When I get grumpy about the deluge of fresh rose perfumes every spring, I have had a couple friends push back. What kind of rose do you want Sad Colognoisseur? What makes me frown is these dewy debutante rose based creations. There are so many other roses to choose from which would make a fine spring floral. Which is why when a perfume like Ella K Rose de Pushkar comes along to break the tedium I take notice.
Ella K is the brand co-founded by perfumer Sonia Constant. Her perfumes are meant to chronicle the travels of an early 20th century heroine. They are fragrances designed to capture the scent of a place and time. Rose de Pushkar is the second time the brand has landed in the sacred city of India on the edge of the Thar Desert. On the other side of town from the sandy expanse is Pushkar Lake. There is where pilgrims toss rose petals on the lake where they float all day. Mme Constant designs a perfume of rose on the edge of the desert.
To create her sacred rose she forms an accord of rose otto and oud. This has become a famous pairing in perfume. In the hands of every perfumer they have the chance to tune it to a desired effect. Mme Constant wants her perfume to glow in the desert air. Her use of oud helps achieve that as the core of Rose de Pushkar.
In the earliest moments we are on the side of the lake. Lychee, saffron, and frankincense form an accord of sacred offering. The rose is just starting to awaken underneath it. It grabs a firmer hold as the oud becomes more apparent. It forms a rose which has tendrils of oud smoke rising from the petals. Sandalwood and patchouli form a classic interlude leading into a bomber jacket leather accord. I’ve always imagined our fictional traveler in a leather jacket, this seems to be the scent of it. Some labdanum and musk round out everything.
Rose de Pushkar has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
This more than any of the other Ella K perfumes I’ve tried feels like a scent of an adventurous woman traveler. It is a rose of someone assured of who they are and where they want to be. Which I’ll take every day over another debutante.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.