Hello there, fellow people on the low end of 30-something. Join me for a moment as I take you back in time. Nearly fifteen years, to be precise, back to 1998. You, like me, were fifteen or so years old. There might be a puffy vest or two in your wardrobe, or at least an unironic purchase of a denim skirt. You were a lot cooler than I was, or at least you probably had a better haircut, but there’s one thing that we have in common: in 1998 the chances are very high indeed that we both own a little bottle of The Body Shop rose perfume oil.
It’s hard to explain how pervasive The Body Shop’s tea rose perfume oil was when I was an ugly dorkwad of a teenager. Everyone I knew – and I was at boarding school at the time, so I knew an awful lot of 15 year-old girls – owned a bottle of this sweet, unctuous, extremely rosy perfume oil. It wasn’t an essential oil and didn’t have an essential oil price tag, so it was accessible to teens on limited 90s era budgets. It was a perfume oil that didn’t smell fake or artificial, and wearing it felt rich and decadent. Everyone I knew used it for everything: girls mixed it into their hair conditioner, or into their body moisturiser. I put it on the pulse points of my neck and felt impossibly adult, or rubbed it on my wrists and let it absorb into my stuffy school blazer.
Ah, Tea Rose. The scent of my teen years.
I’ve always spoken at length about my fondness for crisp and clean masculine perfumes, but I’ve always had a love for rose fragrances after that first bottle of Tea Rose. Every few years I had – have – a pang of nostalgia for that rich rose scent of 1998, and trundle off to The Body Shop to buy another little bottle of Tea Rose oil. At some point it was discontinued, which was always an unfortunate surprise whenever I forgot that fact and tried to buy a fresh bottle. Alas, alack, there was no more Tea Rose.
So why am I waxing lyrical about this particular perfume oil? Because it’s back! Well, sort of. These days it goes under another name: The Body Shop Atlas Mountain Rose perfume oil. It’s almost exactly the same rose fragrance that I remember through a thick foggy mist of nostalgia, rich and robust with a little tang of citrus. It’s not an old fashioned rose scent, all powdery and synthetic and cloying, but rather a warm and earthy fragrance that reminds me of being a child and smelling the sun-warmed roses in my mother’s garden. It’s the same 15ml bottle I remember, the same alcohol-free and long lasting oil, the same close-wearing and low silage scent that’s as pleasant to wear with an Ellery jacket as it was with an itchy school blazer. Finally I’ve achieved nirvana: the rosy scented oil of my youth, but without actually having to be a teenager again. Bliss. Rosy bliss.
I’m so happy that there’s another rich rose perfume oil back at The Body Shop, you have no idea. As much as I love my bracing and brisk masculine fragrances, there’s just something wonderful about occasionally dabbing a little rosy nostalgia on my wrists. Feminine, dainty, and imbued with the sense of satisfaction you can only achieve by indulging in a little sentimentality for 1998.
This item was provided to swatchgirl.com.