BLOOMS A ROSE IN THE DEEPS OF MY HEART…… Rose Volupté by Sonoma Scent Studio (2012)











I like a big rose. A rose that is generous and of itself; a lovely rose: not a mean, thin-lipped rose; nor a methane-dipped rose, a high street rose or a sneering, clipped, high-octane rose; a fashion rose or a bridal rose; a cheap, leering acid rose, nor some dusty old, crabby rose, no: I like a full, joyous pronouncement of a rose, a rose that knows who she is.


The world, though, it seems, loves scents like L’Eau Chloé, a mingily pertinent fragrance formed of rose water and green things and reduced-fat patchouli, but I most certainly don’t: we smell far too many of these perfumes around us in cities, especially in Japan, where immaculately turned-out young women walk the streets of Tokyo, untouchably beautiful, a red-blooded, heterosexual male’s idea of paradise; girls with the flawless patina of a Shiseido commercial but in the flesh, slender young things in the all latest fashions and just a touch of rose to finish: nothing too thick, now, and a touch acidulous if you please – I maintain you, sir, at arm’s length with my thorns, my scent a barrier not a come-on, my artificial rose with its just-so projection perfected in the laboratory for this very purpose to offer that strange, iced chasteness, that modern-girl impenetrable whim of here-and-now Ginza sexy: this, this hideous perfectionism we smell in all the roses of the day such as Stella, Paul Smith Rose, and, especially, here, the vile Eau Des Quatres Reines by L’Occitane, which from personal exposure I would say is by far the most popular female scent in the country: you smell it all the time, as though, like everything else in Japan, it were accepted by the group and thus sanctioned, even by young mothers!


Young mothers, yes, those saintly, desexualized mama-san as they are called, poor creatures in my view, who, unless they rebel and refuse to conform, will often be co-erced into fascistic, nasty, Lord Of The Flies groups they cannot escape from even as they smile and present their iron-haired, A-line skirted, guilt-racked personas to the playground. The Occitane perfume, with its hints of salted, musks under penetratingly sharp, artificial rosey top notes, fixed, unchanging as it hangs in the air around train stations and department stores is the rose du jour, accepted, sucked into the mainstream, worn constantly, and I can tell you quite passionately that I loathe it.


No: give me an unfettered, uninhibited rose any day, a rose of love, not of conformity, a rose which springs directly from the heart: give me Nahéma, Montale Aoud Rose Petals with its blackness of the desert and Turkish Delight, give me Caron Rose, with its cherished poetical heart of Damask, or, if we need pearlescent dew drop roses, Fleurs de Thé Bulgare by Creed: just don’t dilute it with ‘market trends’ , fear of trying, or with ‘what women want‘: give it to me straight and liberated and heartfelt. Or don’t give it to me at all.



Rose Volupté, a huge, blowsy thing, belongs in this latter category of mine; roses with heart and soul, a big Valentine’s Day rose that is as rounded, enveloping as imaginable; powdery, effusive, diffusive: a tampy, musky pink rose of thick material: balanced – an undeceiving, happily direct perfume.

An oriental rose, with ambered base notes of labdanum absolute, vetiver and sandalwood, and a heart of heliotrope and cinnamony plum, all leading the perfume somewhat into the ‘old fashioned’ category, but neverly over so in my view, more pleasingly, just slightly, retro: top notes fruity and full, flowered like sugared raspberries on a summer trifle, and as multitiered, the geographical strata of the perfume leading down to pillowy, benzoiny, classic oriental skin scents, generous and feminine, soft:  Teint De Neige’s rosier, more bosomy country cousin.


While the perfume might lack a certain psychological complexity ( I find it rather ‘straight’ and ‘thick’ in some ways) this is simultaneously very much part of its appeal. Rose Volupté is simple, lovely, and it wears like an honest statement of love for the flower, and for perfume come to think of it, not some anorexic urban cipher and her puny, half-hearted, haughtily prettily ‘rosy’ emanations.


