Soliflore Perfumes Mouillettes via For the Scent of It (Pronounced Solly-Floor)
When you hear the word, “Soliflore”, what do you think about? Does it conjure up the image of a Rose, Peony, or maybe Jonquil? Does it call to mind a specific perfume? Perhaps, you’re simply asking yourself, “What in the world is a soliflore (and how do I pronounce it)?”
Peony via For the Scent of It©
Like the word suggests, I think the best way to define soliflore perfumes are those whose olfactory profile centers around a solitary flower. Think of someone handing you a single rose instead of a bouquet of many different flowers.
There is a lot of speculation and opinions about which fragrances can be deemed soliflore perfumes. Just because a scent has jasmine listed as a note, and the jasmine note is prominent on your skin, this by no means makes it a jasmine soliflore. Some see a soliflore as a fragrance that simply contains, let’s say, a tuberose enfleurage diluted in alcohol. Technically, they’re not wrong. What if it’s a perfume where the only flower listed is peony in the heart, but the fragrance is intended to smell like “the modern woman”? Is that a peony soliflore? If you ask me, there’s far too much grey area!
Lily of the Valley via Unsplash
So, herein lies the biggest question. What exactly qualifies as soliflore perfumes? In this perfumer’s opinion, when a fragrance is created with the sole intention to illuminate a specific flower, then it is a soliflore. The flower may be picked under a cloudy sky, growing in a desert, living in Edmond Roudnitska’s garden, etc. etcetera. But it is all about that one flower.
Diorissimo via Michel Roudnitska, ÇaFleureBon
How do you know when it’s a soliflore? Often, the name of the perfume can be a telltale sign. Think Tea Rose (Perfumer’s Workshop, 1977) or Dolce Peony by Dolce & Gabbana (2019). Other times, the story of the perfume’s conception tells all. Think of Diorissimo (Christian Dior, 1956). This perfume contains many florals, but the perfumer, Edmond Roudnitska worked to capture the essence of the lily of the valley flowers growing in his garden. This can therefore be called a “lily of the valley soliflore perfume”. A floral fragrance with the intention of provoking the image and essence of a certain flower.
Now that we shed a little light on that grey area, let’s move on to what makes these perfumes so special. Think of it like this: “Arranging a floral bouquet requires balance. Harnessing a single flower requires vision.” Obviously, all perfumery takes balance and vision, no doubt. What I mean by this is that to create a bouquet, a perfumer must blend many different flowers in such a way that every flower can be seen – Balance. When creating a soliflore perfume, the perfumer must be able to SEE a flower and express that image in a concise way – Vision. Then to build up the rest of the fragrance to not just enhance that flower but place it on a pedestal for all to admire.
Does this sound easy? It can be simple if a perfumer wants it to be. Especially, with all the advances in science and GC/MS analyses done on flowers. A perfumer can create a floral accord using a GC/MS analysis that reveals the molecules that make up its aroma. Then just add some fixative value and a little transparent lift, and boom, you have a soliflore. Where’s the fun in that though? I think what makes a soliflore perfume so special is the ability for a perfumer to paint an image of the flower in their own brush strokes. That’s where the true challenge lies in creating great soliflore perfumes. To take a flower and build a fragrance around it that transports people into the flower’s world.
“Rose to Nowhere” For The Scent of It
For instance, take the new “Rose to Nowhere” here at For the Scent of It. This is certainly a soliflore perfume, given my intention was to capture the image of this one rose. My soliflore is “rose growing on a road to nowhere in the western desert” will be very different from another perfumer’s. I envisioned a crimson, desert rose surrounded by amber sands. moss covered rocks, and a sunset of orange and red. Another perfumer might see a white rose in the still of the desert night with thunder in the distance. Same exact brief for a “soliflore rose on a desert road to nowhere”, but very different visions.
That’s what makes soliflore perfumes interesting. Every perfumer sees a flower in their own light. Where is the flower? Is it morning or night? One perfumer’s peony might be growing in the center of a garden. Another might be growing on the dark side of the moon. One rose is growing in the West American desert, while another rose is growing in the Middle Eastern desert.
The possibilities for soliflore perfumes truly are endless. You just gotta stop and smell the roses.
Michael Schrammel of For the Scent of It
Michael Schrammel is a Contributor for www.cafleurebon.com. Michael is the owner, perfumer and everything in between at For the Scent of It perfumes. His persistence, creativity, and desire to create an atmosphere drive his fragrance development. Self-trained, Michael started studying the art of perfumery in 2015 before launching For the Scent of It perfumes in 2021. Visit his shop at www.forthescentofit.com
All photos are owned by For the Scent of It perfumes, unless otherwise stated.
Rose to Nowhere Bottle, For the Scent of It
As a thank you for enjoying Michael’s ÇaFleureBon’s “Notes from the Lab” series, For the Scent of It will be doing a giveaway for a 30ml bottle of For The Scent of It Rose to Nowhere for one lucky registered winner. Leave a comment telling us what flower you love most as a soliflore. Winner must have an address in the USA or Canada. Giveaway closes 1/31/2024.
Top: Orange, Raspberry, Saffron, Papyrus; Heart: Rose, Amyris, Texas Cedarwood: Base: Amber Sands, Leather, Desert Moss, Vetiver
Read Michael’s Profile in American Perfumery here
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