Cadentia Parfums Jean d’Aigle Rose Eau de Cologne Extra

A couple of weeks ago, I was on the London Underground heading home after a long day. It was around 8 in the evening, and I boarded a car at the end of the train that looked to be completely empty. As I stepped inside, a glorious thing: the entire carriage was fragrant with roses. It was like some kind of olfactory hallucination.

The London tube is notoriously hot and dirty, and not in a good way: particulate pollution on parts of the Underground is up to 30 times higher than roadside levels in the city. It’s also crowded. So to waft aboard a Bakerloo Line ghost ship and be caressed by a rapture of invisible rose petals was my version of a Choose Your Own Adventure dream sequence.

I made my way down the empty aisle with a big musical theatre smile on my face (you know what I mean: that expression of lobotomized euphoria), until I came to what I can only assume was the source of the rose smell. He was a very large man, Arab in countenance, serenely and deeply asleep.

Fighting the impulse to creep closer for an exploratory sniff, I settled myself a few seats away, enjoying the fellow’s rosy emanations as if he were a jumbo solid gel air freshener. I was desperate to know his perfume secrets, but he never awoke before we got to my stop.

The first thing I did when I got home was spritz a bit of Jo Malone Red Roses, my favorite, straight-ahead, roses-with-stems scent. But that wasn’t it: too rich and sweet, with an evident musk that the train hallucination didn’t possess.

Then I sprayed some Trader Joe’s Rose Water Facial Toner to see if that hit the spot, but the aroma was entirely too transparent. All I knew was that I now had a craving for the joyously sheer smell of a blizzard of rose petals. Thanks, slumbering tube guy!

Well, today I’ve quelled my craving, thanks to stumbling upon an indie eau de cologne line from Provence called Cadentia Parfums. According to the UK website, Cadentia has been going since 1945, founded by a chap named Jean who originally hailed from the Swiss town of Aigle. And it’s Jean d’Aigle Rose Eau de Cologne Extra that is now giving me a lobotomized musical theatre smile.

Jean d’Aigle Rose is a fresh, crisp, see-thru rose straight from the garden, uncomplicated by powder, flim-flam, or indeed any other tricks of the parfumer's trade. The eau de cologne strength means that it fades out after about an hour of wear, although on fabric and clothes, it stays true through the next day. My hefty 250 ml bottle of delicate pink liquid set me back a modest £12 (about $16 US), and I’m tantalized to see that it’s available in a Land of the Giants size-up to 500ml and 1000ml. That’s a whole liter of rose cologne, fume fans! How decadent.

Powering up for a Land of the Giants vat of cologne.

Right now I’m trying to work out how many different ways I can rosify my life with this stuff. Throw some in a bath, dab it on handtowels, sprinkle it on bedsheets, slap it on the skin. I didn’t realize until I got the bottle home that it doesn’t come with a screw-on atomizer attachment, so the splash-only application is limiting my excesses somewhat. It looks like the Cadentia website offers a 10ml refill atomizer, so I suppose I’ll track down one of those.

And then I'll be able to cast my floral spell on the Bakerloo Line, just like my mentor, Snoozy Dude.

Manga image: Yuuka Kazami from Touhou Project

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