Filed under Flowers, Perfume Reviews, Rose

32 responses to “BLOOMS A ROSE IN THE DEEPS OF MY HEART…… Rose Volupté by Sonoma Scent Studio (2012)

  1. “That, like your statue, is Venus,” Damien was saying, pointing at a small, bright light far above them. “Morning Star, Evening Star. Two faces of love.”
    Janey glanced at the statue just behind them. “Two names as well, Venus and Aphrodite. When I first came to Locksley, she was hidden, lost in the maze’s brambles.”
    “Like Briar Rose, the Sleeping Beauty.”
    She watched his hand gliding down the smooth, white flanks of the statue, and though the night was warm, a shiver ran through her. He must have felt it. “Just as a rose,” he said, turning his gaze on her. And gently cupping her face between hands still cool from Aphrodite’s flesh, he kissed her; a kiss that searched for yielding.
    Pulling away, he watched her eyes as he reached to open her dress. But she surprised him by standing up, slipping it off her shoulders, letting it fall, feeling herself as foam, wave, tide rising up in him.
    He reached to touch her—
    —and all imploded. Hands and mouths searched and possessed. They rolled as one, spreading out on the soft, mossy earth, tracing bliss with fingertip, lip, and tongue, until she suddenly enveloped him, all silken heat. Moving with her breath, she leaned over him: I am an angel made of shadow.
    In the instant before oblivion, he pushed her on her side and loomed above her, kneeling between her legs. Dazzling, majestic, he looked down on her—And I?—and glided as deeply within her as he possibly could. Moving slowly, he watched her, watched as sighs and murmurs spoke in tongues, as stars converged to one singular point, as secrets that spoke in scent and image came surging forth—
    Glancing up, she saw his face, cruel in its moment of ecstasy.

    • ginzaintherain


      This perfume should not be confused with such poetry and voluptuousness, but it might on the right person, who knows…..thanks for posting this.

      • 🙂 You said give it to me straight and liberated and heartfelt. I’m all about roses. Like others here, I love the way you write. It makes me want to eat the scents, understanding the way they expand the moment.

        Thank you.

  2. Reblogged this on The Lady Philospher's Blog and commented:
    thank’s and The Black Narcissus does it again! I love ROSE.

  3. My beloved Rose Volupte! Certainly it lacks any thin crystalline quality, and thank goodness for that. I am crazy about this scent and resort to it whenever I get really sick of the overly complex and uncommitted scents. I am so glad to see it receive some blog love. I have to admit that I also love to layer it with some of Sonoma Scent Studio’s Incense Pure. It’s a huge, magical, encompassing combination.

  4. By the way, Narcissus, do you like Tom Ford’s Noir de Noir? There’s another big dark earthy rose.

    • ginzaintherain

      I have Tom Ford prejudice, but if thou insist, I will go off to Tokyo’s Hankyu department store and retry it!

      • Oh cool, you’ll do whatever I insist upon? Well then, I insist that you overcome your prejudices long enough to take one good sniff. I really think that it’s one of the best dark roses around. Having sniffed, if I’m wrong, tell me why I’m wrong.

      • ginzaintherain

        I would never say you were WRONG, only that usually there is something sleekly, smugly wooden about his perfumes that turns me off: too….. something I can’t quite put my finger on. They are strong, but lifeless to me.

        However, I don’t think I have tried this on and you have officially intrigued

      • You make a very articulate point about the sleek and smug. I’ve never been able to verbalize what bothers me about many TFs, but you nailed it. Oh, plus they cost too much. Noir de Noir is one of my deep loves, but I never tire of taking cheap shots at Black Orchid. I comfort myself that Mr. Ford is raking it in with this one and doesn’t care what I say.

      • brie

        Completely agree with you and Feraljasmine- even if I won lotto I would never buy a fb of Tom Ford- too damn expensive!!!!

  5. Dubaiscents

    I love how you describe your kind of rose and your tidbits of Japanese perfume culture! I am with you on needing a nice big, real rose if I am going for a rose scent. Montale’s Aoud Rose Petals is one of my favorites along with Oud Ispahan by Dior. But, I think Portrait of a Lady by Frederic Malle might be one of my favorite dark roses or maybe Parfum Sacre Extrait or Ta’if by Ormonde Jayne…I could go on and on. And to think, it was less than a year ago that I said that I didn’t like rose scents at all. I think I just didn’t know better than to look at all of the generic ones they try to mass market to us. Thanks again for a lovely post, I so enjoy your writing! Oh, and I will have to stop at L’Occitane just to smell Eau Des Quatres Reines now.

    • ginzaintherain

      On first sniff it is not so bad. But EN MASSE, and knowing what I feel it represents, it simply repels me.

      Thanks for reading and for the comments.

  6. brie

    This is one of the few rose scents that I truly adore….the beeswax gives it that honey quality which I find so comforting. Glad that you enjoyed it…will find a way to get you more SSS…..
    and Happy Valentine’s day to you and Duncan!

