Puckrik on Perfume

Katie Puckrik ON Jun 12, 2009 AT 11:42 am

Katie Puckrik: Photographer Martin Shaw

Katie Puckrik: Photographer Martin Shaw

Stella McCartney Stella
By Katie Puckrik

I’ve been on quite the rosy roll of late. Just in time for early summer rose season, I Depeche Mode “Just Can’t Get Enough” of rose perfumes. Rose is an incredible material in the perfumer’s arsenal. First of all, the smell of the flower is a perfume all by itself. And when you really stick your nose into this rose business, it turns out that a rose has more costume changes than Cher’s farewell tour.

A rose is a rose is not always a rose, because sometimes it’s fruity, or jammy, or liquory. Other times it’s lemony, peppery or meaty. It can be masculine or feminine. And it’s not like I’m saying it’s the tofu of the flower world or anything, because whatever angle a rose is working, it’s always recognizably rosy.

I wasn’t always Our Lady of the Roses. Just a few months back, I was shooting my mouth off to a fellow fumehead, holding forth on how rose perfumes were just too old-fashioned, too bathroom potpourri, too damn tame. Well, I was too damn wrong, because it turns out that some of my favorite gothy woods and incenses have deep rose hearts. Keiko Mecheri Oliban is one of those gorgeous goths in my collection, with frankincense and honeyed cedar wood doing a druid dance around the goddess rose.

Stella McCartney Stella

Stella McCartney Stella

Once I’d profiled myself as a rose-lover, I suddenly had a lot of catching up to do on fragrances I’d previously written off without even smelling. First stop was Stella McCartney Stella. This eau de parfum is a sensual, woody floral, with the rose maintaining a ghostly background presence.

Stella is the perfect beginner’s rose, the way a latte is the perfect beginner’s coffee. There’s a suggestion of rose’s fruity voluptuousness, but at the outset, Stella is more about the lighter, greener peony. At this point it’s a bit soapy for my liking. But as it kicks back on the skin, the soap warms to a salty musk and the ghost-rose floats across the scene.

My favorite part of Stella is the salty rose afterglow, which is why Stella Body Milk is my preferred form of the fragrance. I don’t have to deal with the overeager peony, and can get right down to business with the sultry stuff. When you just can’t get enough, sometimes foreplay just gets in the way.

Info and stockists:

When not sniffing up a storm, Katie Puckrik is a broadcaster, performer and journalist. Her memoir, Shooting From the Lip, is published by Headline.

Katie discusses the gorgeous goth Keiko Mecheri Oliban on her YouTube channel, KatiePuckrikSmells:

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