A Rose Is Not a Rose 不是玫瑰的玫瑰

The American historian Alice Morse Earle wrote, "The fragrance of the sweetest rose is beyond an other flower scent, it is irresistible, enthralling; you cannot leave it. I have never doubted the rose has some compelling quality not shared by other flowers...". Seen in this light, the fragrance experts claim that the rose perfume creates a mysterious atmosphere and state of mind conducive to romance.

Although the words rose and fragrance go together like hand and glove, rose is my least favorite scent. I rather exclaim over color and beauty of a rose in a full bloom than smelling it from a perfume bottle. More than any other sense, smells keenly evoke memories and feelings for me.

A rose fragrance with gourmet touches makes me ill. Worn by a person who easily lost himself in the rage. It’s truly a horrible smell!

Last night, in a gallery opening on Broome Street in SoHo, I was having a drink and gazing at the artwork in the fashion crowd. A peculiar rose smell suddenly hit my nose and it was like a nasal déjà vu – I shivered, a chill rushed down my spine. I had to leave right away because the sickening smell permeated my nostrils.

To me, a rose doesn’t lose its color in the rain, but it does lose its fragrance in my olfactory memory.

Inspired by René François Ghislain Magritte, I conjured up an image of rose in a contradictive context : the rose is not a rose, because it does not smell.


  1. Oh, thank god! I was afraid I might be the only person I knew that didn't go all ga-ga over the smell of roses. Not may favorite scent at all. I can deal with it if it's blended particularly well within a fragrance, but a predominantly rose perfume is absent from my list of must-haves.

    And while I regularly purchase flowers/greenery for the home, roses are not included.

  2. I will remember that: no roses for Nathan :-)