Writers throughout the ages have compared the woman of their dreams to flowers, whether budding or in full bloom. Flowers are delicate and sensitive, powerful and fragrant; they are perfect beauties of nature. They ask to be admired and cared for and stand for passion and romance. Not only in their heady aromas— dramatic, intense, sweet (sometimes sickly sweet), even narcotic— but in their very form and coloration, flowers are sexy.
So, it is quite natural that floral perfumes should also articulate romance and innocence. And indeed, they are among the most important perfume ingredients— and by far the most expensive.
Almost all floral essences are middle notes, or heart notes, and almost all middle notes are florals, although there is a smattering of herbs and spices as well— clary sage, verbena, cloves, and cinnamon bark. Heart notes give body to blends, imparting warmth and fullness. In their boldness, sexiness, sincerity, and dearness, they are the perfect metaphor for— no, embodiment of— passion. When you put them into a blend, you’re literally putting the heart into it; they are the tie that binds.
The rose is definitely a symbol of feminine sensuality.
“The opulently rounded shapes of the petals of a rose in full bloom are suggestive of the mature female body and their rich red color evokes thoughts of lips and kisses” – Jellinek
Also oriental perfumes are whispered eroticism, pure and simple. Warm summer nights, exotic food, and sensual pleasures of every kind are conjured in the imagination. More than any other composition, these scents involve notes that approximate to our own body odor.
No perfume in the world, however, works like a clear mating call. Its willing accomplice, seduction, appeals gently to us, with stories of passionate moments and everlasting love.
Aftel, Mandy. Essence and Alchemy: A Book of Perfume Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Handbook of Perfume Rebo Publishers