Is there any other strain of flora and fauna that springs from God's green earth even half as rife with significance as the rose? In red, they're hopelessly romantic, botanical shorthand for I love you; yellow is vibrant and cheerful, a ray of sunshine in a thrift-shop vase. Pink is sweet, soft, gentle; white symbolizes purity and innocence, a perennial go-to for weddings. (Make of that what you will.)
And much like the other, more naturally-occurring members of the genus Rosa, Diptyque's new Eau Rose Hair Mist has a meaning all its own: pure, unadulterated chic.
From the scent itself — a fresh, airy fragrance that recalls a zesty springtime breeze rather than heady, indolent old-lady rose — and the inspiration behind it down to the limited-edition packaging and the fact that it's a $48 bottle of hair perfume, for crying out loud, everything about the luxe Parisian brand's latest offering is opulent to the very last detail. On the outside, the box is done up in artist Leslie David's modernized take on pale blue Toile de Jouy, a cotton fabric printed with complex pastoral scenes, such as lush floral arrangements or rich people picnicking by a lake, that lined the walls of the salons of Versailles' 18th-century elite. (It's a pity you'll probably just throw it away.)
The bougie candle purveyors drew inspiration from the well-to-do ladies of that same era, who coated their hair in fragrant talcum powder as part of a fashionable beauty routine that frequently ended in lead poisoning from heavy use of cosmetics containing, well, lead. Lips were painted red with vermillion, made of highly toxic mercury sulphide; faces were powdered stark white with rudimentary foundations using lead combined with vinegar, horse manure, and perfume. (You can imagine why they'd want to add the perfume.) It was a time of extravagance based in necessity, coating your face in deadly makeup to hide your smallpox scars and rotted teeth.
So maybe appealing to 18th-century beauty ideals isn't the wisest idea overall — but there's nothing wrong with feeling like a moneyed aristocrat of yesteryear every time you spray this voluptuous rose scent, which also contains camellia oil to infuse hair with healthy shine. If only this had been around in the days of Marie Antoinette, perhaps we'd still be hearing of the sweet-smelling sillage left behind at the Place de la Révolution long after the disgraced queen's head hit the ground.
Diptyque Eau Rose Hair Mist, $48, available at Diptyque.