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    Rose de Mai

    Price: $79

    Grown in Grasse, the perfume capital of the world, and used up in top-tier French perfumes before anyone else gets the chance to score some, French de Mai is literally Grasse’s rose.

    If you want an insider’s peek into the most famous perfumers’ rose of choice, this is your pass. Smell its ruby red aroma tinged with an ambery sweetness to discover what inspired Jean Claude Ellena to name his perfume after this May harvest… and why it became the cornerstone of Chanel No 5.

    Thick, rich and sensual, perhaps the most erotic of rose fragrances, French centifolia gives you this orange-flower-like sweetness with a brighter but still beautifully red profile compared to rosa damascena. To capture rose’s more uplifting, joyful, flirtatious tone, Rose de Mai is the way to go.

    A tiny dab is so lush and diffusive, I often think, “Why even add anything to this?” This is an absolute, so it smells like more than just rose petals. A discreet herbaceous tone lacquered with that orange flower depth and a red grape-like sweetness easily makes it a stand-alone perfume.

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