A rose fragrance that is truly tolerable is rare. A rose fragrance that is luxurious and beautiful is almost impossible. The popular bloom can be one of the hardest scents to emulate correctly as it is often thrown haphazardly into candles, lotions or air fresheners that are nothing like the original intoxicating floral scent. So when Acqua di Parma set out to capture the elusive rose fragrance, they knew they had to do it right. Their newest fragrance, Rosa Nobile, was inspired by the beauty of Italian gardens, and like others in their Nobile line, was chosen to represent the femininity and beauty of the local flora.
While the rose essence has been a favorite of perfumers for centuries, the ability to truly capture the fragrance is rare, and Acqua di Parma goes through some painstaking details to be sure that it’s right. True to their Italian heritage the brand chose a specific breed from the centifolia rose that only grows in Italy to be the base for their fragrance. This rose, also known as the provence or cabbage rose, is most noted for having 100 petals per bloom and is found on limited organic plantations near the city of Alba. Picked between May and June at dawn, so the petals are still wet with dew, it takes over 1,300 pounds of blooms to create two pounds of the rose oil needed for the fragrance.
The perfume, while filled with notes of the Italian rose, also plays with layers of floral and citrus to create a modern but timeless scent that is far from the heavy rose fragrances of yesterday. Top notes include light nuances of bergamot and mandarin with touches of pepper as the heart opens up to the Italian rose with lingering notes of peony, violet and lily-of-the-valley just behind it, while the base finishes with Virginia cedar wood enhanced by a grey amber and musk accord.
It’s a luxurious fragrance that is subtle on the skin and smells like bright, fresh cut roses that are appropriate any time of the year. Like most Acqua di Parma fragrances, Rosa Nobile also goes through each note slowly and subtly, ending with light lingering touches on your skin that are still fragrant hours later. But what struck us most about the new scent was not its lasting power, nor the ridiculously luxurious way in which its ingredients are harvested—it was that a rose perfume, which is almost always known for its heavy, matronly scents, could be so light and youthful. Maybe florals are for spring but with a fragrance this feminine and delicate, we’re pretty sure we just found our new signature scent.