Perhaps you noticed this tidbit in our recent interview with perfumer Nathalie Benareau, regarding our newest fragrance, Améline: “In our palette we have this specific rose that no one else has,” she told us. This unique and exclusive ingredient is a special rose absolute that was created by our partners at Symrise, where Nathalie crafted Améline.

Suffice it to say there’s a story behind it. After the jump, we share that story…

In the Tamil Nadu state in the south of India, a native rose known as rosa centifolia was once very popular due to its beautiful smell. If you’ve ever heard of the Provence rose, or the cabbage rose or the Rose de Mai, that’s this. Unfortunately, as with many roses, this one is very fragile, and requires a lot of pesticide to survive. And for those roses that do come to maturity, that fragility makes it difficult to transport them long distances. Basically, using a ton of pesticides and then flying these roses around the world wasn’t exactly sustainable.

So 15 years ago, local merchants turned instead to rosa bourboniana—brighter in color, subtler in scent, more resilient overall—and our partners at Symrise took notice. And despite some initial resistance from the local community, who prized rosa centifolia’s beauty and smell, this unusual rose (also known as the Edward rose) has swelled in popularity ever since. The flower is especially beloved in India for making garlands, which are often used for weddings, to adorn the entrances of houses, and in temples as offerings to God.

All of this extra demand ensures the region’s farmers are well paid, and that fewer pesticides are used to maintain the region’s crops (because the Edward rose is less susceptible to pest attack). A win for the planet, and for farmers.

We’re proud to have this distinct rose define Améline’s unique scent.