Have you smelt the divinely scented Rose Centifolia (Rose de Mai) in Grasse, France? We were lucky enough to visit the rose fields at the Domaine du Clos Notre Dame, owned by Alain Rebuffel and his family to inhale the wonderful fragrance of the flowers and to witness the harvesting of the petals.
The Grasse region is regarded as the home of perfumery and is renowned for the best Rose Centifolia in the world. One rose bush produces approximately 80 flowers each season. That translates to approximately 300g and one ton of flowers makes around one kg of absolute. In the 1930’s, the era of peak production, 2000 tonnes of rose petals were harvested. Today just 100 tonnes are processed in Grasse. Rose Centifolia is grown by small producers for the large fragrance houses such as Firmenich. Alain, his family and others in the Grasse locale are preserving this long-standing tradition.
So how do the roses smell? The scent of the flowers is vivid and incredibly potent with a honeyed gloss. Rosy with a hint of a green vibration that suggests a fresh quality, while a vegetal aspect is also evident. A sprinkling of these petals make their way into ROSE OMEYYADE our fragrance centred on rose and oud.
If you have the chance to smell the Rose Centifolia in its Grasse habitat, you will not be disappointed. Just remember if you’re interested in this particular variety of rose to schedule your visit for the month of May.