During a teenage Roman villa visit I spotted a sign in educational brown above frilled pink roses, it read ‘in Roman times these roses were cultivated for culinary and medicinal purposes.’ As I gulped their perfume, I wanted to clutch on to the scent and prolong my stay in that bubble of sensuality. Those Romans knew a good thing when they smelt it and they were utterly clued up in the sensual stakes.
The scent was fleeting, feral, like a smear on glass that disappears when wiped, then reappears from nowhere. I wanted to capture the melting perfume and transpose the experience of teetering between smell and taste to a drink. Was it an impossible challenge to find a sublime musky scented liquor of perfect rosiness that hit all the sensual bases? A concept more lifted from the pages of Alice in Wonderland than real life.
I found the perfect combination with Prosecco and rose syrup made from organic roses cultivated in Wales. In my imagination they grow in a remote valley on a hillside thickly studded with bushes of ruffled blossoms, at sunset the air heavy with their perfume. The alchemy starts as you stir a spoonful of their elixir into a glass of Proseco. When you sip all your senses are at once harnessed, straining to catch the extraordinary haunting experience of drinking roses.