Rose perfumes are a special category.
They can be hit or miss for me, seldom anything in between. I either adore a rose perfume or hate it, I have yet to meet one that leaves me unaffected or indifferent.
The roses I love are spearheaded by THE ONE ROSE to beat them all – Amouage Lyric Woman. Also firmly in the love category are Portrait of a Lady, Une Rose and Une Rose Vermeille. My roses need to be dark, oriental and mysterious. No carefree lovelies like Jo Malone Red Roses Cologne.
One exception is Rose Ikebana, but that is more a rose by name than anything else.
Ta’if fits my idea of a dark, mysterious and regal rose perfectly.
A damask rose from Arabia. Ta´if, a town rising 5000 ft above the shores of the Red Sea and overlooking the Arabian desert, is renowned for its plantations of Ta´if rose. Ta´if by Ormonde Jayne is an intoxicating and audacious rose scent. This perfume dislikes daylight preferring dusk, the night, parties, promises and assignations. It is an opulent composition which makes a bold entrance and is confident enough to sweep everyone else to one side – a real belle of the ball. Ta´if is flamboyant but also sophisticated, a torrid blend of saffron, pink pepper, rose, dark sappy tree resins and broom – it is dynamic, daring and madly in love with life.
-from the Ormonde Jayne website
Notes include pink pepper, saffron, dates, rose oil, freesia, orange flower absolute, jasmine, broom and amber.
There is a spicy opening courtesy of pepper and saffron that is absolutely swoon-worthy. It is like a drum roll before the curtain is lifted and the Queen emerges. Trumpets sound and here she comes, decked out in a heavy dark red velvet dress with a long train. A rich, warm, full rose accompanied by her adjutants jasmine and orange flower, she makes a round through the big hall to the delight of her jubilant underlings and then climbs the dais to sit down on the throne. Slowly she settles in and the music starts playing a quieter tune, the people in the hall quiet down until a hush lies over the great throne hall. Everybody is looking up: the beautiful Queen is asleep on her throne made of wood and amber, resting peacefully in a sweet cloud of warm resins.
Ta’if is exceptionally longwearing and despite its opulence it is not dense or cloying, but holds on to the Ormonde Jayne signature transparency.
It is a classic floriental scent and while I adore this category, I am prone to get a headache (as PoaL proves time and again). This never happened with Ta’if.
The drydown is my favorite part, it is rich in spices and amber, the rose is only present as a memory or a dream. A good one.