Saturday, May 19, 2007

Bourbon Roses and Eros ~ Lisa Fong

Roses and perfume seem to naturally go together. This week, readers have taken a leisurely stroll in my rose garden and met some of the most fragrant Hybrid Teas, were cautioned about the the beach loving Shrub rose with thorns that could rip your hand off and fell in love with the dainty pink Centifolia. Our final rose is the Bourbon Rose or Edwardian Rose.

Ideal for the shrub or herbaceous border, it plays a supporting role with it's mild fragrance. Bourbon Roses are named for the Ile Bourbon, now called Reunion, in the Indian Ocean, where they traditionally are supposed to have originated from a natural cross between the China `Parsons' Pink' and the red `Tous-les-Mois', a Damask Perpetual.

In a fascinating account from Old Garden Roses and Beyond, the custom was to plant a rose hedge around your parcel of land. By most accounts, the first Bourbon rose was an accidental cross between 'Old Blush' and 'Autumn Damask'. As the story goes, Monsieur Edouard Pynaert, the director of the island's small botanical garden permitted the two "parent" roses to intermingle, they cross pollinated (bees doing what they do, and all), and the result was a rose the islanders called 'Rose Edouard'.

Artemisia Natural Perfume ~ Lisa Fong, Designer
From quarter notes to base notes
Lisa's journey in fragrance begins down a different path, when as a professional violinist, she began to experience severe neck pain. After two surgeries, she was left with excruciating neck pain and was forced to give up her dream. Lisa says, "When God closes a door, he opens a window."

Lisa's window opened wide when she discovered Mandy Aftel's book, Essence and Alchemy. "I felt like I had a new direction. I took some classes with Mandy Aftel and began making natural perfumes like crazy. It was a very healing thing." I consider Mandy my mentor. She is a wonderful person, warmhearted and generous. I am still studying with her. She is very bright and creative and I admire her spirit. Most of natural perfumery is self-taught, but you need guideposts to keep you on track. Mandy has been my guidepost. "

Eros eau de parfum
The rose is an emblem of the heart and soul and Eros uses the beautiful Edwardian rose to symbolize erotic love. Eros in Greek mythology was the Roman equivalent to Cupid. Aphrodite, the mother of Eros is jealous of the beauty of mortal Psyche, as men are leaving her altars barren to worship a mere human woman instead, and so commands her son Eros to cause Psyche to fall in love with the ugliest creature on earth. A mishap with his own arrow causes Eros to fall in love with Psyche himself. I'd love to have been in on that conversation between mother and son!

Eros is a classic rose scent, with a rich floral rose heart and a base of natural musks, sandalwood, oak moss, and vetiver. Classic, but unusual in the amazing richness of pure natural ingredients, which have been used throughout history to enhance romantic pleasure. You will fall in love with Eros and you won't need to be shot with an arrow! It is very complex, with over 20 components, but an uncomplicated fragrance... a beautiful rose scent. I had to try this perfume several times before I could detect all of the subtle nuances of Lisa's expert blending.

The rose note initially bursts into the open with an uncharacteristic bravado of an Edwardian rose and although wearing this would not clear an elevator, I would be careful not to 'over-spritz' Eros. Natural perfumes, because they don't contain fixatives, and are created from only natural sources are meant to be frequently applied during the day. Artemisia Natural Perfumes long to be experienced as they develop and change on your skin. Lisa' perfumes are custom blended by hand to preserve the quality of her finished products that she is becoming known for. Lisa is an active member of the Artisan Natural Perfumers Guild offers classes in "Develop your own natural perfume." Lisa, you are a rose like no other! Congratulations on your amazing journey and best wishes for continued success.