general thoughtsscents

on Afghan roses

Right now, I am smelling rose oil, from a paper strip, organic quality, from Afghanistan. It is produced in quantities that are much lower than the demand as its quality is amazing. I was told that we have to wait for the next harvest to get more. I got 50 grams. I mentioned it before: The rose oil is the result of a DWHH (Welthungerhilfe) project running since a while in the Afghan region of Kandahar. A (German only) website informs about the project and let’s you see some nice pictures where the roses grow and the people taking care of them, picking them, distilling the oil.

Besides the fact that it is great quality. Like: Really great quality!, I love the idea of people cultivating roses instead of poppy. That’s a nice story. I will use the rose trying to come up with a Christmas special, a fragrance, that plays with roses. With 50 grams, you can do a lot of perfume…. thus: no worries. Rose oil is super intense, and for many not really “nice”, or “rosy” to smell. It is spicy, with hints of clove due to the eugenol, marzipan like, with some sour notes, fruity with notes of apricot, plum, peach, it is rich in citronellol. 33% of this particular rose oil consists of citronellol; this, together with two other terpene alcohols (these are simple organic molecules,  based on C5 units), i.e. Geraniol (22%), Nerol (13%), makes thus up more than half of what you get. Citronellol, geraniol, nerol are cheap and are some of the working horse molecules when constructing a simple rose. Thus, there is this citrus, waxy, typical sweet floral bright note of these terpene alcohol, very present, and inviting to play. I will do so this afternoon. I have some ideas, but am not sure yet, in which direction to twist this rose.

A bit cliché would be to bring it into a rough, earthy, dusty, bit leathery context. (see the pictures following the above link); reflecting the land and the rough life there. A bit less cliché might be to bring out the fruits (I have this wonderful apricot natural extract), and highlight the rose by making it airy, transparent and floral; reflecting on hope and visions.

Or do something totally different. Like a completely abstracted rose.Hmm… we will see. What I like about this little project: It allows me to work on roses again, learning more tricks, without the implications of later having to do a big launch. Just a little rose project, with raw material that comes from a region torn apart since decennials by war.

But before I can start playing there: I need to continue on the brochure, like in the last few days. Fun, and worth sharing. Tomorrow.

Today’s picture: A shot with the phone, a couple of Marguerites, photoshopped, seen yesterday in the area.