BY MEGAN CASCI - UK
HOW THE ROSE GREW WILD
You know our motto #BornCuriousGrownWild? We use it because we like to add a little wildness into everything we do.
That's true of our signature Femme de Force scent too. It's made with roses (that's why it fragrances all of our Evelyn Rose products, y'know), but not as you know them.
Here's the story of the O.G. Evelyn Rose and how we changed it up.
HOW IT STARTED
David Austin was very into roses. In fact, this expert rosarian (what a job title, right?) worked with the world's favourite flower for over 60 years. Impressed? Us too.But did you know he also named a rose especially for us at C&E? Yep, our signature Evelyn Rose.
We headed to Albrighton, Shropshire, to talk to pro-rose breeder Andrew Rawlings about all things floral.
C&E: So Andrew, how would you describe *the* original Evelyn Rose?
DA: It's a sort of beautiful apricot-pink shade, and has a very, very strong fruity fragrance. We don't tend to grow it in the UK nowadays, mainly because it suits a warmer climate.
C&E: What makes roses so special?
DA: We like all the sort of drama that goes with flowers. They stand out and bring joy and happiness to everybody. They have this beauty, elegance and romance.
C&E: How long does it take to create a new rose?
DA: The whole process, from start to finish, is about a 13 year season. It's all done by hand on site here, from pollination right through 'til it goes to market.
C&E: What do roses mean to you, personally?
For me, it takes me back to my childhood. I think of a child playing in the garden, picking petals, putting them in a jar and making perfume at home. It makes me smile; I think of beautiful summer days and just indulgent.
HOW'S IT GOING
So, where does our Femme de Force scent come in, we hear you ask? We wanted to make a modern version of rose - one that smells good on *everybody* - and so we ripped up the rulebook. We asked Rita, our Senior Exploration Manager, to tell us about the new fragrance.
C&E: First thing's first, where did the name come from?
R: We spent days in the market and smelled a lot of different competitor fragrances, and they all ended up being quite similar. Typically, rose is quite soft and powdery (which tends to remind people of their grandmothers), so we added a kind of twist and drew inspiration from the deconstruction of the rose. Think green stems and bark.
C&E: How do you make a fragrance?
R: The process begins with creating a brief for the fragrance house. Once, we've kind of mapped out our key fragrance notes, we start to work with a perfumer who sends back and forth a bunch of modifications. Once we've narrowed it down, then we have our fragrance.
C&E: Lastly, any top tips for making your fragrance last longer?
R: Apply to the warms spots on your body. So we have inside your neck, elbow and wrist.
C&E: What makes the Femme de Force fragrance?
R: Italian lemon adds a sparkle on the top notes, then there's refreshing blackberry (or 'cassis'). We wanted something with depth and complexity (inspired by the fact I typically like to wear men's fragrances), so we added woody notes along with rose.
C&E: How do you make a fragrance?
R: The process begins with creating a brief for the fragrance house. Once we've kind of mapped out our key fragrance notes, we start to work with the perfumer who sends back and forth a bunch of modifications. Once we've narrowed it down, then we have our fragrance.
C&E: Lastly. any top tips for making your fragrance last longer?
R: Apply it to the warm spots of the body. So we have inside your neck, elbow, and your wrist.