|Photo of Leda Petit by Jocelen Janon (originally the photo was larger and copyrighted but where I found it it was cropped)|
As announced a little while ago, the newly launched Majalis is inspired by the unique Rosa majalis, native to the Asian mountains, to render a soft oriental with spicy complementary notes of pink pepper and nutmeg on a woody background. Bulgarian rose absolute contributes a bright and heady heart note.
It is essential to like cinnamon (see a bit of cinnamon's history on this article) and peppery stuff to appreciate Majalis, because the content in cinnamic elements is so high that I almost can hear IFRA's breath down its neck itching to wield the axe and go off with its head. Les Parfums de Rosine affectionally call the inspirational rose a "cinnamon rose" and it's not hard to see why. But although we have come to associate cinnamon with orange & cloves from the classic Christmas melange sold in specialized tea shops and the festive pot pouri mixes originating from the medieval pomander, the composition of Majalis insists on more peppery (rather than clove-y) elements which pique and give a short rather than prolonged nasal pinch. It's also rather different from Rose Kashemerie by the same brand which is more resinous and saffron infused, less powerfully spicy. [In fact Majalis nicely falls into the "mellis accord" more on which you can read on our Oriental Perfume Basics. ]
If I were to draw a perfume comparison, I'd mention Cinabre by Maria Candida Gentile, a composition built on some gorgeous naturals which is as honking loud and as gorgeous as Sophia Loren in Marriage Italian Style. Cinabre is rather more ambery and with a distinct ginger note, while Majalis is less so, but the style is not miles away, so if you like one, you'll like the other. Although Rousse by Serge Lutens is another fragrance that immediately leaps to mind when thinking about cinnamon scents (and to a lesser degree Auburn by Tauer Perfumes), I find that the treatment there is different from the orientalised Taif rose that dominates the heart of Majalis by Parfums de Rosine and its milky sandalwood drydown.
Majalis just launched and is available through Rosine retailers and online. The bottle is beautiful as you can see, in all its coppery and fuchsia glory.
Notes for Parfums de Rosine Majalis:
Top: Bergamot, Mandarin, Grapefruit, Nutmeg, Cinnamon bark
Heart: Cinnamon leaf, Taif rose, Tea rose, Rose absolute, Jasmine, Black pepper, Pink pepper, Coriander seed
Base: Vetiver, Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Amber, Musk
One carded sample of Majalis is available for one lucky reader. To enter the draw please let us know in the comments if you have a particular spicy cinnamon scent/food/association (pleasant or unpleasant!). Draw is open internationally till Sunday midnight and winner will be announced sometime on Monday.
In the interests of disclosure I was sent a sample by the company.