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Friday, March 03, 2006

Fascinating article in Symrise Webzine: Alma de L'Aigle's Dictionary of Rose Scents

For all the fellow rose lovers out there, this article tells the story of Alma de L'Aigle, the Hamburg-based teacher who created a dictionary of rose scents which included a total of 700 varieties. In this dictionary she describes not only the appearance and character of 700 kinds of roses, but also the way they smell.

"The language that Alma de L'Aigle used to articulate her thoughts about roses is truly inimitable. In her words, roses might be "resonant," "spicy," "fresh," "powdery," "soprano-like" or "joy-inspiring." A flower's scent may be "full" or "thin," "flowing," "spraying," "glowing," "bubbling," "hesitant" or able to "fill the room." Roses can be reminiscent of sour candies, autumn leaves in the rain, fragrant early pears or ripe apricots. Of "bonbons and nail polish," spicy tea roses, linden-blossom tea, fruity green apples, lilies, hyacinths, Reinette apples or a "whiff of a perfume which contains ambergris.""

Here's how she described a variety called Dr. F. Debat:
"Upon first bloom, it has the fresh scent of tins of tea with a hint of La France roses; later, it might put one in mind of fresh laundry, like the Eden rose does -- it bears the slightest trace of a perfume that was used."

Or Erato:
"..like asparagus peels mixed with apple peels."

And here is my favorite, Rosenmärchen:
"..a dependable and very sweet scent of summer dog roses, of warm skin and once even of berry pudding..."

The full text of the article can be found on Webzine Symrise. The photo of rose variety Pinocchio a.k.a. Rosenmarchen is from rose-roses.com


9 Comments:

Anonymous Flora said...

Oh, that is wonderful - thank you for posting! I am a lover of roses, and they are all so very different. I wish I had known Alma de L'Aigle!

12:39 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Flora,
Me too! I wish there was a way to get my hands on that dictionary, preferably in English :-) I tried Amazon last night- nothing :-(

8:27 AM EST  
Blogger Sexy Sadie said...

Tell, when you know something. By the way, there is a bottle of Escada Collection in a store here near me. Do you want it?

7:18 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Sadie,
If I find it somewhere, I will let you know.
And thank you very much for your kind offer...I have a bottle right now and believe it or not, I am kind of off it. I don't know what's wrong with me! :-)

8:26 PM EST  
Blogger Sexy Sadie said...

You have been wearing it too much lately perhaps?

9:03 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Exactly. I've over-Collection-ed myself :-)

9:52 PM EST  
Blogger katiedid said...

What a wonderful discovery! Thanks for the link... I can't wait to dig into that article! Neat.

7:46 PM EST  
Blogger katiedid said...

Ach! If I ever write an autobiography, I am SO titling it "Of Bonbons and Nail Polish." What a fascinating person she must have been to sit down and talk with.

7:51 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Katie,
I enjoyed reading her description so much. I so want to find the whole book now. In English, preferably :-)

9:43 AM EST  

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