Rose 31 by Daphne Bugey for Le Labo 2006

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Post by Jordan River

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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,  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 woolen 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, 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.

Rose Oil DistillationA distillation plant in Damascus consisting of multiple units for producing rose water – 13th century manuscript

Ibn Sina
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.

Rose 31 by Le Labo

Rose 31 FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Rose, caraway
Heart: Rose, vetiver, cedar
Base: Musk, guaiac wood, olibanum, labdanum, agarwood (oud)

Le Labo gives these featured accords in one line:
Grasse rose, cumin, pepper, clove, nutmeg, ginger, frankincense, cedar, amber, gaiacwood, oud, cistus, vetiver, animalic notes, ISO e-super and 16 unrevealed notes

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.

Rose 31 Frankincense Tree WikiMedia Frankincense Tree Photo Stolen WikiMedia

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

Bottles 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.

Further Reading
In-depth analysis – Kafka’s review
Le Labo store – includes alcohol-free options
Le Labo – travel spray

Options & Prices
Sample $US6
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

Edp
15ml $US58
50ml $US145
100ml $US220
500ml $US700

Jordan River

Jordan River