    • brie

      Oh and I am laughing at your disdain for the new Chloe. Brittany wanted the largest size bottle of it for her 13th birthday and I acquiesced, despite the hefty price tag…now whenever I smell it my mind goes instantly to her…so I rather like it! It is amazing what role memory can play in how we perceive certain fragrances.

      • ginzaintherain

        ..but I think they are brilliantly made, and I am sure if your daughter walked into a teenage party wearing something so expertly calibrated and so not cutesy candy compared to many a youngsters perfume, she would smell exquisite. As soon as I smelled that first new Chloe perfume it had hit written all over it, a mix of Escape and the New Roses, trellised cleverly with the new chemicals to smell of the times.

        I don’t hate it in its entirety; I have a grudging respect, if you know what I mean. I am sure she would smell ridiculous in Rose Volupte!

      • brie

        Yet there is no comparison to the original Chloe!!!! That was the fragrance that I wore when I was her age! But she does have a bit of sophistication in her fragrance choices (I am working on that: no more Pink Sugar for my daughter, thank you very much!) and tends to gravitate towards more pricier ones. For a while she was enamoured with Ineke’s Field Notes from Paris (you MUST try that sample soon!) but recently won a bottle of Midnight Fleur (vanilla orchid,amber,patchouli,night blooming jasmine-yes, sample to be sent to you eventually!) which is now her new favorite perfume and is quite becoming on her.
        Ironically she did like Rose Volupte when she sampled it….it is actually a re-formulation of SSS Vintage Rose and many of us supported Laurie in a name change…I thought the term “vintage” might indeed turn off the younger crowd. And yet I could not see Britt pulling it off, were she to wear it now.

      • Brie, be grateful she wants Chloe! A lady from whom I buy decants recently sent me a freebie sample of something called Bubblegum Chic. Now there’s something you don’t want your daughter to smell like.

      • jennyredhen

        I used to love Chloe as well. I thought it had a sort of slightly almondy fragrance to it but I have never seen that mentioned anywhere…the modern version is truly foul and nothing like the old one…

  7. What a wonderful and charming review!

  8. Erin Pearl Keenan

    Wonderful stuff, fascinating :o) Reminds me of a song my dad used to sing that he picked up from some old movie…’show me a rose, or leave me alone’.

    I have to confess, I really hate rose perfumes, although I’m not sure why. May be I have bad associations! One day I’m sure I’ll smell the rose that converts me, will check out your recommendations 🙂

    • ginzaintherain

      It’s quite easy to hate a rose, though, and even the ones I love I prefer to smell on others.

      On certain days though, rose perfumes make me feel more upright yet tender, and it’s nice to have one that works in your collection.

      Thanks for reading!

  9. Tora

    I wore Rose Volupte when I went to meet Francis Kurkdjian at our local Nieman’s. I felt empowered by this strong powerhouse rose. It is the only rose I have ever worn in public. With confidence. I am glad to read of your love for this beauty.

  10. I’m so glad to see this post again! And I still love Rose Volupte. Recently I tried out the Oriza L. Legrand Chypre-Mousse that many people are enthralled by. On me it started with a delicate forest-floor effect and swelled gradually over the next hour until I smelled precisely like a very large porcini mushroom. Really, it was startling. That pervasive fungal-sweet smell with an undertone of leafmold that leads you to good markets in Florence in October. Very culinary, very unsexy. After a shower I put on Rose Volupte as an antidote. I wouldn’t always choose to smell like a very large rose any more than like a very large mushroom, but it has its place.

  11. So you consider Fleurs de Thé Bulgare by Creed a diluted rose scent compared to all the others? I’ve never smelled it so I wouldnt know. i also haven’t smelled many of the other popular rose scents like Stella, Caron Sacré, and Annick Goutal’s Rose Absolute. the only ones i have tried are Ègoïste and Rose 31. of these two the one I prefer is Ègoïste, the rose in Rose 31 is rather (cough,cough) drab to put it bluntly. im very interested in trying more rose scents. Rose as a central note or accent intrigues me greatly. i need to start sampling some more. great write up!

    • I actually love Fleurs De The and would wear it very happily myself if I could afford it! It is light and diaphanous for sure, but would be gorgeous as a light work scent. It’s not exciting, but has something delightfully fresh about it.

      I HATE Rose 31 :totally with you on that one, and glad you liked this post. I would love to know about more of your rose discoveries when you make them: please keep me posted!

    • jennyredhen

      Have you tried the Serge Lutens Rose perfumes or Nahema by Guerlain.. they are all gorgeous in my humble opinion.

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