amidst illimitable clouds of pink petals. It's a remarkable effect; Rose is chaste and seductive, a paradox within perfume.

The scent is linear, and doesn't develop much, or devolve. But it does suffer a terminable range of appeal, as very few women could consummately pull it off. That's not to say that only fair college girls can wear Rose - any woman can amp-up their femininity with this perfume. But let's face facts: Rose is a pristine soliflore that captures the essence of a budding flower. As such, it shines more on your Anne Hathaways than your Diana Taurasis. Women who can rock classic chypres; let the girly-girls have Rose.

Longevity is decent, at anywhere from 4 to 5 hours, and although labeled a cologne spray, Rose has eau de toilette strength and sillage. The nice thing about roses, and Rose in particular, is they're always "In" regardless of the time of year. Ladies, I say go for it.