A rose by any other name

It may cost pounds 36 for 30ml but one squirt of Creed's Fleurs de Bulg arie will last all day

Have you ever experienced Pong Hell, when a perfume sales assistant sprays you with the latest designer fragrance? For a few seconds of consumer folly, you spend the rest of the day trying to rub off some dreadful fragrance that reeks to high heaven.

This would never happen at Les Senteurs, a perfume shop in South Kensington which sells a marvellous scent called Creed. For a small fee, you can take little tubes of it to try out at home.

Now based in France, Creed was established in 1760 in London and was appointed an official supplier to Queen Victoria. Creed's Fleurs de Bulgarie comes in a suitably old-fashioned glass bottle which is pleasant to use, even though the plastic and gilt top is awkward to get on and off.

The perfume smells great. At first it's quite light and petally, then, as the day wears on, it becomes more musky. It's feminine without being too flowery, sexy without being too heady. Which is just as well, as it costs pounds 36 for 30ml of Eau de Parfum. Why so much money for such a little bottle of perfume?

"Fleurs de Bulgarie is from Creed's 'millesime' range, which means it contains the highest percentage of natural essences to be found in the French perfume industry," says Chris Hawksley, Creed's UK distributor.

"Good rose essence is very expensive - it takes about a tonne of rose petals to make a kilogram of essence, which costs about $7,000 to $10,000 a kilo. Most perfume companies get their essences from big international flavours and fragrances companies, but Creed uses traditional techniques. You pay for the artistry of putting the perfume together."

The Body Shop sells a Tea Rose perfume oil which costs pounds 7.95 for 30ml. It smells lovely when you first put it on - exactly like crushed rose petals - but very soon starts to smell vinegary. So, what makes a good perfume?

"It is natural ingredients and the way the essences are extracted," says Clare Henderson, editor of trade magazine Soap, Perfumery And Cosmetics. "You can source roses from several countries, and, like any crop, it can change according to where and how it's harvested. Creed uses top quality Bulgarian roses, while The Body Shop obviously use a cheaper type. It also depends on how the essential oil is produced. It could be by crushing, steam distillation or en fleurage, where wax is used to draw out the fragrance from the petals, but that's rare."

At pounds 36, at least you only need one squirt of Fleurs de Bulgarie a day. You'd have to keep applying The Body Shop one to maintain a decent rose scent. In the long run, Creed may even be cheaper. Investment perfume. Now that's what I like.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

    £90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

    Recruitment Genius: Doctors - Dubai - High "Tax Free" Earnings

    £96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...

    Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

    £32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...

    Recruitment Genius: PA

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A PA is required to join a leading provider of...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
    World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

    Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

    The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
    Why the league system no longer measures up

    League system no longer measures up

    Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
    Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

    Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

    Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste