In Iran, Iraq, The Middle East, Pakistan and India rose perfumes are an essential part of a man’s fragrance wardrobe.
Rose petals used to be crushed and mixed with oil to obtain a strong perfume which was labour intensive and therefore not easily mass-produced. Harun al-Rashid, هارون الرشيد, of A Thousand and One Nights fame, sent Charlemagne several gifts of non-distilled rose perfumes, along with the white elephant Abul Abbas, to his court in Aachen (modern-day Germany). The gifts of Charlemagne to Harun al-Rashid were woven woollen garments from Flanders and German hunting dogs.
About 200 years later, a Persian man, born in Bukhara (modern-day Uzbekistan near Afghanistan), called Ibn Sina, پور سينا, perfected the steam distillation of essential oils from plants when he distilled rose petals into a wearable fragrance which could be made in great quantities.
Hakim (Doctor/Chemist/Alchemist) Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā, known as Avicenna in the west, took the most beloved flower of Islam, the rose, and made a fragrance which was eagerly worn by men as Mohammed, the prophet of Islam, encouraged the use of perfume ‘if it is available’ as part of the preparation for Friday prayer.
Le Labo’s Rose 31, so named because it has 31 ingredients, is a modern rose using cumin to create a human scent among the other ingredients. Cumin in perfumery smells like a hint of fresh healthy sweat and when combined with rose is sensual. The warmth of this fragrance comes from ginger which is spiced up with pepper, clove, nutmeg and caraway. You will not smell like a spice rack or a kitchen as the essentials oils blend into a strong masculine scent-wall which is overgrown with Grasse roses and vetiver grass. Overlooking the wall are strong cedars, frankincense bushes and an agarwood tree which further enhance the masculine appeal of this scent.
This was my favourite and only rose scent until I discovered Mohur by Neela Vermeire Creations. Rose 31 is a great everyday fragrance for men. Mohur is more a special occasion scent, although I find that spritzing Mohur as a sleep scent brings the sweetest dreams.
Nathan Branch recommends wearing this
with jeans and t-shirt, or a black tux
Mary P Brown from Texas thinks that Rose 31 is
like a hot rose conservatory full of sweaty men – but in the nicest possible way
Lucky Scent describes
A rose for men destined to be stolen by women
A travel spray or an alcohol-free oil dropper from Le Labo is a great way to explore this scent. Or you could start with a $US6 sample. The Rose 31 perfuming balm is also alcohol-free.
If this scent is you then there are 50ml, 100ml and even 500ml bottles which are mixed on the spot if you happen upon a Le Labo store. Online orders are also freshly blended at the time of order. Rose 31 has become so popular that it is also available as a laundry detergent; a great way to wash 32 loads of your keffiyeh, khameez, khurtas or business shirts.
Options & Prices
Travel Spray $US135
Oil Dropper $US120 – no alcohol
Perfuming Balm $US80 – no alcohol
Massage and Bath Perfuming Oil $US65 – no alcohol
Laundry Detergent $US45 – plant based and biodegradable
Rose 31 – Le Labo
Perfumer: Daphne Bugey
Classification: floral woody musk
Ingredients: Grasse rose, cumin, pepper, clove, nutmeg, ginger, frankincense, cedar, amber, gaiacwood, oud, cistus, vetiver, animalic notes, ISO e-super and 16 unrevealed notes