Friday, August 9, 2013

Scent on Canvas Rose Opera: fragrance review

It was the explosion of beauty in a field of saffron that captured the senses of perfumer Jórdi Fernandez. The romance of rose and saffron stamens recall the passions of Marc Anthony and Cleopatra, who infamously perfumed themselves with saffron before their romantic encounters. It was this reference which Beatrice Aguilar brought to the table to discuss further with Fernandez for the creation of this woody floral fantasy, Rose Opéra.

The scent oscillates between floral and woody-herbal with exotic woody notes (vetiver and patchouli) in the base, allied to a mossy feeling of walking through a forest with autumnal mulch on the floor. This gives a tilt into rosy chypre fragrances, but it is the cool-spicy and smoothly suede feel of the saffron essence which keeps Rose Opéra from being a full-blown retro rose and feels at home in the contemporary category of sophisticated, complex floral scents.

Cleopatra's Banquet as per Pliny's tale (wiki)

The first impression is at once fresh and floral, due to the Calabrian bergamot and the fruity notes of wild strawberries. Pepper rose, cardamom and macis (also known as the nutmeg flower) round off the mid notes of the perfume. Other ingredients are jasmine, artemisia, tagete and rose of Turkey, which unveils a mix of cedar wood, roots of vetiver with touches of patchouli and oak moss. The fragrance remains elegant, with a mysterious touch of twilight.

The new niche collection "Scent on Canvas" so far includes five perfumes created by an eclectic mix of perfumers: Jórdi Fernandez (for Rose Opéra and Noir de Mars), Shyamala Maisondieu (Ocre Doré) , Alexandra Kosinski (Brun Sicilien) and the founder, Beatrice Aguilar herself (Blanc de Paris). The collection spans five fragrance genres with nuanced olfactory work within them: the starchy, woody musk, a predetermined crowd-pleaser (Blanc de Paris); the dark musty-mossy with guts (Noir de Mars); the mysterious, coppery woody (Ocre Doré); the rosy floral with mysterious, spicy-suede tonalities (Rose Opéra) and the complex hesperidic-leathery (Brun Sicilien). Each fragrance is accompanied by a painting by a well-known painter who is inspired by the aromatics in the composition, then the painting is turned into an engraving which is used for the packaging of the fragrance: the inside of the box holds the engraving ready to be framed and hung on your walls.

Notes for Rose Opéra by Scent on Canvas:
Top: Calabrian bergamot, wild berries, jasmine, armoise, Turkish rose, tagete
Heart: Spanish saffron, cardamom, pink pepper, nutmeg flower,
Base: cyperus scariosus, Virginian cedar, Javanese vetiver, Peruvian lentisque, patchouli, oakmoss, incense.

The perfumes are priced at 130 Euros for 100 ml of perfume/eau de parfum (only Blanc de Paris is an Eau de Parfum by design, the rest are extrait de parfum). A great value sample pack of all 5 scents is offered for only 10 euros online at the official e-shop. More information:


  1. Olivia22:33

    This whole line has gotten me very interested. I love the concept, and the scents sound gorgeous as well. Something about the notes in this one makes me think of a particular stretch of sidewalk that I pass by each day - there are at least a dozen shrub roses and boxwood bushes, with cedar mulch underneath. That rose/spice/wood combination is magic for me. I'm seriously considering purchasing the sample pack!

  2. Olivia,

    the line IS interesting. To be totally honest, I have had so much "perfume=art" thrown down my throat these past few years that I was skeptical at first, but sampling the perfumes made me reconsider; they're worthwhile.
    Do give the sample pack a try!! ;-)

  3. Olivia13:36

    I know what you mean - sometimes "concept" lines can be so married to the concept that the actual perfume suffers (I won't name the particular line I'm thinking of, but I was so excited by the concept, and very underwhelmed by the execution)

    My sample pack arrived yesterday! Another plug for this line - international purchasing and shipping was fast & easy. I'm actually debating which one to try first, from first sniff they are each intriguing.

  4. Miss Heliotrope02:51

    Sounds worth a sniff...


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