Perfume Review: Floris White Rose

July 10, 2009 at 16:09 Leave a comment

I stumbled upon a range of Floris perfumes, moseying about in Greenbelt in the Phillipines, while I probably should have been attending a conference lecture. I had cherished exactly zero hope of finding any purchase-worthy, cannot-find-back-home perfume during this trip, but I was so delightfully wrong.

Thank you, Adora. You are possibly the most magnificent department store I have had the good fortune to step into. You have taught me the meaning of serendipity.

For some reason, I was in the mood for a very feminine, demure scent that day. Something along the lines of a white linen dress, cashmere sweater and real pearls on a morning walk in the garden. I don’t know why. I would never wear or do such things in real life. I put it down to the effects of having my own room in a foreign country. I imagine my natural habitat to be an overstuffed sofa, with a good mystery novel and a glass of port, at two in the morning in front of a blazing wood fire.

Completely disregarding the shelves of Serge Lutens and The Different Company (available in Tangs Orchard back home), I proceeded to hold a long conversation over decanters and samples with the male promoter, who was fairly knowledgable, appropriately swishy and impressively patient.

I was highly fascinated by the Histoires de Parfum shelf. The bottles and their boxes, being oblongs decorated down the skinny side, were created to resemble books. That is something guaranteed to grab my attention. The sniffing samples came in the form of inverted large glass funnels, holding  a circle of white filter paper doused in scent. My two guy friends made me laugh by pretending to stick the skinny ends of the funnels into their nostrils. I was going to fix on a bottle of HdP’s 1873, a blend of citrus fruit and prim flowers on a base of vanilla, caramel and musk, but realized in the nick of time that the bottles only came in 120ml sizes, which would not have passed Customs. Damn the liquid restrictions!

So on to the Floris shelf I went. I tried the Edwardian Bouquet, but although it did begin very floral, with a nice touch of wood, it rapidly morphed into… soap. Gah.

Panicking a little, because we had to be somewhere else in an hour, I squirted on some Seringa, some White Rose and some Stephanotis, pointed at the one that smelt least soapy, and told the promoter to gimme that one. Quick. At 3450 pesos for 50ml – which translates to maybe S$115 or thereabouts – it was not a cheap souvenir. But it was an excellent souvenir. I wanted a ladylike perfume, and now I had a ladylike perfume.

White Rose was first created in the 1800s, and is reputed to have been a favourite of Florence Nightingale’s and the Russian Queen Alexandra (I like  the thought of wearing a scent that is a descendant of another loved by a queen). It was reformulated in 2004, and is now sold in these oblong glass bottles that make me think of Diorissimo, another very ladylike perfume. The opening notes are sparkling bright with aldehydes, before calming and  sweetening to carnation, rose and a touch of iris. The official site also lists jasmine and violet, but I don’t get much of those. The drydown is powdery rose and clean musk.

I’m wearing it today with a Stepford Wife-ish navy-blue dress peppered with white polka dots, and it goes just perfect. It’s sweet, restrained and comforting, yet with a wicked little undertone of bright emerald green. Quite good for the sanity.

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Welcome to my blog!


My blog-name is Katie but I will not respond if you call me that in real life because it's not my real name. Yes, I do practise virtual-world paranoia. No, I do not enjoy stalkers. But I do enjoy writing and having folks reading said writing, so welcome to my world. It's nice to meet you.

Playing in my head over and over again argh

I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song (Jim Croce)

Book(s) of the moment

Hogfather (Terry Pratchett)

Books read in 2010 and 2011

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (JK Rowling) - 'cos the movie's coming out!
Frankenstein: Lost Souls (Dean Koontz) - ah, bugger, it's part of a series! Now I hafta find all the books...
Dismantled (Jennifer McMahon) - oh, good one
Tigerlily's Orchids (Ruth Rendell)
Shutter Island (Dennis LeHane) - reminds me too much of work
Holy Fools (Joanne Harris) - it's official: I prefer her scary books
A Series of Unfortunate Events; The Unauthorized Autobiography; The Beatrice Letters (Lemony Snicket)
The Little Friend (Donna Tartt)
The main books - 11 so far - of the Southern Vampire series; the Aurora Teagarden series except for A Fool & His Honey - that makes it 7; Sweet & Deadly (Charlaine Harris)
The Woman in Black (Susan Hill)
Full Dark, No Stars (Stephen King)
Room: A Novel (Emma Donaghue)
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)
The Bachman Books (Stephen King)
Men At Arms (Terry Pratchett)
Carpe Jugulum (Terry Pratchett)
The Fifth Elephant (Terry Pratchett)
Beauty (Robin McKinley)
The Sandman, Vol 1 (Neil Gaiman)
The Burden (Agatha Christie) - her crime novels are waaay better
Snuff (Terry Pratchett)

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Disclaimers: 1) I cannot help but bitch about work sometimes, but everything here comes under the realm of personal remarks, and nothing here is said in my professional capacity. Nor does anything here reflect the opinion of the institutions that employ me. This is just me shooting off. 2) Most identities have been anonymized, particularly those of folks I know on a personal basis. Same goes for my workplaces. However, commercial and public places and figures remain named. Otherwise some things just wouldn't make sense. 3) Links and sources have been provided where appropriate and possible. They are not meant to challenge anyone's ownership. If this causes any discomfort or offence, please let me know.

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